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The Stone and Kuznick Roadshow: Why Their Message Must Be Answered

Next, Stone informed the audience that when Showtime’s repeat of the series comes to an end, the contract with them is up. At that time, Time Warner will pick up the series, and will release it on their cable systems in major cities as well as on DVD for purchase and for use in college courses. Since Showtime is a cable network and Time Warner is a cable service, he emphasized, it now would get a much wider audience than it did while aired only on Showtime’s premium cable service.

In addition, Stone told us that the program is set to air next week in Britain. “The British are anti-Soviet,” Stone said, “and it might be harder for their audience to accept it, but we’ll see.”

With those words, Stone revealed that being anti-Soviet is to him a very bad thing, and that he finds it hard to believe in this day and age that anyone could ever have had such a position.

Not only was the program to be aired in Britain, he informed us, but it was soon to premiere in both China and Turkey! It did not occur to Stone, evidently, why both of these nations might want to air a program whose main thesis is that American imperialism is an evil result of a vicious American empire that wants to rule the world and hold down “progressive” nations like Communist China, with its state-controlled media, and Islamist Turkey.

Most of the Q and A was handled by the on-stage moderator, who was friendly to both of them and asked them softball questions meant to not challenge them. At one point, she asked them how the series and book were received, to which Kuznick replied that they had overwhelmingly favorable responses from TV reviewers, and that the book had received blurbs from respected mainstream historians who all said how essential and important it was.

Kuznick, of course, knows full well that the blurbs are all from left-leaning scholars, all of whom have the same point of view he has, and none are from any truly mainstream historians like John Gaddis of Yale University, Alonzo Hamby of Ohio University, or others who, if asked, would more than likely think their book a farce, as does Wilentz and David Greenberg of Rutgers University.

At that point, Kuznick went on to say that there was some criticism from “defenders of the American Empire” – he mentioned Wilentz in particular, whom he blasted as being in the same school as Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., the late highly regarded historian who, of course, was of the broad mainstream left, but whom Kuznick termed a “Cold War liberal,” to leftists a derogatory term.

He went on to say: “These Cold War liberals have joined conservatives in attacking us,” thereby putting his critics in one bag, all defenders of -- as he said more than once -- “the American Empire.” Indeed, he added that “Wilentz, like Schlesinger, defends the American Empire.” That, I guess, is one way of dealing with the devastating blast that Wilentz had written.

At that moment, I had had enough. I stood up -- I shouted in a loud voice but without a microphone, and perhaps only those in my immediate area heard all I had to say – and made known that one of the critics he was attacking was right there. I said that both of them were liars and cowards who refused to debate, that everything they were saying was false and could be answered. I urged those in attendance to come to our session the next morning, as it would provide a major criticism of the arguments they were listening to and which they saw in the episode that had just been screened.

At first, there was total silence, and looks of confusion on Stone and Kuznick. Then Stone proceeded to start talking as if nothing had happened, and did not comment at all on what I had said.

It is more than clear, after attending this lecture, that on the issue of history Kuznick is the sole culprit.