On History: Tariq Ali and Oliver Stone in Coversation

Published by Haymarket Books, 2011

In working together on two challenging new documentaries—South of the Border and the forthcoming 13-part, 13-hour Untold History of the United States series for Showtime—filmmaker Oliver Stone engaged with author and filmmaker Tariq Ali in a probing, hard-hitting conversation on the politics of history. Their dialogue brings to light a number of forgotten—or deliberately buried—episodes of American history, from the U.S. intervention against the Russian Revolution, to the dynamic radicalism of the Wobblies, how Henry Wallace’s nomination for the vice-presidency was deliberately thwarted by Democratic Party machine insiders, to the ongoing close connections between various U.S. presidents and the Saudi royal family. For Stone and Ali—two of our most insightful observers on history and popular culture—no topic is sacred, no orthodoxy goes unchallenged.

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From the archive

  • ‘George Galloway’s Respect could help Britain to break the political impasse’

    March 31, 2012

    ‘George Galloway’s Respect could help Britain to break the political impasse’ by Tariq Ali for the Guardian, March 30, 2012

    George Galloway’s stunning electoral triumph in the Bradford by-election has shaken the petrified world of English politics. It was unexpected, and for that reason the Respect campaign was treated by much of the media (Helen Pidd of the Guardian being an honourable exception) as a loony fringe show. A BBC toady, an obviously partisan compere on a local TV election show, who tried to mock and insult Galloway, should be made to eat his excremental words. The Bradford seat, a Labour fiefdom since 1973, was considered safe and the Labour leader, Ed Miliband, had been planning a celebratory visit to the city till the news seeped through at 2 am. He is now once again focused on his own  …

  • Interview: ‘Pakistan and the Global War on Terror’

    November 30, 2009

    ‘Pakistan and the Global War on Terror’, an interview with Tariq Ali by Mara Ahmed and Judith Bello for Counterpunch, November 30, 2009

    Mara Ahmed and I were given the opportunity to interview Tariq Ali when he spoke at Hamilton College in Upstate New York on November 11, 2009, during his recent speaking tour of the United States. Tariq, a native of Pakistan who lives in England, is a well known writer, intellectual and activist. He has traveled all over Southwest Asia and the Middle East while researching his books. Mara, who is working on a film highlighting the opinions of the Pakistani people regarding the current situation in Pakistan and the Western initiated ‘Global War on Terror’, had a lot of questions for Tariq about the internal state of Pakistan. I wanted to ask Tariq for his  …

  • A Banker for All Seasons: Crooks and Cheats Inc.

    January 1, 2007

    Published by Seagull, 2007

    During the late seventies and eighties a new logo began to jostle for space with the more traditional landmarks on high streets throughout Britain. It was the badge of a remarkable Third World Bank…the BCCI (Bank of Credit and Commerce International). BCCI soon became a global corporate empire with former US Presidents, ex-British Prime Ministers and a range of dictators on its payroll, all helping with promoting the company. Tariq Ali was the first public voice to warn that the Bank was not all it seemed to be. Indeed, many of its own employees called BCCI the “Bank of Crooks and Cheats Incorporated”. Some political analysts also predicted the company’s collapse. The Bank finally imploded amidst a welter of scandal. This revealing screenplay presents an account of the rise and fall of the Bank  …