Oliver Stone is no stranger to stirring things up, and his latest provocation -- saying that Hitler was a "scapegoat" and expressing empathy for Stalin -- is, unsurprisingly, making headlines.
Stone made the comments while speaking at a gathering of TV critics in California this weekend. At the conference Stone introduced his latest project, modestly titled "Oliver Stone's Secret History of America," a 10-hour series for Showtime that will serve as an antidote to the way recent U.S. history has been presented in schools and the media. Stone has previously mined similar territory in films such as "JFK."
"Hitler is an easy scapegoat throughout history and it's been used cheaply," Stone said at the conference. "Stalin has a complete other story. Not to paint him as a hero, but to tell a more factual representation. He fought the German war machine more than any person."
Other topics addressed in the documentary will be Truman's decision to drop the bomb and the origins of the Cold War.
The point of this exercise, Stone said, was to put these figures "in context." Much like with "W," Stone said he was attempting to "understand somebody I thoroughly despised."
"You cannot approach history unless you have empathy for the person you may hate," Stone said.