Let's make one thing clear first: I applaud Mr. Stone and his team for taking on the task of telling history from a viewpoint rarely seen in text books or any other form of media. This is something that should be done as often as possible from as many views as possible, because the truth is that no single viewpoint can tell us everything about history. For instance, I knew next to nothing about Vice President Henry Wallace before watching the first three episodes of this series. Now I do.
The first three episodes seem to lean toward a fondness for progressive politics. The almost loving way that Wallace is sketched (here is a less loving look) would lead to this conclusion just based on his run for president with the Progressive Party. However, the portrait of Wallace has left out some very important later-life revelations. Maybe they will come out later in the series, but just in case they don't I'll tell you about them here. Wallace is portrayed completely as a pro-Soviet communist sympathizer. He's characterized as a hero for being a part of our government and pro-communist at the same time. In reality, he bought into the propaganda machine that made Joseph Stalin seem like less of a monster than he was, and 70 years later Mr. Stone has joined him. Later in Wallace's life he wrote a book called Where I Was Wrong that detailed how he was duped into thinking more positively of Stalin and the communist system than he should have.
Stone portrays Soviet life the way that Wallace thought it was thanks to false information. The problem is we know better now. Or, at least, we all should. The idea that Soviet Russia was much the same as the United States is a fallacy built on propaganda. Mutual propaganda, but propaganda nonetheless. During World War II Russia was our ally and we treated them accordingly. We like to believe that our allies are good people. Sometimes, including Russia under Stalin, they are not. A simple read through of Russian history by any of the researchers on the show would have told them that portraying Stalin's regime as anything less than a tragedy for the Russian people is irresponsible.
Downplaying U.S. involvement in the Allied victories in both Europe and Asia is an interesting angle. If you rely on the information in this show, then you probably believe that England and the United States did practically nothing to fight the Germans until we landed in Normandy, leaving the U.S.S.R. to fight them alone. That's more bad history along side ignorance of how war is fought and won. American and British forces were bombing Western Germany within months after the U.S. entered the war in Europe. The American's first took weakly defended Northern Africa back from the Axis to make it possible to move into Italy and then on to France and Germany. If you've ever played Axis and Allies, you know this is a good tactic if you are on the Allied side. Getting a foothold was an important part of war then (it still is but to a lesser degree with our long range capabilities), and they didn't have the ability to gain that foothold before regaining Africa and then taking Sicily.
As for the victory over Japan, the main argument is that we didn't have any reason to drop the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki other than a show of force to scare the Soviets. This is a topic that is still split, even amongst credible historians. The number of lives that would have been lost during an invasion would most likely have outstripped those lost in the two cities due to the use of atomic bombs, not by the huge numbers that many want you to believe though. And the cities were going to be firebombed anyway. (Plus, without the use of the bombs any forthcoming episodes about the Cold War may not exist.) However, unleashing this powerful weapon on the world will now always be a black mark on the United States, and Japanese surrender was eminent anyway with the rest of the Axis defeated and Russian forces joining the fight against them.
I can't begin to understand why something purporting to be history would make Stalin, a man who killed millions of his own people, seem like a misunderstood hero. It's flat out false. Although, if this plays out the way I think it will, the earlier episodes will set the stage for the idea that socialism is the way that the United States needs to go and that progress toward that has been thwarted by the evils of Reagan, Bush, and a crazy document called the Constitution. I can't wait to see what bad history episode 4 brings.