From my new Taki’s Magazine column:
‘Chasing the Light’: Mild Stone
August 05, 2020
While increasingly forgotten today, writer-director Oliver Stone might have been the most talked-about figure in American popular culture from 1986 through 1992, when the press suddenly went to war against him over his JFK conspiracy-theory movie.
Stone’s new memoir Chasing the Light recounts his first four decades from his birth in 1946 (not surprisingly, the first year of the baby boom) through his annus mirabilis in 1986. Staring at the fact that few directors get a chance to break through after age 40, he suddenly delivered the wildly entertaining Salvador and the universally admired Vietnam War movie Platoon.
I’ve always felt that Stone, who enlisted as a private in the Army after dropping out of Yale and was wounded twice in Vietnam, was more than entitled to be a critic of his country’s invade-the-world foreign policy.
Interestingly, before emerging in movies such as Wall Street and Born on the Fourth of July as a celebrated critic of Ronald Reagan’s policies, military and economic, Stone admits in his book that he voted for Reagan in 1980, just as he had supported Barry Goldwater as a preppie in 1964.
There isn’t much detail on Stone’s political change of heart in Chasing the Light. My guess is that Stone’s politics, like those of old-time science-fiction author Robert Heinlein, may be influenced by whoever is his current wife.
Read the whole thing there.