The Big Tomorrow: Hollywood and the Politics of the American Way

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9780226511627: The Big Tomorrow: Hollywood and the Politics of the American Way

In this daring reexamination of the connections between national politics and Hollywood movies, Lary May offers a fresh interpretation of American culture from the New Deal through the Cold War—one in which a populist, egalitarian ethos found itself eventually supplanted by a far different view of the nation.

"One of the best books ever written about the movies." —Tom Ryan, The Age

"The most exhilarating work of revisionist film history since Pauline Kael's Citizen Kane. . . . May's take on what movies once were (energizing, as opposed to enervating), and hence can become again, is enough to get you believing in them again as one of the regenerative forces America so sorely needs."—Jay Carr, Boston Globe

"A startling, revisionist history of Hollywood's impact on politics and American culture. . . . A convincing and important addition to American cultural criticism."—Publishers Weekly

"A controversial overview of 30 years of American film history; must reading for any serious student of the subject."—Choice

"A provocative social history of Hollywood's influence in American life from the 1930s to the 1950s. May argues persuasively that movies in the period offered a good deal of tough criticism of economic and social conditions in U.S. society. . . . May challenges us to engage in some serious rethinking about Hollywood's impact on American society in the middle of the twentieth century."—Robert Brent Toplin, American Historical Review

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From the Inside Flap:

"One of the best books ever written about the movies." —Tom Ryan, The Age

In this daring reexamination of the connections between national politics and Hollywood movies, Lary May offers a fresh interpretation of American culture from the New Deal through the Cold War—one in which a populist, egalitarian ethos found itself eventually supplanted by a far different view of the nation.

About the Author:

Lary May is a professor of American studies at the University of Minnesota. He is the author of Screening out the Past and editor of Recasting America.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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Book Description The University of Chicago Press, United States, 2000. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 2nd ed.. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. In a revealing book showing the startling connections between national politics and Hollywood movies, Lary May offers a bold, fresh interpretation of American culture from the New Deal through the Cold War. Many still believe that Depression-era films served merely as a distraction from real problems . However, May shows that many of these movies were part of a cultural dialogue that reinvigorated a democratic spirit, creating an alternative vision of the nation. Audiences desired to find a new life in a mass culture outside established institutions. As a result, upstart movie makers made large profits with productions such as those of the Cherokee humorist Will Rogers, the populist director Frank Capra, the urban comic dramas featuring The Thin Man , and musicals like 42nd Street . That inclusive vision of America was not simply confined to the screen. It spurred shifts in design from the lavish exotic movie theatre to the more democratic, streamlined style associated with civic renewal. Inside Hollywood, personnel formed unions that supported New Deal reforms. May also argues that during World War II and the Cold War, conservatives and liberals reshaped the vibrant utopian flavour of Hollywood. Drawing on industry documents and Central Intelligence Agency reports, he shows how genres such as the road stories of Bing Crosby and Bob Hope, and the war and western productions of stars like John Wayne and Ronald Reagan undermined the egalitarianism of the thirties. They validated a new corporate order and a homogenous consumer ethos. In the final chapter, May discusses how liberal artists such as Billy Wilder and stars like Marilyn Monroe and James Dean challenged the new consensus, setting the stage for the counterculture of the sixties and the conservative reaction that followed. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780226511627

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