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Since early in the twentieth century, it has been a common if not always acceptable practice for governments to exploit film as a means of manipulating public opinion and influencing the behavior of citizens, especially during periods of national emergency. This volume is the newest in a five-part series that documents and examines the use of the medium for propaganda purposes by the U.S. government. Focusing on official and quasi-official productions as well as the uneasy collaboration between Hollywood studios and the armed forces during the postwar period, it brings together an unequalled collection of archival materials, many of which were released solely for the publication of the present work.
Volume IV presents oral history interviews and papers from the private archives of filmmakers, writers, and representatives of the military, together with several case studies of military cooperation with Hollywood in the making of war films. It also includes Defense Department memoranda, relevant documents from presidential and media libraries, and excerpts from congressional hearings. These materials provide an insider's view of propaganda efforts connected with the Cold War, the anti-Communist crusade, the Korean War, and Vietnam and offer new information on topics such as film censorship, television violence, and propaganda films about the atomic bomb. Materials are given chronologically, covering the period 1945-1980. Citations at the head of each document list the name of the author and recipient, the date sent, and the collection from which the material is taken. Documents are indexed by film title, name, and subject. Designed as a source of readings as well as a research tool, this volume will be of particular relevance for the study of filmmaking, propaganda, the Cold War, and U.S. information policy in the postwar period.
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LAWRENCE H. SUID is a private historian and specialist in communication who has written extensively on propaganda, the military, politics, popular culture, and American film. His publications include Guts and Glory: Great American War Movies and The Army's Nuclear Power Program: The Evolution of a Support Agency (Greenwood Press, 1990).
DAVID CULBERT is a Professor of History at Louisiana State University. He is President of the International Association for Audio-Visual Media in Historical Research and Education and Associate Editor of the Historical Journal of Film, Radio & Television. He is the author of News for Everyman: Radio and Foreign Affairs in Thirties America (Greenwood Press, 1976), Mission to Moscow, and some forty articles relating to film, radio, and television as instruments of propaganda.Review:
?Suid's volume makes a valuable contribution not only as an examination of film propaganda but also as an example of the opportunities that await enterprising historians who wish to study American history by focusing on film. . . . This is an excellent reference tool that shows many facets of the documentary evidence related to film and propaganda in recent United States history.?-The Journal of American History
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