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The Inquisition in Hollywood: Politics in the Film Community, 1930-60

The Inquisition in Hollywood: Politics in the Film Community, 1930-60

Larry Ceplair, Steven Englund

ISBN: 9780252071416

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Description
The Inquisition in Hollywood examines the suppression of radical political activity in the film industry from the days of the Great Depression through the tumultuous House Un-American Activities Committee era to the waning days of the infamous blacklist. Although this thirty-year period of American history was marked by widespread targeting of leftists in all areas of life, those in the film industry--predominately screenwriters--were considered to be in positions of great potential indoctrinating power, and they found themselves under intense scrutiny as the cold war hysteria mounted. Ceplair and Englund trace the history of political struggle in Hollywood back to the formation of the Screen Writers Guild in 1933. Many of the black-listed filmmakers were members of the Communist Party, and all of the graylisted filmmakers had expressed their sympathy with progressive (mainly antifascist) causes. Although no Hollywood communist has ever been linked to espionage or sabotage, and charges of subversive indoctrination have no basis in documented fact, this book powerfully shows how devastating a mere suspicion or insinuation of guilt could be during the era of the "Red Menace." The Inquisition in Hollywood remains the definitive work on the blacklist era. This edition features a new preface in which the authors examine how views of the blacklist have changed in the twenty two years since this book was first published.
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