Hollywood and Politics: A Sourcebook, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Hollywood and Politics

A Sourcebook, 1st Edition

Edited by Donald T. Critchlow, Emilie Raymond


342 pages

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pub: 2009-05-28
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Money, power, and celebrity – the stuff of Hollywood is also substance of politics. While Hollywood celebrities such as Susan Sarandon, George Clooney, and Ed Begley Jr. currently attract attention from the media for their involvement in politics, Hollywood has been involved in politics since its earliest days.

Hollywood and Politics: A Sourcebook documents the entertainment industry’s participation in American politics on both the Left and the Right. From the 1920s through today, this volume provides scholars of history, politics, and film with the controversial history of Hollywood’s involvement in American politics. Through twenty-four chapters that begin with Upton Sinclair and take us all the way to the satire of South Park, readers are guided through elections, trials, speeches, and memorandums, many of which have never before been published, providing rare insight into the history of Hollywood activism.

From World War II to Iraq, and from Walt Disney to Charlton Heston, Hollywood and Politics lays a historical foundation for anyone interested in how celebrities helped shape our country’s policies and culture.


"Well-chosen primary sources abound in Hollywood and Politics: A Sourcebook, and I eagerly read document after document. Critchlow and Raymond provide valuable introductions, putting each one into context, then wisely step back and let the original material speak for itself."

—Valerie Yaros, Screen Actors Guild Historian

"A much needed volume of primary source readings on the politics of Hollywood and American filmmaking. Ranging from the Depression of the 1930s through the culture wars of the recent past, the book offers a balanced, wide-ranging array of materials that speak to how the movies—and the people that made them—have confronted and interpreted a variety of political issues. Thought provoking and engaging."

—Steven Watts, author of The Magic Kingdom: Walt Disney and the American Way of Life and Mr. Playboy: Hugh Hefner and the American Dream

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Origins (late 1920s–Early 1930s) 2. Family Values in the Great Depression 3. The Dies Committee Hunts for Reds (1940) 4. HUAC Finds Reds (1947) 5. Hollywood Divides over Eisenhower (1952) 6. Kennedy and the Stars (1960) 7. The Hollywood Left and the Hollywood Right (1964) 8. Civil Rights and Women’s Rights (1960s–70s) 9. Hollywood Sends an Actor to Sacramento: Reagan as Governor (1966) 10. Hollywood and Vietnam (1960s and 1970s) 11. Gun Control 12. Hollywood and Family Values 13. Hollywood and War 14. Hollywood in Our Times

About the Editors

Donald T. Critchlow is Professor of History at Saint Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri. He is the editor of the Journal of Policy History, and author of The Conservative Ascendancy: How the GOP Right Made Political History.

Emilie Raymond is Assistant Professor of History at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. She is the author of From My Cold, Dead Hands: Charlton Heston and American Politics.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / United States / General
PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / General