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