Rarely are the off-screen lives of actors examined for evidence of deep thinking or good citizenship. Still more rarely do the internal workings of labor unions attract public scrutiny. Nevertheless, as David Prindle shows in his examination of democracy in the Screen Actors Guild, this actors’ union has for over 50 years been an arena for idealistic, yet intense and hardboiled political maneuvering.
In The Politics of Glamour, readers become aware of the seriousness and political commitment displayed by people whom the general public has generally admired more for their artistic skills. After reading this account of politics among America’s screen royalty, no one could wonder about where Ronald Reagan, a former SAG president, received his political training.
Besides analyzing the politics of SAG, however, the author follows a good story wherever it leads. The reader can expect to learn something about the political economy of Hollywood and the American labor movement, the value of celebrity within the acting community, the impact of technological change, and even a bit of gossip.