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Hollywood vs. America: The Explosive Bestseller that Shows How-and Why-the Entertainment Industry Has Broken Faith With Its Audience Paperback – August 4, 1993


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (August 4, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060924357
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060924355
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,703,969 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

PBS film critic Medved's jeremiad charges that Hollywood is profoundly out of touch with the values and lifestyles espoused by most Americans.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Film critic Medved, cohost of PBS's Sneak Previews , presents a scathing indictment of Hollywood that is sure to be controversial. Asserting that "the dream factory has become the poison factory," he criticizes Hollywood movies for portraying religion unfavorably, glamorizing violence, and celebrating immorality. Martin Scorcese's The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) is among the films censured at length, and there are many others whose objectionable scenes are singled out, from Total Recall (1990) to The Prince of Tides (1992). Those who lament America's loss of what lately have been generally called "family values" will agree with Medved, while others are likely to dismiss his impassioned text as a windy sermon. A marginal purchase for general collections.
- Richard W. Grefrath, Univ. of Nevada Lib., Reno
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Michael Medved is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host, best-selling author and veteran film critic. His daily three-hour program, emphasizing the intersection of politics and pop culture, reaches close to 5 million listeners in over 200 markets, coast to coast. For twelve consecutive years, he's been listed by Talkers Magazine as one of their "Heavy Hundred" most important American talk show hosts, and for seven of those years his show has also been listed as one of the ratings top ten.

Born in Philadelphia, raised in San Diego, Mr. Medved graduated with honors from Yale and then attended Yale Law School-where his classmates included Bill and Hillary Clinton. After working as a screenwriter in Hollywood, he reviewed movies for CNN, and later as chief film critic for the New York Post. He also served for twelve years as co-host of "Sneak Previews," the nationally televised weekly movie review show on PBS-TV.

Mr. Medved is the author of twelve non-fiction books, including the national bestseller What Really Happened to the Class of '65 (the basis for a popular TV series on NBC), as well as the definitive history of the White House chiefs of staff, The Shadow Presidents. His most influential-and controversial-work was a best-selling indictment of the entertainment industry, Hollywood Vs. America. England's prestigious Guardian newspaper wrote: "Just Occasionally, a book changes the way the world thinks. Michael Medved's Hollywood Vs. America is such a book." Mr. Medved then collaborated with his wife, Dr. Diane Medved, a clinical psychologist and author in her own right, on Saving Childhood: Protecting Our Children from the National Assault on Innocence. In October 1998, the Wall Street Journal wrote: "If Saving Childhood isn't an important book, I don't know what one would look like." His book, "Right Turns" (Crown Forum/Random House, January, 2005) drew rave reviews for its "lively and intimate" description of his transition from "punk liberal activist" to "lovable conservative curmudgeon."

Most recently, (2008-2009), Michael's book "The 10 Big Lies About America," spent twelve weeks on the New York Times extended bestseller list, and became a Main Selection of the Conservative Book Club. The follow-up volume --- "The 5 Big Lies About American Business," is scheduled for publication by Random House/Crown Forum on December 1, 2009. It is already a Main Selection of the Conservative Book Club.

Mr. Medved has been a frequent guest on all the major TV talk shows, including Larry King Live, Nightline, Oprah, David Letterman, Good Morning America, CNN's Reliable Sources and countless others. His columns on media and society appear regularly in USA Today, where he serves as a member of the Board of Contributors. The Medveds live in the Seattle area where they've raised their three children. Their oldest daughter is currently in graduate school, their middle daughter is a senior at University, and their youngest, Danny, is a senior in High School.

Customer Reviews

It doesn't account for his misunderstandings of logic and statistics.
Readerwithabrain
Popular Culture has now evolved to significance in our society, whether for well or ill, well beyond a relfective product.
J. Remington
Medved points out that no one movie, no one song title, no one T.V. show should be cancelled, censored, etc.
Jason C. Rees

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Jason C. Rees on March 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
I imagine the reviews of this book will be split two ways: On one side, they'll say Medved is just another member of the Religious Right trying to make everyone conform to a boring religious regime.
On the other side, people will say it's a well-deserved attack on the entertainment industry at large. It is neither. Medved points out that no one movie, no one song title, no one T.V. show should be cancelled, censored, etc.
What Medved does is point out the self-destructive trends of the entertainment industry elite to flood the market with material of little worth in the name of profits or a cause. In the former, he proves that movies have been steadily repulsing more and more of the public, and decreasing the chances of bringing in families, where the real money is. In the latter matter, he shows beyond a doubt that a very narrow viewpoint is being portrayed in hollywood, to the nearly complete exclusion of all other views. A move detrimental to Americans AND the entertainment industry.
Anyone who wants to get an idea of where the entertainment industry has been, and is taking American viewers, should read this book.
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40 of 46 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
Few people discuss the excellent documentation and cold, hard statistics Medved supplies - perhaps because they are irrefutable. And also because it's easier to make subtle charges of racism and bigotry. One reviewer even claimed Medved wants a world where everyone is white and Christian - Medved is Jewish and discusses his religion at length in the book!!! But then, you'd have to actually READ the book to know that...
Medved shows beyond the shadow of a doubt that Hollywood is more interested in what it thinks of itself than in anything else - true art or even money.
Strange that many of the same movie buffs who decry the dumbing-down of film within the past 15 years suddenly rush to defend Hollywood (even the trash!) in order to avoid agreeing with Medved.
An excellent book - an excellent tool for analyzing American culture.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By rodboomboom HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on February 14, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Well known movie critic resigns from doing so, because of his strong conviction that Hollywood is unwilling to be responsible cultural contributor.
Leaning even more to the dangerous trends Medved exposes in this book in 1992, Hollywood does not feel any responsibility to nation's moral troubles, only freedoms which they certainly are given under our laws.
It's only entertainment? Of the foulest, sickest kind. History will concur with Medved that this increasingly slippery slope has led all other leading civilizations to decay, disease and collapse. Can we be of such historic stuff?
Medved provides convincing evidence in this, and most disturbing is Hollywood's seeming "don't care" attitude.
Suffice recent stars stance on Iraq as infuriating most of country's citizens.
More like Medved and this reviewer, should boycott most of Hollywood. Wake up America, thanks Mike for this helpful classic work.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 10, 1999
Format: Paperback
I came to a bookstore shortly after this book was released with $25 in my wallet, which was intended for another book. I flipped through "Hollywood vs. America" and not only couldn't I put it down, I decided that I owed it to Medved to buy the book at full list price, before it went on sale. Finally, someone with some clout was saying what I had been saying for years about show business and the people in charge.
A previous reviewer faulted Medved for detailing a laundry list of vomit and urination scenes, but this is exactly what is necessary to illustrate how far "entertainment" has fallen. True humor and plot development is abandoned in favor of "realistic" special effects gore, more F-words, and bodily function gags.
Especially important is his illustration of the way showbiz takes great pains to prop up evil religious straw-men/women for the purpose of demonizing traditional religion per se. He also shows how "dramatic license" is used to distort the lives of actual religious figures so that their faith is unrecognizable. Medved wrote this seven years before NBC's outrageously inaccurate and blasphemous "Noah's Ark."
If you are a moviegoer, read this book. Peek into the slaughterhouse and see what's in the sausage they feed you.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Brian A. Wolters VINE VOICE on December 9, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Michael Medved's "Hollywood Vs. America" is an excellent observation of how out of touch Hollywood is with America and how they are influencing our youth.
Michael looks at many different aspects of Hollywood and the media but he really takes a good look at how they handle the subject of sex. He points out how Hollywood has made sex a requirement for any movie to be "romantic." Because of his observations on this subject, it has made me review some of the movies I consider "my favorites" and I've made a decision to not watch them or recommend them anymore.
While he makes his Judeo-Christian views apparent in many different parts of the book, he also uses a lot of common sense when addressing many of the issues. He points out that some of us can watch a movie and see people brutally murdered and we sit there with no reaction at all. I have caught myself becoming "numb" to a lot of the violence in movies. Sure, it isn't going to make me run out and commit these acts, but it has become commonplace to see heads explode or people dismembered that a lot of us are not even aware of how horrific these scenes are.
He also points out that less than 5% of movies in the past 15 years show religion in a positive way. I couldn't agree more. Recently, there have been movies (Return To Me, The Apostle, Signs) that show how a long-suffering faith in God can bring you through everything. Why is it that Hollywood can't see that a lot more than 5% of Americans have a religious faith and would like to see more of that in films? It is a shame.
This is an excellent commentary on today's time. It does tend to get a little repetitive and tedious toward the end but he does make excellent observations and leaves it up to you to decide.
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