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Progressive Hollywood Paperback – May 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Disinformation Books (May 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932857109
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932857108
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,860,404 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ed Rampell is a full-time writer who has co-authored four books, including two film histories. His journalism has appeared in publications worldwide, including ABC News' 20/20, The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Radio New Zealand, Newsweek, AP, Reuters, Honolulu Weekly, Mother Jones, In These Times, L.A. Times, Boston Globe, Toronto Globe & Mail, Variety and many others.

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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Malvin VINE VOICE on November 25, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Progressive Hollywood" by Ed Rampell is an excellent discourse about how Hollywood's creative community has often struggled to express progressive ideals through its art and unique brand of political activism for over a century. Mr. Rampell combines an encyclopedic knowledge of film with a solid understanding of American social and political history to create an interesting and informative narrative. The author helps us understand how the resurgence of progressive filmmaking today continues a Hollywood tradition of producing some of its best screen moments when America has undergone periods of substantial social change.

For example, Mr. Rampell makes a convincing argument that the audiences of the 1930s and 1940s were far better off for the presence of the Communist Party USA members who were employed by Hollywood studios during a trying time of economic depression and war. These so-called Crimson Era filmakers shone a light on the dangers of domestic and foreign Fascism when few others were willing to do so; some celebrated the common person's struggle with capital and state power; and others subtly suffused their humanist politics within their hopeful story narratives. Interestingly, the author discusses how Leftist influence reached its apogee in Hollywood during World War II, when eager American Communist filmmakers produced some of the most effective propaganda movies ever made on behalf of the U.S. government. Unfortunately, capital's postwar desire to break the power of unionized labor led to McCarthyism and the blacklist, which succeeded in scattering the creative community and effectively ended Hollywood's first great progressive movie era.

The next wave of progressive filmaking was inspired by the social and cultural conflicts of the 1960s and 1970s. Mr.
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