Based on Ed Rampell's firsthand coverage of recent marches, demonstrations, rallies, fundraisers, political education meetings, art exhibits and organizing efforts, this book asks: What really motivates the Hollywood Left? How are Hollywood progressives politically educated? How do they organize protests and raise money for causes? Who are the masterminds and top financial backers of Hollywood's activism? What price are these outspoken notables paying for speaking out? Are they working out of a great tradition, and what do they have to learn from the great activists of Hollywood's earlier progressive periods--the '30s, '40s, '60s and '70s? What are the lessons from the dark ages of the '50s and the Hollywood-bashing of the Bush years? And, from action hero California recall candidates to producers of pro-Pentagon pictures, who in reactionary Tinseltown collaborates with the status quo, and how are the progressives countering the entertainment industry's right wing?
With an introduction by Greg Palast, author of bestseller The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, Progressive Hollywood features Rampell's interviews and interactions with Hollywood luminaries such as producers Jerry Bruckheimer and Robert Greenwald; actors Jack Nicholson, Rob Reiner, Mike Farrell, Ed Asner, Martin Sheen, David Clennon, Gore Vidal and Dennis Hopper; directors Michael Moore, Spike Lee, Oliver Stone and Lionel Chetwynd; blacklisted screenwriters Bernie Gordon (who initiated the 1999 protests against Elia Kazan's lifetime achievement Oscar), Bobby Lees (who injected dialectical materialism into Abbott and Costello comedies) and Norma Barzman (author of 2003's The Red and the Blacklist).