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The Leading Man: Hollywood and the Presidential Image Hardcover – September 17, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


(National Review 2012-11-17)

"A challenging exploration of the intersection between the modern presidency and mass culture, refreshingly free of formulaic celebration and condemnation. This is a book to take seriously."
(Jackson Lears author of Rebirth of a Nation: The Making of Modern America, 1877-1920 2012-04-17)

"Peretti’s writing rises above many Hollywood-centered books by viewing the industry from an historian’s perspective. It should appeal to knowledgeable general readers and serious film buffs."
(Library Journal 2012-10-01)

"Burton W. Peretti’s The Leading Man deepens our understanding of Hollywood’s increasingly central role in American political culture and reveals the ways in which many twentieth-century presidents adapted Hollywood communication techniques to sell themselves and their policies to voters."
(Steven J. Ross author of Hollywood Left and Right: How Movie Stars Shaped American Politics 2012-04-05)

"Peretti examines and explains how movie and television screens shaped the image of 14 presidents from Herbert Hoover to Barack Obama. Recommended."
(Choice 2013-03-01)

"Peretti's analysis provides moments of brilliant insight into the intersection between the film industry and presidential politics."
(The Journal of American History 2013-09-01)

About the Author

BURTON W. PERETTI is a professor of history at Western Connecticut State University. He is the author of four other books, including The Creation of Jazz: Music, Race, and Culture in Urban America and Nightclub City: Politics and Amusement in Manhattan


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press; 1st edition (September 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813554047
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813554044
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 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: #2,882,412 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
Peretti's The Leading Man: Hollywood and the Presidential Image is a very readable, yet well-documented, account of how the film and television industries have mediated the modern U.S. presidency. Chronologically organized by decade, each chapter effectively interweaves presidential biography, social and political contexts, and film and television history. Peretti provides a strong overview of Hollywood's influence on U.S. presidential politics.
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