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Politics and Film: The Political Culture of Film in the United States

2.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0742538085
ISBN-10: 0742538087
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Students, citizens, and scholars are increasingly aware that films' stories and metaphors―'American Tales,' if you will―influence our perception of politics. Daniel Franklin's Politics and Film is a welcome contribution to our ongoing conversation about the evolving relationship between entertainment, art, commerce, and politics―and how this in turn affects the shape, style, and bias of our political attitudes and collective memory. Those who wish to connect the dots between the reel world of Hollywood and the real world of American political culture will find some serious food for thought in this engaging, entertaining book. (Kevan M. Yenerall, Clarion University and co-author, Seeing the Bigger Picture: Understanding Politics Through Film and Television)

This is a fun book to read, hard to put down, and spiked with intriguing information that will be unfamilair to most readers. Students of all ages will love it. (Political Science Quarterly)

It has become practically a national pastime to criticize Hollywood movies for their sex, violence, and ultra-liberal politics. But why are films like that? In this book Daniel Franklin enters the scholarly controversy about the sources of American film content. His conclusion, vigorously argued, is that film-makers are simply acting as good capitalists and responding to the audience. Because filmgoers are more secular and liberal than the population as a whole, films are more secular and liberal than they would otherwise be. (David Prindle, University of Texas, Austin)

About the Author

Daniel P. Franklin is associate professor of political science at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. He is the author of Making Ends Meet: Congressional Budgeting in the Age of Deficits and Extraordinary Measures: The Exercise of Prerogative Powers in the United States and is coeditor of Political Culture and Constitutionalism: A Comparative Approach. He teaches courses on American government, politics of the presidency, and politics and film.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (February 9, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0742538087
  • ISBN-13: 978-0742538085
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.7 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,655,202 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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This textbook seems to be of lower quality than I had hoped it would be. One thing that bothers me about this text is its very biased delivery coupled with the author’s apparent attempt to write off his own personal bias as objectivity. I believe that the author and I would agree on most political issues that relate to ideological perspective, and I would even go so far as to admit that facts do tend to have a “liberal” bias. However, the author frames many of his discussions as scientific and objective early on in the text, only to accept his opinions as fact in the later chapters. He even goes so far as to refer to a film as “a piece of trash” (p. 121) without so much as an empirical statement backing up the claim. Yes, the film in question may be “trash”, but that is a subjective statement. He does a decent job, early in the text, of giving balance to his discussions by detailing potential arguments on a particular subject from both the Left and the Right. It would have been much more effective for him to clearly separate his empirical arguments from his subjective ones in later chapters. Haphazardly mixing the two together diminishes the truth-value of his scientific analyses and has the effect of rambling on.

My primary complaint about this text is probably more a fault of the editors. It is not very well organized. He laid out some pretty fundamental arguments in the early chapters of the book that are of course relevant to material discussed in later chapters. However, rather than a simple reminder of those fundamental arguments (e.g. the three eras of monopoly), he explains and re-explains this material far too often. I cannot help but ask myself: “Is he simply trying to fill up pages in his book, for the sake of filling up pages?
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