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Red Star Over Hollywood: The Film Colonys Long Romance with the Left Hardcover – May 1, 2005
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"A thoroughly researched investigation of the communist controversy in Hollywood that has divided America for more than half a century." -- John Patrick Diggins, Distinguished Professor of History, City University of New York
"Red Star Over Hollywood is a cool, objective, well-researched and highly readable study of the effects the HUAC." -- Richard Schickel
"Ronald and Allis Radosh give us a sobering, straightforward, scrupulously researched account of the Communist Party's actual goal." -- Tom Wolfe, author of I am Charlotte Simmons
About the Author
Ronald Radosh lives in Brookeville, Maryland, with his wife and co-author, Allis Radosh.
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i came away with a clearer & more convincing picture highly at odds with the leftwing narrative that has dominated since the 60s - and with a better sense of today's Hollywood
If you want more of the history of Ronald Reagan and Gene Kelly's attempts at "can't we all just get along"....which is interesting from a historical and political perspective, Billingsley covers more of that. But Radosh is more thorough in the above mentioned areas (the book is about twice as long), and is less preachy.
One of the many anecdotes here, is the story of Olivia de Havilland's speech, written by communist, Dalton Trumbo....as was Katharine Hepburn's obtuse and melodramatic, "I am a Communist" speech. Unlike Hepburn, liberal di Havilland, instead of toting Stalin's communist party line, wrote her own speech, and staked an opposite position. Stalin's atrocities were well known at the time....the Ukrainian genocide of seven million has been well covered by the media in 1933....and Stalin had made his intentions quite clear following WW II. Trumbo (and others), opposed Harry Truman's anti-Stalin initiatives....defining himself forever, in opposition to free speech within the CPUSA. It's more than a little ironic that, even today, his son...in the PBS's delusional "Trumbo"... trumpets him as an avatar of free speech. Arthur Schleshinger had also found it absurdly ironic. That Trumbo's family should ascribe to this mythology is, at least a little understandable. However, for other of today's Hollywood players to tout the same fantasy, so many years later, shows the persistence of gullibility.
This little anecdote, within the Radoshs's larger story of HUAC, is just one of many such stories within this book. We know today...from the opening of Soviet records...of the massive spying that took place concerning the Manhattan Project, out of the New York consulate. It's well to remember, that the paranoia of McCarthy...while leading to some painful results for individuals...was not completely unfounded. Actors, writers, and directors were polarized at either end of the debate, and found themselves having to make decisions, as to whether to expose the truth about their colleagues. That this was done in such an antagonistic atmosphere, does not negate the demonstrable reality that a significant number of their colleagues were, in fact, communists, or communist sympathizers.
We go to the movies to see films, and be entertained, and to learn. The stories within, do carry messages...and it's good to know that the underlying issues can be exposed by a good story. However, the potential for mass propaganda...on both the right and the left...is always there. As consumers of entertainment, we have every right to discuss, expose, and evaluate everything we see at the movies. This book is an attempt to set the historic record straight...and its lesson to me, is to do our evaluations in a more open, and less accusatory manner...but do them nonetheless. A vibrant democracy requires no less.
For those interested in a graphic visual history of Stalin, and his USSR, might want to check the DVD, The Soviet Story.