You didn’t pick up an Oscar this year at the Academy Awards? Well, with Hollywood films in mind, here’s a book you’ll want to pick up: Working-Class Hollywood by Steven J. Ross. In addition, it’s this week’s book giveaway on Facebook.
Liberal and radical films declined in the 1920s as an emerging Hollywood studio system, pressured by censors and Wall Street investors, pushed American film in increasingly conservative directions. Appealing to people’s dreams of luxury and upward mobility, studios produced lavish fantasy films that shifted popular attention away from the problems of the workplace and toward the pleasures of the new consumer society. While worker filmmakers were trying to heighten class consciousness, Hollywood producers were suggesting that class no longer mattered. Working-Class Hollywood shows how silent films helped shape the modern belief that we are a classless nation.
“Steve Ross has written an absorbing and important book about a time when working-class life and working-class filmmakers occupied a central place in American cinema. I strongly recommend that anyone interested in the politics of American film read this book.”–Michael Moore, Director of Roger and Me and TV Nation
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Working-Class Hollywood by Steven J. Ross