Liberalism, Democracy, and Working People in American Film
By (author) John Bodnar
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Blue-collar Hollywood by John Bodnar
Book DescriptionFrom Tom Joad to Norma Rae to Spike Lee's Mookie in Do the Right Thing, Hollywood has regularly dramatized the lives and struggles of working people in America. Ranging from idealistic to hopeless, from sympathetic to condescending, these portrayals confronted audiences with the vital economic, social, and political issues of their times while providing a diversion-sometimes entertaining, sometimes provocative-from the realities of their own lives. In Blue-Collar Hollywood, John Bodnar examines the ways in which popular American films made between the 1930s and the 1980s depicted working-class characters, comparing these cinematic representations with the aspirations of ordinary Americans and the promises made to them by the country's political elites. Based on close and imaginative viewings of dozens of films from every genre-among them Public Enemy, Black Fury, Baby Face, The Grapes of Wrath, It's a Wonderful Life, I Married a Communist, A Streetcar Named Desire, Peyton Place, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Coal Miner's Daughter, and Boyz N the Hood-this book explores such topics as the role of censorship, attitudes toward labor unions and worker militancy, racism, the place of women in the workforce and society, communism and the Hollywood blacklist, and faith in liberal democracy. Whether made during the Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War, or the Vietnam era, the majority of films about ordinary working Americans, Bodnar finds, avoided endorsing specific political programs, radical economic reform, or overtly reactionary positions. Instead, these movies were infused with the same current of liberalism and popular notion of democracy that flow through the American imagination.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780801885372
(229mm x 152mm x 18mm)
Imprint: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publish Date: 20-Oct-2006
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author John Bodnar
'Good War' in American Memory, Paperback (February 2012)
In building this narrative, Bodnar shows how the idealism of President Franklin Roosevelt's Four Freedoms was lost in the public commemoration of World War II, how the war's memory became intertwined in the larger discussion over American national identity, and how it only came to be known as the "good warmany years after its conclusion.
Country of Memory, Paperback (August 2001)
The American experience in the Vietnam War has been the subject of a vast body of scholarly work, yet surprisingly little has been written about how the war is remembered by Vietnamese themselves. This title fills this gap in the literature by addressing the subject of history, memory, and commemoration of the Vietnam War in Vietnam.
Bonds of Affection, Paperback (May 1996)
Explores the manner in which Americans have discussed and practiced their patriotism. This volume examines the use of patriotic language and symbols in building unity in the early republic, rebuilding the nation after the Civil War, and sustaining loyalty in an increasingly diverse society.
Remaking America, Paperback (December 1993)» View all books by John Bodnar
Offering a compelling inquiry into public events ranging from the building of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial through ethnic community fairs to pioneer celebrations, this title explores the stories, ideas, and symbols behind American commemorations over the last century.
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Author Biography - John Bodnar
John Bodnar is Chancellor's Professor of History at Indiana University, Bloomington, and author of numerous books, including Remaking America: Public Memory, Commemoration, and Patriotism in the Twentieth Century.
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