Celluloid Soldiers: Warner Bros.'s Campaign Against Nazism

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NYU Press, Feb 1, 2000 - History - 272 pages
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American Arabesque examines representations of Arabs, Islam and the Near East in nineteenth-century American culture, arguing that these representations play a significant role in the development of American national identity over the century, revealing largely unexplored exchanges between these two cultural traditions that will alter how we understand them today.

 

Moving from the period of America’s engagement in the Barbary Wars through the Holy Land travel mania in the years of Jacksonian expansion and into the writings of romantics such as Edgar Allen Poe, the book argues that not only were Arabs and Muslims prominently featured in nineteenth-century literature, but that the differences writers established between figures such as Moors, Bedouins, Turks and Orientals provide proof of the transnational scope of domestic racial politics. Drawing on both English and Arabic language sources, Berman contends that the fluidity and instability of the term Arab as it appears in captivity narratives, travel narratives, imaginative literature, and ethnic literature simultaneously instantiate and undermine definitions of the American nation and American citizenship.

  

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Contents

Warner Bros and the Opening Salvos against Nazism 19341939
5
Black Legion Fascism in the Heartland
35
The Road to Confessions of a Nazi Spy and Beyond
57
A Change of Heart Alvin York and the Movie Sergeant York
87
Using the Devils Tool to Do Gods Work Sergeant York America First and the Intervention Debate
131
Hollywood under the Gun The Senate Investigation of Propaganda in Motion Pictures
154
This Isnt What We Had in Mind
172
Postscript
177
Notes
179
Bibliography
225
Index
259
About the Author
266
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

Michael E. Birdwell is an Assistant Professor in History at Tennessee Tech and Curator of Alvin C. York's Papers. His work has been published in Film History, Literature/Film Quarterly, The Columbia Companion to Film, and several other journals.

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