The Big Tomorrow: Hollywood and the Politics of the American Way

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University of Chicago Press, Dec 15, 2002 - History - 364 pages
In this daring reexamination of the connections between national politics and Hollywood movies, Lary May offers a fresh interpretation of American culture from the New Deal through the Cold War—one in which a populist, egalitarian ethos found itself eventually supplanted by a far different view of the nation.

"One of the best books ever written about the movies." —Tom Ryan, The Age

"The most exhilarating work of revisionist film history since Pauline Kael's Citizen Kane. . . . May's take on what movies once were (energizing, as opposed to enervating), and hence can become again, is enough to get you believing in them again as one of the regenerative forces America so sorely needs."—Jay Carr, Boston Globe

"A startling, revisionist history of Hollywood's impact on politics and American culture. . . . A convincing and important addition to American cultural criticism."—Publishers Weekly

"A controversial overview of 30 years of American film history; must reading for any serious student of the subject."—Choice

"A provocative social history of Hollywood's influence in American life from the 1930s to the 1950s. May argues persuasively that movies in the period offered a good deal of tough criticism of economic and social conditions in U.S. society. . . . May challenges us to engage in some serious rethinking about Hollywood's impact on American society in the middle of the twentieth century."—Robert Brent Toplin, American Historical Review

 

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THE BIG TOMORROW: Hollywood and the Politics of the American Way

User Review  - Kirkus

La-La Land goes political.May (Screening Out the Past, 1980) begins his account with Will Rogers in the 1930s and ends it somewhere between Marilyn Monroe and Marlon Brando in the 1960s. His quest to ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Scapegoats - LibraryThing

A very frustrating book. It argues that the United States used to accommodate many different points of view but that changed during WWII and then during the Cold War. May examines movies from the 30's ... Read full review

Contents

The American Way and Its Discontent
137
Reimagining Postwar America
257
Sampling Methods and Research Data
271
Trends in Film Plots and the Changing Face of American Ideology
273
Examples of Film Reviews from Motion Picture Herald
294

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About the author (2002)

Lary May is a professor of American studies at the University of Minnesota. He is the author of Screening out the Past and editor of Recasting America.

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