Refugees from Hollywood: A Journal of the Blacklist Years

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University of New Mexico Press, Jan 1, 2000 - Biography & Autobiography - 277 pages
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It is early spring of 1951 in Hollywood. Jean Rouverol and her husband, Hugo Butler, are juggling the demands of raising four young children and furthering their careers as screenwriters. They are at work on a "little domestic comedy" for Columbia Studios to star Bob Cummings and Barbara Hale, a forgettable piece intended to offer a bit of escapist romance and humor to a country in the grip of the Cold War and the Korean Conflict. But thanks to their well-known 1940s leftist affiliations, Rouverol and Butler cannot fly under the radar of those larger events. To avoid prison sentences like those imposed in 1950 on their friends among the Hollywood Ten, they flee to Mexico rather than accept a subpoena from the House Un-American Activities Committee.
Rouverol offers a compelling and candid eyewitness account that takes us into her life and thoughts during her dozen years of exile: simultaneously coping with the needs of four - then five, then six - growing and inquisitive children and keeping a watchful eye out for signs that the political winds in Mexico might shift against them as they did for a few others deported on often arbitrary charges.
But living in exile takes its toll in ways large and small, and perhaps the greatest strain is on her husband, whose health is compromised and who eventually dies in 1968 at age fifty-three.

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Refugees from Hollywood: a journal of the blacklist years

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Rouverol is a talented writer with credits in movies, TV, and magazines. Unfortunately, she has written a disappointing memoir about her life, with her husband and their six children, in Mexico. At ... Read full review


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About the author (2000)

Rouverol performed on radio throughout the 1940s and has written for movies and television.

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