An Army of Phantoms

An Army of Phantoms

American Movies and the Making of the Cold War

Book - 2011
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Baker & Taylor
Discusses the state of American film between 1946-1956, putting the industry in the historical context of its time and discussing how war, affluence, and anxiety shaped American culture.

Perseus Publishing
An Army of Phantoms is a major new work of history and film criticism from the highly regarded critic J. Hoberman. Here he applies the same dynamic synergy of American politics and American popular culture to the Cold War’s first decade that he brought to the 1960s in the critically acclaimed The Dream Life.

The years between 1946 and 1956 brought U.S. dominance over Europe and a new war in Asia, as well as the birth of the civil rights movement and the stirrings of a new youth culture. The period saw the movie industry purged of its political left while the rise of ideological action hero John Wayne came to dominate theaters. Analyzing movies and media events, Hoberman has organized a pageant of cavalry Westerns, apocalyptic sci-fi flicks, and biblical spectaculars wherein Cecil B. DeMille rubs shoulders with Douglas MacArthur, atomic tests are shown on live TV, God talks on the radio, and Joe McCarthy is bracketed with Marilyn Monroe. Here is a history of film that is also, to paraphrase Jean-Luc Godard, about the film of history.

Essential reading for film and history buffs, An Army of Phantoms recasts a crucial era in the light of the silver screen.


Book News
Hoberman (senior film critic for the Village Voice presents the first of a planned three-part trilogy chronologically exploring the intersection of American Cold War politics and Hollywood film. He addresses both the ideological content of a wide range of films and the politics of Hollywood itself between 1946 and 1956, discussing for example: the spate of films featuring alien invasions, the ideological reception of Westerns such as Rio Grande and High Noon, the House Un-American Activities Committee's investigations into Hollywood, the fate of blacklisted actors, representations of the atomic bomb, and many other topics. The volume is followed chronologically by the previously-published The Dream Life: Movies, Media, and the Mythology of the Sixties and the in-progress Found Illusions: The Romance of the Remake and the Triumph of Reaganocracy. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Blackwell Publishing
An Army of Phantoms- a major new work of film history and cultural criticism from J. Hoberman, one of the foremost film critics writing todayùaddresses the dynamic synergy of American politics and American popular culture during the Cold War's first decade.

Heralded by a mushroom cloud over Hiroshima, the years between 1946 and 1956 brought an explosion of affluence and anxiety. Along with U.S. dominance over Europe and a new war in Asia came the birth of the civil rights movement and the first stirrings of a new youth culture. The period saw the movie industry purged of its political left at the same time as the ideological action hero John Wayne reached the peak of his career.

Analyzing Hollywood's cavalry Westerns, apocalyptic sci-fi flicks, and biblical spectaculars, along with media events, congressional hearings and political campaigns, and drawing on FBI files and studio records, Hoberman has orchestrated a colorful, sometimes surreal pageant wherein Cecil B. DeMille rubs shoulders with Douglas MacArthur, atomic tests are shown on live TV, God talks on the radio, and Joe McCarthy is bracketed with Marilyn Monroe.

Essential reading for film and history buffs, An Army of Phantoms expands on the analysis of the 1960's found in Hoberman's critically acclaimed The Dream Life and offers a lively and astute history of film that is also, to paraphrase Jean-Luc Godard, about the film of history.

Publisher: New York, NY : The New Press, 2011
ISBN: 9781595580054
1595580050
Characteristics: xxi, 383 p. 24 cm

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