Red Star over Hollywood: The Film Colony’s Long Romance with the Left

By Ronald Radosh and Allis Radosh
Read by Jeff Riggenbach

10.32 Hours 01/01/2006 unabridged
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Until now, Hollywood’s political history has been dominated by a steady stream of films and memoirs decrying the nightmare of the Red Scare and how it victimized political innocents. But Ronald and Allis Radosh tell for the first time the “backstory” behind this myth. They show how the Soviet Comintern targeted the film capital in the late 1920s, taking us inside the cells and discussion groups that Communist Party members formed, the guilds and unions they tried to take over, and the studios they aimed to influence. The authors demonstrate that many of the screenwriters who later became part of the Hollywood Ten in fact succeeded in using film as a propaganda medium on behalf of the Soviet cause. While others were lionizing them as blameless victims of American nativism and paranoia, the Hollywood Reds themselves were beset by doubts and disagreements about their disloyalty to America, and their own treatment by the Communist Party. Abandoned by their old CP allies, they faced the blacklist alone. Getting behind the denial and apologetics, Ronald and Allis Radosh tell the real story of one of the most discussed but least understood episodes in our political history, whose long half-life continues to influence the equally turbulent cultural politics of today.

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Summary

Summary

Until now, Hollywood’s political history has been dominated by a steady stream of films and memoirs decrying the nightmare of the Red Scare and how it victimized political innocents. But Ronald and Allis Radosh tell for the first time the “backstory” behind this myth. They show how the Soviet Comintern targeted the film capital in the late 1920s, taking us inside the cells and discussion groups that Communist Party members formed, the guilds and unions they tried to take over, and the studios they aimed to influence. The authors demonstrate that many of the screenwriters who later became part of the Hollywood Ten in fact succeeded in using film as a propaganda medium on behalf of the Soviet cause. While others were lionizing them as blameless victims of American nativism and paranoia, the Hollywood Reds themselves were beset by doubts and disagreements about their disloyalty to America, and their own treatment by the Communist Party. Abandoned by their old CP allies, they faced the blacklist alone.

Getting behind the denial and apologetics, Ronald and Allis Radosh tell the real story of one of the most discussed but least understood episodes in our political history, whose long half-life continues to influence the equally turbulent cultural politics of today.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Ronald and Allis Radosh give us a sobering, straightforward, scrupulously researched account of the Communist Party’s actual goal.” Tom Wolfe
“With meticulous and thorough citations, many of them new, the Radoshes follow the Hollywood Reds, fellow travelers and naifs as they dance to the Kremlin’s tune.” New York Times
“A thoroughly researched investigation of the communist controversy in Hollywood that has divided America for more than half a century.” John Patrick Diggins, Distinguished Professor of History, City University of New York
“Red Star Over Hollywood is a cool, objective, well-researched and highly readable study of the effects the HUAC.” Richard Schickel

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Ronald Radosh

Ronald Radosh’s books include The Rosenberg File (with Joyce Milton); Divided They Fell: The Demise of the Democratic Party, 1964-1996; and The Amerasia Spy Case: Prelude to McCarthyism. Mr. Radosh lives with his wife and son in the Washington, DC, area.

Titles by Author

Author Bio: Allis Radosh

Allis Radosh has taught at Sarah Lawrence College and the City University of New York. She is the author of Persia Campbell: Portrait of a Consumer Activist and has coauthored a number of books with her husband, Ronald Radosh. They currently live in Martinsburg, West Virginia.

Titles by Author

Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/Political Science
Runtime: 10.32
Audience: Adult
Language: English