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Posted September 29, 2011
Melvyn Strokes synthesizes a copious amount of material from sources in film studies, history and historiography, African American studies, legal studies, and business history to write a compelling, richly illustrated history about the political and cultural frameworks that surrounded D.W. Griffith's Birth of a Nation.
Stokes explores the beginning and migrating factors that brought together Tomas Dixon Jr. the novelist who wrote The Klansmen on which Birth of a Nation was based and D.W. Griffith the film maker who fundamentally changed how American cinema made and marketed movies. Stokes moreover analyzes how the film's meanings have changed over time. Birth of Nation astonished and outraged (most) moviegoers in 1915 and has done so ever since.