Empire of Their Own: How Zukor, Laemmle, Fox, Mayer, Cohn And

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Best known as a former co-host of PBS's Sneak Previews , Gabler presents an entertaining, wide-ranging, in-depth account of the Jewish studio executives, theater owners, producers, writers, lawyers and talent agents who dominated the American film industry until shortly after WW II. Many of the founding fathers came from impoverished East European families, and in their early struggles and later achievements they ferociously embraced their new country and rejected their Jewish past. In the process, they invented an America in the image of their own fictionone that has come to be accepted throughout the world as the true image of the United Statesand created ``an empire of their own.'' Recounting their efforts as film emperors, Gabler also describes their personal lives as husbands, fathers, womanizers, party-givers, gamblers and racehorse owners. A particularly stimulating chapter focuses on the conflict between politics and esthetics, between left-wing writers and conservative magnates; it also covers the effects of WW II and the encroachments of un-American activities committees and blacklisters. Gabler vividly recreates a way of life now gone forever. Photos not seen by PW. (September)
Library Journal
Gabler has written a thoroughly researched history of the early Hollywood film industry and the men who ran it. Coming from similar humble Eastern European and Jewish backgrounds, Fox, Laemmle, Meyer, Zukor, and the Warner brothers shared an overwhelming desire to achieve wealth and status in their new country. Finding barriers to success through traditional means, they gravitated to the fledging film industry where they ``could simply create a new countryan empire of their own, so to speakone where they would not only be admitted, but would govern as well.'' Gabler documents the consequences of their quest and the tragic results that followed. Recommended for large film collections. Robert Logsdon, Indiana State Lib . , Indianapolis
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780517568088
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 12/12/1988
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 576

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