Hollywood and Anti-Semitism: A Cultural History up to World War II

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Overview

American Jews have a powerful cultural narrative that seemingly speaks on their behalf. According to this narrative, Eastern European Jewish immigrants built the film industry in the first decade of this century and dominated it by the second. As opposed to determining a particularly Jewish vision of America, Steven Alan Carr argues that this way of looking at Jews in Hollywood emanates from a particularly American vision of Jews. Like the Jewish Question of the 19th century—which fretted over the full participation of Jews within public life—the Hollywood Question of the 1920s, 30s and 40s fretted over Jewish participation within the mass media. As a whole way of thinking and talking about both Jews and motion pictures, Hollywood and Anti-Semitism reveals a powerful set of assumptions concerning ethnicity, intent and media influence. Steven Alan Carr is an Assistant Professor of Communication at Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne. His work appears in Cinema Journal and other publications. This is his first book.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Hollywood and Anti-Semitism is intensely researched and sensibly weighed....results of [Carr's] inquiry are vivid, disgusting, and enlightening. But his book establishes a grimly fascinating and uncomfortably close chapter in the long history of a curse." The New Republic

"Carr has written a scholarly history of anti-Semitism in Hollywood. Exhaustively researched...the book includes extensive notes and a bibliography and is an excellent resource on Hollywood's anti-Semitism. This thought-provoking book is recommended for academic libraries." Library Journal

"An impressively researched and closely reasoned cultural history." London Review of Books, March 2002

Library Journal
Carr (communications, Indiana Univ.- Purdue Univ. Fort Wayne) has written a scholarly history of anti-Semitism in Hollywood. Exhaustively researched, the book examines the key issues behind anti-Semitism in the movie industry and the attitudes of American audiences. The author explores the way Jews were portrayed in film and the various ethnic stereotypes American moviegoers watched. This stereotyping reinforced the negative view of Jews in society. Though written in a dry academic style, the book includes extensive notes and a bibliography and is an excellent resource on Hollywood's anti-Semitism. Photographs and cartoons depicting anti-Jewish sentiments enhance the text. There are numerous examples to validate Carr's thesis, such as Charles Lindbergh's famous remark that "the greatest danger to this country lies in their [Jews] large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio, and our government." This thought-provoking book is recommended for academic libraries. Rosalind Dayen, Broward Cty. South Regional Lib., Pembroke Pines, FL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction: what is the Hollywood question?; Part I. The Hollywood Question and American Anti-Semitism, 1880-1929: 1. Anti-Semitism and the American Jewish question; 2. Religion, race and morality in the Hollywood question; Part II. The Hollywood Question for a New America, 1929-1941: 3. A New Deal for the Hollywood question; 4. The Hollywood question in popular culture; 5. The politics of the Hollywood question; 6. Answering the Hollywood question; Part III. The Hollywood Question, 1941 and Beyond: 7. Popular culture answers the Hollywood question; 8. The Hollywood question in crisis, 1941; 9. The new Hollywood question.

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