The Hollywood War Machine: U.S. Militarism and Popular Culture / Edition 1

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In this unique book, the authors provide a hard-hitting, radical critique of the growing culture of American militarism, focusing on the post–Cold War years. Analyzed in historical context and drawing on a broad mix of theoretical, political, and cultural sources, The Hollywood War Machine explores the U.S. film industry and its deepening impact on the popular and political culture. Through the lens of filmmakers like Steven Spielberg, Michael Bay, Jonathan Mostrow, Edward Zwick, Tony Scott, and John Woo, the volume deconstructs the narratives and images of nearly 200 combat and war-related movies, along with related consumer fare such as television and video games, in the context of the permanent war economy, security state, recurrent military interventions abroad, and the expansion of U.S. global power. Topics include cinematic representations of terrorism, the return of “good war” motifs, the phenomenon of disguised militarism, the relationship between cinema and technowar, depictions of the Gulf War and the current war in Iraq, and general media spectacles of warfare as well as unique perspectives on films related to World War II, the Cold War, and Vietnam.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594512988
  • Publisher: Paradigm Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Carl Boggs is Professor of Social Sciences at National University in Los Angeles, Adjunct Professor at Antioch University in Los Angeles, and author or editor of numerous books including Imperial Delusions: American Militarism and Endless War (Rowman & Littlefield 2004) and Masters of War: Militarism and Blowback in an Era of American Empire (Routledge 2003).

Tom Pollard is Professor of Social Sciences at National University in San Jose and a documentary filmmaker whose work has appeared on BBC, the Discovery Channel, the Life Network, Canadian Broadcasting System, and various PBS channels. His most recent book is Sex and Violence: The Hollywood Censorship Wars (Paradigm, 2010) and he has coauthored with Carl Boggs The Hollywood War Machine (Paradigm, 2007) and A World in Chaos: Social Crisis and the Rise of Postmodern Cinema (Rowman & Littlefield 2003).

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Table of Contents


1 Militarism in American Popular Culture
Patriotism as Secular Religion
Gun Culture and Civic Violence
The Warrior Legacy and Patriarchy
Corporate Media: Reservoir of Militarism

2 War and Cinema: The Historical Legacy
Hollywood Mobilizes for Combat
The Western as Combat Genre
The Myth of the Good War
Cold War and Popular Culture

3 The Vietnam Debacle: Politics and Cinema
Innocence, Defeat, Tragedy
Post-Vietnam Traumas
Robert McNamara and the Fog of History

4 Recycling the Good War
World War II – Again, and Again
Hollywood: War and Nostalgia
The Spectacle of War
Pearl Harbor: Escape from History

5 Cinematic Warfare in the New World Order
Iraq: from Spectacle to Chaos
New Rules of Engagement
Terrorism and Hollywood
Disguised Military Films

6 Pentagon Strategy, Technowar, and Media Culture
Empire, the Movie
Hollywood and the Pentagon
Technowar and Media Culture
The Limits of Technowar

Filmography: Selected Combat Movies

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