The Archaeology of Hollywood: Traces of the Golden Ageby Paul G. Bahn
The Golden Age of Hollywood, dating to the hazy depths of the early 20th Century, was an era of movie stars worshipped by the masses and despotic studio moguls issuing decrees from poolside divans… but despite the world-wide reach of the movie industry, little more than memories of that era linger amidst the freeways and apartment complexes of today’s
The Golden Age of Hollywood, dating to the hazy depths of the early 20th Century, was an era of movie stars worshipped by the masses and despotic studio moguls issuing decrees from poolside divans… but despite the world-wide reach of the movie industry, little more than memories of that era linger amidst the freeways and apartment complexes of today’s Los Angeles. Noted archaeologist Paul G. Bahn digs into the material traces of that Tinseltown in an effort to document and save the treasures that remain.
Bahn leads readers on a tour of this singular culture, from the industrial zones of film studios to the landmarks where the glamorous lived, partied, and played, from where they died and were buried to how they’ve been memorialized for posterity. The result is part history, part archaeologyenlivened with pop culture, reminiscence, and whimsyand throughout, it feeds and deepens our fascination with an iconic place and time, not to mention the personalities who brought it to life.
Cinema has been powerfully shaped by Hollywood, yet few Americans realize how much of its physical history in Tinseltown has been lost. It's not just the loss of the early films themselves—only ten to 20 percent have survived—but also that studios, film sets, celebrity homes, movie palaces, costumes, props, equipment, hotels, and restaurants have all but disappeared. Bahn's (Disgraceful Archaeology; Archaeology: Theories, Methods, and Practice) latest is aptly subtitled, because, as he reveals, traces are all that are left of early Hollywood. The author examines those remnants through a pop culture lens, moving from industrialized areas to the final resting places of the early industry giants and several areas in between. It is evident that Bahn enjoyed writing this book, both when rooting through the vestiges of an almost vanished era as well as disproving the myth that archaeologists only investigate the long-distant past. VERDICT This title will circulate well in public libraries and will be of interest to those fascinated by the iconography of Hollywood, early film history, and digging through the past.—Teri Shiel, Univ. of Connecticut Health Ctr. Lib., Farmington
- Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
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- 9.20(w) x 6.00(h) x 0.70(d)
Meet the Author
Paul G. Bahn is a noted British, freelance archaeologist. Bahn has authored or co-authored numerous title including Disgraceful Archaeology (with Bill Tidy, 2nd ed. 2012) and Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practice (with Colin Renfrew, 6th edition 2012). He is one of many enthusiasts of the Golden Age of Hollywood and is dedicated to its preservation.
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