From the Publisher
Named CHOICE Outstanding Title for 2012
“Both in terms of its scope and in terms of the expertise that has gone into making it, The Wiley Blackwell History of American Film is an almost unique publishing event. The collection not only stands as a history of cinema but also as a time capsule for specific threads of contemporary film theory, capturing the epistemological zeitgeist as well as the cultural.” (Scope, 1 February 2013)
“Several contributions are excellent, e.g., Robert Sklar’s introduction to volume 1, “Writing American Film History.” A superb compendium. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries.” (Choice, October 2012)
"Highly recommended for lovers of film, film history, and American culture." (Library Journal, 15 February 2012)
“And, taken together, this is as extensive a consideration of this project as you are likely to read anywhere.” (Splice, November 2012)
Lucia (English & film & media studies, Rider Univ.; Framing Female Lawyers: Women on Trial in Film), Roy Grundmann (film studies, Boston Univ.; Andy Warhol's Blow Job), and Art Simon (film studies, Montclair State Univ.; Dangerous Knowledge: The JFK Assassination in Art and Film) have created an outstanding collection of 90 new essays chronologically examining the history of American film. The books open with an introduction to the time period covered and include a brief explanation for the set's arrangement. For example, Volume 3 covers 1946–75, and the introduction notes that 1975 saw the release of Taxi Driver, a film discussed in several essays, easily found using the index, and referred to by Simon as "the last urban road film of the era." The high-quality essays feature eye-catching titles such as "Pink-Slipped: What Happened to the Women in the Silent Film Industry?", "The Gun in the Briefcase; Or, the Inscription of Class in Film Noir," and "Let 'Em Have It: The Ironic Fate of the 1930s Gangster." They provide a comprehensive and multifaceted overview of American film from its beginnings, covering political, cultural, social, and economic factors such as the Great Depression and World War II; the studio system; the black list; changing audiences; and race, class, and gender. In addition, there is a strong focus on the multitude of elements of film, such as production, distribution, camera techniques, lighting, editing, use of voice-overs, mise-en-scène, etc. VERDICT The physical volumes are attractive, though the approximately 200 black-and-white photos are insignificant to the value of the collection. Access is enhanced by a 37-page index. Highly recommended for lovers of film, film history, and American culture.—Susan L. Peters, Univ. of Texas, Galveston
What People are saying about this
From the Publisher
"A tremendous double achievement: both a definitive collation of American cinema's history and a presentation of the personal perspectives of the top scholars working productively on that history. A research must-have!"
- Dana Polan, New York University
The editors have assembled a rich collection that provides authoritative, scholarly coverage of the key industrial, social and aesthetic elements of American film history.
- Brian Neve, University of Bath