Hollywood vs. America

Hollywood vs. America

by Michael Medved


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Why does our popular culture seem so consistently hostile to the values that most Americans hold dear? Why does the entertainment industry attack religion, glorify brutality, undermine the family, and deride patriotism?

In this explosive book, one of the nation's best known film critics examines how Hollywood has broken faith with its public, creating movies, television, and popular music that exacerbate every serious social problem we face, from teenage pregnancies to violence in the streets.

Michael Medved powerfully argues that the entertainment business follows its own dark obsessions, rather than giving the public what it wants: In fact, the audience for feature films and network television has demonstrated its profound disillusionment in recent years, with disastrous consequences for many entertainment companies. Meanwhile, overwhelming numbers of our fellow citizens complain about the wretched quality of our popular culture—describing the offerings of the mass media as the worst ever. Medved asserts that Hollywood ignores—and assaults—the values of ordinary American families, pursuing a self-destructive and alienated ideological agenda that is harmful to the nation at large and to the industry's own interests.

In hard-hitting chapters on "The Attack on Religion," "The Addiction to Violence," "Promoting Promiscuity," "The Infatuation with Foul Language," "Kids Know Best," "Motivations for Madness," and other subjects, Medved outlines the underlying themes that turn up again and again in our popular culture. He also offers conclusive evidence of the frightening real-world impact of these messages on our society and our children.

Finally, Medved shows where and how Hollywood took a disastrous wrong turn toward its current crisis, and he outlines promising efforts both in and outside the industry to restore a measure of sanity and restraint to our media of mass entertainment.

Sure to elicit strong response, whether it takes the form of cheers of support or howls of enraged dissent, Hollywood vs. America confronts head-on one of the most significant issues of our times.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060924355
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/04/1993
Series: Harper Perennial
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 808,020
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.94(d)

About the Author

Michael Medved is the host of a nationally syndicated daily radio talk show, former chief film critic for the New York Post, and former cohost of PBS's Sneak Previews. He is the author of eight books, including Hollywood vs. America.

Diane Medved, PH.D., is a clinical psychologist, Internet talk-show host, and author of four other books, including the bestselling The American Family (with former vice president Dan Quayle). The Medveds live in Seattle with their three young children.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi(4)
Preface to the Paperback Edition xv
PART I: The Poison Factory 3(34)
1. A Sickness in the Soul
2. A Bias for the Bizarre
PART II: The Attack on Religion 37(58)
3. A Declaration of War
4. Comic Book Clergy
5. Forgetting the Faithful
PART III: The Assault on the Family 95(66)
6. Promoting Promiscuity
7. Maligning Marriage
8. Encouraging Illegitimacy
9. Kids Know Best
PART IV: The Glorification of Ugliness 161(78)
10. The Urge to Offend
11. The Infatuation with Foul Language
12. The Addiction to Violence
13. Hostility to Heroes
14. Bashing America
PART V: An Inescapable Influence 239(36)
15. Denial Behavior
16. A Fun-House Mirror
PART VI: Below the Bottom Line 275(72)
17. What Went Wrong
18. Motivations for Madness
19. "The End of the Beginning"
Notes on Sources 347(24)
Index 371

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Hollywood vs. America: Popular Culture and the War Against Traditional Values 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Eagleduck86 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Still relevant after all these years, this was the first book to argue that Hollywood is so ideologically driven that it is willing to push its destructive cultural agenda through the movie industry even when doing so comes at the expense of profits.
mrtall on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Medved's surveys Hollywood's systematic trashing of traditional American values starting in the mid-1960s. He demonstrates persuasively that this movement has nothing to do with making money; indeed, he shows how deeply counterproductive it has been for the studios, as their audiences and profits have plummeted. Although the book is now a decade and half old, it's still highly relevant. Little has changes over those years. Even though films such as The Passion of the Christ and the Pixar family movies have cleaned up at the box office, there's been only a minimal shift toward more family fare. The one area in which Medved may have to re-examine his thesis is TV; the spate of recent excellent series that are really only for adults is not fully explained by his premises. Still, this was an excellent read and I highly recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
According to Michael Medved, the culture of the entertainment industry changed in the 1960s, and he cites overwhelming evidence to show that 'serious' art, as a result, is not about aesthetics anymore. He smashes the myth of an industry driven by greed and makes a case against its obsession with violent and self-indulgent themes. Lots of endnotes and well indexed. Good medicine for what's ailing the entertainment business.