The Big Tomorrow by Lary May
Hollywood and the Politics of the American Way

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In this daring reexamination of the connections between national politics and Hollywood movies, Lary May offers a fresh interpretation of American culture from the New Deal through the Cold War—one in which a populist, egalitarian ethos found itself eventually supplanted by a far different view of the nation.

"One of the best books ever written about the movies." —Tom Ryan, The Age

"The most exhilarating work of revisionist film history since Pauline Kael's Citizen Kane. . . . May's take on what movies once were (energizing, as opposed to enervating), and hence can become again, is enough to get you believing in them again as one of the regenerative forces America so sorely needs."—Jay Carr, Boston Globe

"A startling, revisionist history of Hollywood's impact on politics and American culture. . . . A convincing and important addition to American cultural criticism."—Publishers Weekly

"A controversial overview of 30 years of American film history; must reading for any serious student of the subject."—Choice

"A provocative social history of Hollywood's influence in American life from the 1930s to the 1950s. May argues persuasively that movies in the period offered a good deal of tough criticism of economic and social conditions in U.S. society. . . . May challenges us to engage in some serious rethinking about Hollywood's impact on American society in the middle of the twentieth century."—Robert Brent Toplin, American Historical Review


About Lary May

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Lary May is a professor of American studies at the University of Minnesota. He is the author of Screening out the Past and editor of Recasting America.
Published June 21, 2000 by University Of Chicago Press. 364 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, History. Non-fiction

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May, of course, is not the first cultural historian to point to Hollywood’s political impact on American society, but he does, however, give greater recognition than usual to minorities and the role they have played in the public consciousness (as expressed through popular films), both before and...

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Publishers Weekly

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In mapping out his bold vision of how Hollywood movies of the 1930s, particularly comedies and musicals, were not mindless escapes from the Depression, but promoted egalitarian visions of democracy, May presents a startling, revisionist history of Hollywood's impact on politics and American culture.

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