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History by Hollywood : The Use and Abuse of the American Past



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Univ of Illinois Pr
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Questions About This Book?

What version or edition is this?

This is the 2nd edition with a publication date of 2/1/2010.

What is included with this book?

  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any CDs, lab manuals, study guides, etc.


This newly updated edition ofHistory by Hollywoodexplores the question of what happens to history when Hollywood filmmakers get their hands on it. With a fresh look at recent films and television productions such asTitanic, Pearl Harbor, The Patriot,andJohn Adams,Robert Brent Toplin examines how filmmakers have interpreted American history through their movies. Toplin discusses how writers, producers, and directors become involved in making historical films, what influences their interpretations of the past, and the responses they make to the controversies their works excite. With a realistic appreciation of the challenges filmmakers face, he effectively measures the strengths and weaknesses of Hollywood's presentation of history in the filmsMississippi Burning, JFK, Sergeant York, Missing, Bonnie and Clyde, Patton, All the President's Men,andNorma Rae.

Author Biography

Robert Brent Toplin, a professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, is the author of many books and articles on film and history and on United States and Latin American history. He has been principal creator of a number of PBS and Disney Channel films and is the film and media editor for Perspectives in History.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introduction to the Second Editionp. 1
Exercising Artistic License: Communicating through a Mix of Fact and Fiction
Mississippi Burning "A Standard to Which We Couldn't Live Up"p. 25
JFK "Fact, Fiction, and Supposition"p. 45
Drawing Lessons: Making the Past Relevant to the Present
Sergeant York "If That Is Propaganda, We Plead Guilty"p. 81
Missing "An Assault on the Integrity of the U.S. Government, the Foreign Service and the Military"p. 103
Opening Debate: Revealing Current Controversy in Portrayals of the Past
Bonnie and Clyde "Violence of a Most Grisly Sort"p. 127
Patton "Deliberately Planned as a Rorschach Test"p. 155
Accenting Heroism: Celebrating the "Great Man" in the Documentary Style
All the President's Men "The Story That People Know and Remember"p. 179
Norma Rae "A Female Rocky"p. 203
Epiloguep. 225
Notesp. 229
Selected Bibliographyp. 251
Indexp. 261
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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