History by Hollywood

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

3.45 (20 ratings by Goodreads)
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Just what happens to history when Hollywood film-makers get their hands on it? The nation's film capital is one of our most influential interpreters of history, according to Robert Brent Toplin, so much so that popular movies dealing with historical themes often have a greater impact on the public's thinking than books or lectures. In "History by Hollywood", Toplin examines how film-makers have interpreted American history through their films. Focusing on movies that deal with real events and people, Toplin looks at how writers, producers, and directors became involved in making historical films, what influenced their interpretations of the past, and the responses they have made to the controversies their works have excited. Toplin recognizes the danger of excessive artistic license and understands the importance of creative imagination in designing memorable portrayals for the screen. Basing his analyses on a realistic appreciation of the challenges film-makers face, he effectively measures the strengths and weaknesses of Hollywood's presentation of history.
Readers will find food for thought and discussion in Toplin's examinations of "Mississippi Burning", "JFK", "Sergeant York", "Missing", "Bonnie and Clyde", "Patton", "All the President's Men", and "Norma Rae". 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 film review editor of the "Journal of American History".
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Product details

  • Paperback | 248 pages
  • 165.1 x 241.3 x 31.75mm | 612.35g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • 0252020731
  • 9780252020735

Review quote

"Opens a new window into the relationship between filmmakers and historians." -- Gregory Bush, editor of Film and History
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20 ratings
3.45 out of 5 stars
5 5% (1)
4 40% (8)
3 50% (10)
2 5% (1)
1 0% (0)
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