Hollywood: A Very Short Introduction

Hollywood: A Very Short Introduction

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In this engaging and readable book, Peter Decherney tells the story of Hollywood, from its nineteenth-century origins to the emergence of internet media empires. He recounts how the studio system rose out of the ashes of Thomas Edison's trust to create the handful of companies that have dominated global screens and imaginations for more than 100 years. Throughout, he reveals that the elements we take to be a natural part of the Hollywood experience-stars,
genre-driven storytelling, blockbuster franchises, etc.-are really the product of cultural, political, and commercial forces.

In many ways, Hollywood has remained the same for over a century. It has always been a global industry based in the U.S., and its storytelling has always unfolded across media, adapting plays, book, and comics and spinning off product tie-ins, television series, and social media campaigns. But major events have also continually remade Hollywood. The studios have weathered wars, disruptive new technologies, and competition by adopting a strategy of risk management and assimilation. This book
explores the challenges of new technologies, including sound, home video, and computer graphics. And it examines Hollywood's responses to World War II, independent film movements, and regulations imposed by Washington.

Hollywood: A Very Short Introduction is filled with discussions of well-known movies, stars, and directors, encapsulating the past century of research on Hollywood while adding many original insights and stories. It is the perfect introduction for readers who want to better understand the history and functioning of our screen-saturated world.

The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 160 pages
  • 114 x 174 x 10mm | 128g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0199943540
  • 9780199943548
  • 93,421

Table of contents

Introduction: Five Theses on the History of Hollywood ; 1. Before Hollywood ; 2. The Studio System ; 3. Sound and the Production Code ; 4. Hollywood at War ; 5. The Blacklist and Cold War ; 6. The New Hollywood ; 7. Home Video and Indiewood ; 8. Digital Cinema and the Internet
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Review quote

"Peter Decherney has literally written the book on Hollywood-everything you ever needed to know about the history of the film industry in eight captivating chapters." --Stacey Snider, Co-Chair, 20th Century Fox
"Peter Decherney has proven that brevity truly is the soul of wit. Hollywood: A Very Short Introduction is not only a great (and very quick) read; it's incredibly insightful when it comes to explaining how movies have evolved, both creatively and financially, over the last century. If you love movies you'll love this book." --Dick Wolf, producer of Law & Order

"Peter Decherney - setting the scene by pointing out how unnatural, crisis-prone and risky a business Hollywood has always been - weaves a beguiling narrative. He takes the reader from the days of Edison's kinetoscope to digital post-production equipment, always alert to the fact that this now century-old success story which is the American film industry only survived the many changes in technology, business models and audience tastes, because it held fast to a few fundamental principles, such as keeping corporate control, managing risk and extending audience access. Briskly told, integrating the latest scholarship while not losing pace or momentum, Hollywood: A Very Short Introduction captures the essentials without ever sacrificing nuance." --Thomas Elsaesser, University of Amsterdam

"Peter Decherney gives us a whirlwind ride from Edison to You Tube in his Hollywood: A Very Short Introduction.R" --Roger and Julie Corman, filmmakers
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About Peter Decherney

Peter Decherney is Professor of Cinema Studies and English at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author or editor of five books including Hollywood's Copyright Wars: From Edison to the Internet. Professor Decherney has been an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Scholar, a fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies, and a U.S. State Department Arts Envoy to Myanmar. He has received multiple teaching awards and is a
Forbes.com contributor.
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Rating details

48 ratings
3.83 out of 5 stars
5 23% (11)
4 44% (21)
3 27% (13)
2 6% (3)
1 0% (0)
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