City of Nets: A Portrait of Hollywood in the 1940 S

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University of California Press, 1997 M05 2 - 495 pages
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This dazzling story of Hollywood during the decade of its greatest success is a social and cultural history of the movie capital's golden age. Its cast includes actors, writers, musicians and composers, producers and directors, racketeers and labor leaders, journalists and politicians in the turbulent decade from World War II to Korea.

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City of nets: a portrait of Hollywood in the 1940's

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In the foreword to his social history Friedrich freely admits that all the information in it has been published before, but he goes on to say that the book's value lies in the range of coverage: "If ... Read full review

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Friedrich (1929-1995) was a journalist and cultural historian. In City of Nets, he covers the last decade in which movie moguls like Louis B. Mayer and Cohn Brothers ruled like kings over actors, writers, and union members. They reigned in collusion with gangsters, journalists, and other unsavory types. The attraction is that Friedrich combines his knowledge gleaned from reading about 500 books about Hollywood with his strong interest in the German expatriate community in SoCal. So, we can read juicy gossip and hilarious Movie Land anecdotes, plus about the responses to California by civilized people like the Mann Brothers Thomas and Heinrich, Brecht, and Schoenberg. Overall, because I learned much figures such as Preston Sturgis and Billy Wilder I recommend it, though by the end of its 500-some pages I was flagging, wearied by The Tinsel Town Without Pity. Or brains. Or taste. Or integrity. 


Welcome 1939 I
Ingatherings 1940
Treachery 1941
Americanism 1942
Prejudice 1943
Reunions 1944
Breakdowns 1945
Treachery 1946
UnAmericanism 1947
Prejudice 1948
Expulsions 1949
Farewells 1950

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About the author (1997)

Otto Friedrich (1929-1995) was a journalist and cultural historian. At one time editor of the New York Daily News and an essayist for Time magazine, he was the author of nine books, including Before the Deluge: Portrait of Berlin in the 1920s.

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