By John Bodnar
From Tom Joad to Norma Rae to Spike Lee's Mookie in Do the suitable factor, Hollywood has frequently dramatized the lives and struggles of operating humans in the United States. starting from idealistic to hopeless, from sympathetic to condescending, those portrayals faced audiences with the very important financial, social, and political problems with their instances whereas delivering a diversion -- occasionally exciting, occasionally provocative -- from the realities in their personal lives.In Blue-Collar Hollywood, John Bodnar examines the ways that well known American motion pictures made among the Thirties and the Eighties depicted working-class characters, evaluating those cinematic representations with the aspirations of normal americans and the guarantees made to them through the country's political elites. in keeping with shut and inventive viewings of dozens of movies from each style -- between them Public Enemy, Black Fury, child Face, The Grapes of Wrath, it is a awesome existence, I Married a Communist, A Streetcar Named hope, Peyton position, Taxi driving force, Raging Bull, Coal Miner's Daughter, and Boyz N the Hood -- this ebook explores such subject matters because the function of censorship, attitudes towards exertions unions and employee militancy, racism, where of girls within the team and society, communism and the Hollywood blacklist, and religion in liberal democracy.Whether made in the course of the nice melancholy, global conflict II, the chilly conflict, or the Vietnam period, the vast majority of movies approximately traditional operating americans, Bodnar reveals, shunned endorsing particular political courses, radical fiscal reform, or openly reactionary positions. as a substitute, those videos have been infused with an identical present of liberalism and well known inspiration of democracy that movement during the American mind's eye.
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Extra resources for Blue-Collar Hollywood: Liberalism, Democracy, and Working People in American Film
In the ﬁrst issue of Superman comic books in 1938, an ideal of a strong male who could help others but was independent of women and families proved to be popular. These books even contained advertisements by Charles Atlas explaining how through bodybuilding ordinary men could transform themselves into powerful and dominant individuals. ”10 These versions of strong men actually moved away from some of the democratic impulses of the CIO and the New Deal, for they encouraged a more liberal belief that individuals could actually stand alone and resist exploitation and human degradation.
Capitalists were not the only issue, however. Their pursuit of unrestrained liberalism was matched by the illiberal tendencies of all kinds of people to deny personal liberties and opportunities for political participation to racial minorities, women, and immigrants. Illiberals worked against democracy in an expanding urban and industrial economy not so much by exercising their freedom but by denying it to others whom they considered second-class citizens. Indeed, I would suggest that, absent any overpowering democratic ethos, it was impossible in a culture that was strongly liberal to avoid the extensive expressions of illiberalism.
Powers sees Prohibition not as a restriction but as an opportunity. He quickly realizes that if he can market sufﬁcient intoxicants to local bars, he can make a fortune by running his own business. And that was the point; America had been an unjust society; it had rewarded self-made entrepreneurs in the twenties but not its common men. Powers is now simply taking steps necessary to join the emerging consumerism of the decade when he buys tailored suits, new cars, and women. He pursues his dreams relentlessly.
Blue-Collar Hollywood: Liberalism, Democracy, and Working People in American Film by John Bodnar