An Empire of Their Own

Author: Neal Gabler
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: 9780307773715
Format: PDF, Mobi
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A provocative, original, and richly entertaining group biography of the Jewish immigrants who were the moving forces behind the creation of America's motion picture industry. The names Harry Cohn, William Fox, Carl Laemmle, Louis B. Mayer, Jack and Harry Warner, and Adolph Zucker are giants in the history of contemporary Hollywood, outsiders who dared to invent their own vision of the American Dream. Even to this day, the American values defined largely by the movies of these émigrés endure in American cinema and culture. Who these men were, how they came to dominate Hollywood, and what they gained and lost in the process is the exhilarating story of An Empire of Their Own.

An Empire of Their Own

Author: Neal Gabler
Publisher: Anchor Books
ISBN: 0385265573
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Profiles the early Hollywood studio moguls, examining how the movies of Fox, Mayer, and the Warners, among others, came to shape American values, myths, and traditions

Life The Movie

Author: Neal Gabler
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307773256
Format: PDF, Docs
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The story of how our bottomless appetite for novelty, gossip, and melodrama has turned everything—news, politics, religion, high culture—into one vast public entertainment. Neal Gabler calls them "lifies," those blockbusters written in the medium of life that dominate the media and the national conversation for weeks, months, even years: the death of Princess Diana, the trial of O.J. Simpson, Kenneth Starr vs. William Jefferson Clinton. Real Life as Entertainment is hardly a new phenomenon, but the movies, and now the new information technologies, have so accelerated it that it is now the reigning popular art form. How this came to pass, and just what it means for our culture and our personal lives, is the subject of this witty, concerned, and sometimes eye-opening book. "A thoughtful, in places chilling, account of the way entertainment values have hollowed out American life." --The New York Times Book Review

The American Jewish Story Through Cinema

Author: Eric A. Goldman
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 0292754698
Format: PDF
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Like the haggadah, the traditional “telling” of the story of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt that is read at the Passover seder, cinema offers a valuable text from which to gain an understanding of the social, political, and cultural realities of Jews in America. In an industry strongly influenced by Jewish filmmakers who made and continue to make the decisions as to which films are produced, the complex and evolving nature of the American Jewish condition has had considerable impact on American cinema and, in particular, on how Jews are reflected on the screen. This groundbreaking study analyzes select mainstream films from the beginning of the sound era to today to provide an understanding of the American Jewish experience over the last century. In the first half of the twentieth century, Hollywood’s movie moguls, most of whom were Jewish, shied away from asserting a Jewish image on the screen for fear that they might be too closely identified with that representation. Over the next two decades, Jewish moviemakers became more comfortable with the concept of a Jewish hero and with an overpowered, yet heroic, Israel. In time, the Holocaust assumed center stage as the single event with the greatest effect on American Jewish identity. Recently, as American Jewish screenwriters, directors, and producers have become increasingly comfortable with their heritage, we are seeing an unprecedented number of movies that spotlight Jewish protagonists, experiences, and challenges.

Blackface White Noise

Author: Michael Rogin
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520213807
Format: PDF
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The tangled connections that have bound Jews to African Americans in popular culture and liberal politics are at the heart of this text. It explores blackface in Hollywood films as an aperture to various broader issues.

Walt Disney

Author: Neal Gabler
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0679757473
Format: PDF, ePub
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A portrait of the private life and public career of Walt Disney ranges from his deprived youth, to his contributions to the art of animation, to his visionary creation of the first synergistic entertainment empire, to his reclusive and lonely private world.

Barbra Streisand

Author: Neal Gabler
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300220715
Format: PDF, ePub
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Barbra Streisand has been called the “most successful...talented performer of her generation” by Vanity Fair, and her voice, said pianist Glenn Gould, is “one of the natural wonders of the age.” Streisand scaled the heights of entertainment—from a popular vocalist to a first-rank Broadway star in Funny Girl to an Oscar-winning actress to a producer and director. But she has also become a cultural icon who has transcended show business. To achieve her success, Brooklyn-born Streisand had to overcome tremendous odds, not the least of which was her Jewishness. Dismissed, insulted, even reviled when she embarked on a show business career for acting too Jewish and looking too Jewish, she brilliantly converted her Jewishness into a metaphor for outsiderness that would eventually make her the avenger for anyone who felt marginalized and powerless. Neal Gabler examines Streisand’s life and career through this prism of otherness—a Jew in a gentile world, a self-proclaimed homely girl in a world of glamour, a kooky girl in a world of convention—and shows how central it was to Streisand’s triumph as one of the voices of her age.

Winchell

Author: Neal Gabler
Publisher: Vintage Books
ISBN: 0679764399
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Discusses the life of one of America's most powerful journalists, focusing on his creation of a culture of celebrity and his use of gossip as a source of power

The Genius of the System

Author: Thomas Schatz
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
ISBN: 1627796452
Format: PDF, Mobi
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At a time when the studio is making a stunning comeback, film historian Thomas Schatz provides an indispensable account of Hollywood's tradional blend of business and art. This book lays to rest the persistent myth that businesspeople and producers stifle artistic talent and reveals instead the genius of a system of collaboration and conflict. Working from industry documents, Schatz traces the development of house styles, the rise and fall of careers, and the making-and unmaking-of movies, from Frankenstein to Spellbound to Grand Hotel. Richly illustrated and highly readable, The Genius of the System gives the definitive view of the workings of the Old Hollywood and the foundations of the New.

Members of the Tribe

Author: Ze'ev Chafets
Publisher: Bantam
ISBN: 0307799204
Format: PDF
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An irreverent and startling portrait of Jewish America After two decades in Israel, Ze’ev Chafets returned to his native land to embark upon an extraordinary odyssey: a six-month, thirty-state search for America’s Jews. From side streets to mean streets, from the small-town serenity of the country to the hustle and bustle of the big city, he discovered Jews in some expected and unexpected places to create this portrait of American Judaism and Jewish life in America today. Meet the “members of the tribe” as Chafets—never the passive observer—barnstorms through the deep South, where he encounters the last Cajun Jews in the bayou, and travels to Mississippi to discover a congregation of good old boychiks. He joins a Midwestern “Jewhunt” led by a political organizer from AIPAC (the Israeli lobby), and in a maximum security synagogue in Pennsylvania he worships with a congregation of convicts whose shammes is doing time for armed robbery. At every stop Chafets comes across fascinating and memorable characters: a Buddhist named Wasserman who claims to have Jewish sports karma; America’s only native-born wonder-working rabbi; a Gross Pointed matron who wears a Jewish star to ward off anti-Semites. Chafets goes to the boardrooms of big-time Judaism in New York and Los Angeles, to back rooms in the Lone Star State where he spins yarns with some Texas Jewboys, to Cisco’s Restaurant in Austin, Texas, where he talks with Kinky Friedman, America’s best-known Jewish country and western singer. From a weekend in the Catskills with nearly two thousand Jewish singles to a meeting with the geriatric Jewish jocks of Century Village in Florida, Chafets takes a close look at how contemporary Jews really live. Whether he is describing the plight of a gay congregation in San Francisco in the throes of a deadly epidemic, or the poignancy of services at a storefront synagogue of black Jews whose cantor sings Hebrew prayers with gospel melodies, Members of the Tribe evokes the fears and hopes, concerns and aspirations of American Jews. Engaging, moving and insightful, this remarkable chronicle is a compelling look beyond stereotypes at people who, for reasons they don’t always understand, continue to be members of the tribe.