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Beyond the Book

384 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 21 halftones, notes, bibl., index

ISBN  978-0-8078-3574-6
Published: November 2012

One World, Big Screen

Hollywood, the Allies, and World War II

By M. Todd Bennett

World War II coincided with cinema's golden age. Movies now considered classics were created at a time when all sides in the war were coming to realize the great power of popular films to motivate the masses. Through multinational research, One World, Big Screen reveals how the Grand Alliance--Britain, China, the Soviet Union, and the United States--tapped Hollywood's impressive power to shrink the distance and bridge the differences that separated them. The Allies, M. Todd Bennett shows, strategically manipulated cinema in an effort to promote the idea that the United Nations was a family of nations joined by blood and affection.

Bennett revisits Casablanca, Mrs. Miniver, Flying Tigers, and other familiar movies that, he argues, helped win the war and the peace by improving Allied solidarity and transforming the American worldview. Closely analyzing film, diplomatic correspondence, propagandists' logs, and movie studio records found in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the former Soviet Union, Bennett rethinks traditional scholarship on World War II diplomacy by examining the ways that Hollywood and the Allies worked together to prepare for and enact the war effort.

About the Author

M. Todd Bennett is assistant professor of history at East Carolina University.


"A must read for those interested in wartime propaganda and diplomacy. Highly recommended. All levels/libraries."

“Provides many new insights into an already well-researched field of study. By doing so, [Bennett’s] book provides a very welcome and valuable addition to the current scholarship.”
--Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

“Bennett gives us not only an excellent book on film as propaganda and its effect on the war effort, but also provides an interesting insight into Hollywood and an often overlooked chapter in its history, what is now considered a part of its Golden Age.”

"One World, Big Screen vividly captures the days when many on the home front watched the war unfold at their neighborhood shows and envisioned the Allies' triumph. . . . Bennett’s meticulous study, a wonderful breath of fresh air, illuminates everything."
--Journal of American History

"Undoubtedly constitutes a valuable contribution to the historical literature. . . . Well researched and clearly written, the book well deserves a space on the bookshelves of anyone studying propaganda, mass media, or the United Nations during the Second World War."

"Bennett tells his story well and shows a mastery of sources."
--American Historical Review

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