384 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 21 halftones, notes, bibl., index
Hollywood, the Allies, and World War II
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.
"A must read for those interested in wartime propaganda and diplomacy. Highly recommended. All levels/libraries."
"In prose unfettered by academic jargon and grounded in a scrupulous mastery of the secondary material, Bennett's deft study illuminates both the filmic and geopolitical theaters of World War II. The result is an eye-opening excursion into the Hollywood-Washington axis."
--Thomas Doherty, Brandeis University
"Bennett uses interesting comparisons, telling quotes, and impressive research to weave together movies and a larger policy narrative using the trope of a global family. This book is a valuable addition to the literature on the intersection of movies, propaganda, and foreign policy."
--Clayton Koppes, Oberlin College
"With a perspective rooted in both past and present social scientific findings, Bennett offers a balanced assessment of the degree to which movies affected public opinion. His book is deeply researched, analytically adroit, and well-written, and it promises to become the standard work on the topic."
--Frank A. Ninkovich, St. John's University
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