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Screening Out the Past

The Birth of Mass Culture and the Motion Picture Industry

"A scrupulously argued, clearly written account of Hollywood’s role in bringing America skipping and giggling from the Victorian world into the twentieth century."—Philip French, London Sunday Observer

"It is impossible to follow a narrow trail through the movies. The vistas keep opening, and May, linking movies to mass society, finds and makes new perceptions on emerging women, the rise of the studios, the special growth and appeal of Los Angeles, the nature of studio leadership and the early and persistent imputed corrupting power of film."—Charles Champlin, Los Angeles Times

"Lary May . . . has provided a set of new and rich insights into the changing patterns of American culture, 1890-1929. . . . His concentration on social and cultural history indirectly provides answers to questions which have baffled political historians for several decades."—David W. Noble, Minneapolis Tribune

"[Screening Out the Past is] a scrupulously argued, clearly written account of Hollywood’s role in bringing America skipping and giggling from the Victorian world into the twentieth century. May is splendid on the psychology of the immigrant movie moguls, on Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford as post Great War role models, and many other things."—Philip French, London Sunday Observor

"Altogether, the book represents the most successful blending of movie and cultural history to date."—Benjamin McArthur, Journal of Social History

320 pages | 60 b&w illustrations | 5.50 x 8.25 | © 1980, 1983

Culture Studies

Film Studies

History: American History

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction
1. The Backdrop: Victorian America and Amusements
2. Through a Lens Darkly: The Decline of Progress
3. Rescuing the Family: Urban Progressivism and Modern Leisure
4. Apocalyptic Cinema: D. W. Griffith and the Aesthetics of Reform
5. Revitalization: Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, and the New Personality, 1914-1918
6. You Are the Star: The Evolution of the Theater Palace, 1908-1929
7. The New Frontier: "Hollywood," 1914-1920
8. Politics Dissolved: Cecil B. DeMille and the Consumer Ideal, 1918-1929
Epilogue
Appendix I: Historiography and New Sources
Appendix II: Tables
Notes
Index

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