American Presidents and Oliver Stone

Kennedy, Nixon, and Bush between History and Cinema

Carl Freedman

American Presidents and Oliver Stone

Carl Freedman

Distributed for Intellect Ltd

220 pages | 6 x 9
Paper $25.00 ISBN: 9781789382624 Published October 2020 Not for sale in the United Kingdom or Europe

Perhaps no current filmmaker has made more provocative films about American history than Oliver Stone. In this book, Carl Freedman gives a detailed and nuanced account of the presidencies of John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, and George W. Bush as fictionalized in Stone’s biographical films JFK, Nixon, and W. Synthesizing film criticism with political and historical analysis, American Presidents and Oliver Stone transcends the limitations of formalism and empiricism, reflecting on both Stone’s achievements as a filmmaker and American politics of the past sixty years.

Offering detailed historical perspectives alongside careful aesthetic criticism, Freedman explores how Stone uses melodrama, tragedy, and farce to transform politics into national mythology. Wide-ranging, accessible, and highly original, American Presidents is sure to engage anyone interested in the intersection of American politics and cinema.

Contents

Introduction

I. KENNEDY: ICON

To Assassinate a Movie

JFK:  American Melbourne

Precursor-Texts:  Rashomon and Citizen Kane

JFK:  Conspiracy

JFK:  Father-Leader

JFK:  Son-Avenger

II. NIXON:  TRAGIC HERO-VILLAIN

From Kennedy to Nixon

From Melodrama to Tragedy

From JFK to Nixon

Nixon:  Personal Tragedy

Nixon:  National Tragedy

Nixon:  American Tragedy

Conclusion

III.  BUSH:  (UN)FORTUNATE SON

From Tragedy to Farce

W.:  The Man

W.:  The War

Finale

For more information, or to order this book, please visit https://press.uchicago.edu
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