When Hollywood Turned Left (Townsend Books), is something borrowed, something new, yet all very entertaining--and revealing. It answers the question: Okay, we all know Hollywood has been pretty damn liberal for a long time, but how did it get that way? This book traces it back to the 1934 race for governor of California when the outrageous actions by the conservative studio bosses--such as docking every employee one day's pay for the GOP candidate--forced left-leaning (but still powerless) actors and screenwriters to organize and fight back, in spades. And the rest is history.
If this sounds fairly familiar--at least to my fans and/or longtime readers--it's because most of the book is taken from my 1992 "classic" The Campaign of the Century, although with a new Introduction and fresh material elsewhere. Ever since that earlier 620-page book (winner of the Goldsmith Book Prize and much other acclaim) appeared, many would-be readers have requested that I create a smaller, although still very substantial, volume focusing on the wild and wooly Hollywood angle. So, after a couple decades of hearing this, I've finally done it, thanks to the brave new world of e-publishing, and now with clickable links!
So now there's no excuse (such as "I won't read any doorstop books") to not enjoy this story and it's wonderful cast of characters, including Will Rogers, Charlie Chaplin, Louis B. Mayer, Katharine Hepburn, Billy Wilder, W.R. Hearst, Jimmy Cagney, and on and on. As some know, my major discovery was the trio of faked newsreels produced by the saintly Irving Thalberg to destroy Sinclair--the first full use of the screen to destroy a candidate, and precursor of TV "attack ads" today. Here's my video that covers some of that. But even that is just small part of this book ($3.79 for limited time only, for all Kindles, iPads etc.). Hooray for Hollywood! Of the full Campaign of the Century in print or ebook.