Hearing Ronald Radosh interviewed on radio, one would think that Red Star Over Hollywood provides a comprehensive account of Hollywood’s fling with radical leftism. The book’s subtitle, The Film Colony’s Long Romance with the Left, leads potential readers in the same direction.
In actuality, this short but heavily documented work focuses on Hollywood figures who joined the Communist Party in the 1930s and 1940s and paid a price for that affiliation when they failed to cooperate with the House Committee on Un-American Activities. The book has almost nothing to say about contemporary political proclivities in Tinseltown. Instead, its pages are filled with names like Budd Schulberg, Maurice Rapf, and Dalton Trumbo.
By following the ideological journeys of numerous industry leftists, Radosh and wife Allis dispel the popular notion that HUAC investigations succeeded only in tarnishing the reputations of well-intentioned idealists. In truth, many dedicated communists who stuck with Stalin to the bitter end testified before the committee — alongside persons whose romantic attachments to the party waned earlier.
Indeed, the authors show that the Communist Party in Hollywood had become a “growth industry” by the mid-'30s — with approximately 300 members. The influence of this disciplined cadre was as evident in various Popular Front organizations as it was in the party’s assignment of a “cultural commisar” to oversee the theatrical product of its underground comrades. Though Stalin’s pact with Hitler in 1939 temporarily destroyed the anti-fascist coalition of communists and liberals, America’s wartime alliance with the Soviet Union reunited these groups.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online