Class Struggle in Hollywood 1930 - 1950 , by Gerald Horne

Charles Brown CharlesB at
Fri Dec 1 12:09:30 MST 2000

Despite the date noted below, this book will be available in the next few
weeks and can be ordered now.  Though it is far from being near the center
of the work, this book was inspired by the controversy surrounding
"gangsta rap" and, thus, seeks to understand why this phenomenon
is so prominent--as opposed to, say, "proletarian rap." (Last night on the
Chris Rock Show, Ice-T was bragging--as opposed to apologizing--about
being a pimp.)  In sum, it seeks, partially, to redirect the study of
'popular culture'
toward archives and political economy, as opposed to images and lyrics.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 3 Oct 2000 09:54:18 -0400 (EDT)
From: GERALD HORNE <gchorne at>
To: GERALD HORNE <gchorne at>

  February 2001

  6 x 9 in., 335 pp., 18 b&w
  photos in section
  ISBN 0-292-73137-X
  $45.00, hardcover
  ISBN 0-292-73138-8
  $22.95, paperback

                      Class Struggle in Hollywood, 1930-1950
                      Moguls, Mobsters, Stars, Reds, and Trade Unionists

                      By Gerald Horne

                           "This book is destined to be a bombshell in the
field and perhaps far beyond the
                           -Paul Buhle, coauthor of Tender Comrades: A
Backstory of the Hollywood

                      As World War II wound down in 1945 and the cold war
heated up, the skilled trades that made up the Conference of Studio Unions (CSU) began
a tumultuous strike at the major Hollywood studios. This turmoil escalated further
when the studios retaliated by locking out CSU in 1946. This labor unrest unleashed a
fury of Red-baiting that allowed studio moguls to crush the union and seize control of
the production
process, with far-reaching consequences.
         This engrossing book probes the motives and actions
of all the players to reveal the full story of the CSU strike and the resulting
lockout of 1946. Gerald Horne draws extensively on primary materials and oral
histories to document how limited a "threat" the Communist party
actually posed in Hollywood, even as studio moguls successfully used the Red scare to
undermine union clout, prevent film stars from
supporting labor, and prove the moguls' own patriotism.

        Horne also discloses that, unnoticed amid the
turmoil, organized crime entrenched itself in management and labor, gaining
considerable control over both the "product" and the profits of Hollywood. This
research demonstrates that the CSU strike and lockout were a pivotal
moment in Hollywood history, with consequences for everything from production values,
to the kinds of stories told in films, to permanent
shifts in the centers of power.

                      Gerald Horne is the author of Fire This Time: The
Watts Uprising and the 1960s. He is a professor at the University of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill.

More information about the Marxism mailing list