"From My Cold, Dead Hands": Charlton Heston and American Politics
By: Emilie Raymond (author)Hardback
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Charlton Heston is perhaps most famous for his portrayal of Moses in Cecil B. DeMille's epic "The Ten Commandments" and for his Academy Award - winning performance in the 1959 classic "Ben-Hur". Throughout his long career, Heston used his cinematic status as a powerful moral force to effect social and political change. "From My Cold, Dead Hands" examines how Heston evolved into a major American political figure. Heston has campaigned for both Democratic and Republican candidates, marched in support of black civil rights, served as the president of the Screen Actors Guild, helped shape policy for the National Endowment for the Arts, and served as president of the National Rifle Association. Disillusioned with the Democrats, Heston formally registered with the Republican Party in the 1980s, but he argued that the decision was in keeping with his longtime advocacy of individual rights. "From My Cold, Dead Hands" is far more than a biography - it is a chronicle of the resurgence of American conservative thought and, in particular, the birth of neoconservatism.
Emilie Raymond convincingly argues that conservatives owe a great deal to Heston: his image of morality, individualism, and masculinity lent their movement credibility with a larger public, and he effectively campaigned for conservative candidates and causes. Meanwhile, Heston paved the way for many of today's Hollywood activists, using his popularity and image to fuel and legitimize his political activities. A balanced study of Charlton Heston and his work offscreen, "From My Cold, Dead Hands" neither glorifies nor maligns Heston but provides an engaging account of how he propelled his personal beliefs into the political mainstream of America.
Emilie Raymond, assistant professor of history at Virginia Commonwealth University, specializes in twentieth-century U.S. history, political and cultural history, women's history, and neoconservatism. This is her first book.
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- ID: 9780813124087
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