The Columbia Companion to American History on Film: How the Movies Have Portrayed the American Past

The Columbia Companion to American History on Film: How the Movies Have Portrayed the American Past

By: Peter C. Rollins (editor)Paperback

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American history has always been an irresistible source of inspiration for filmmakers, and today, for good or ill, most Americans'sense of the past likely comes more from Hollywood than from the works of historians. In important films such as The Birth of a Nation (1915), Roots (1977), Apocalypse Now (1979), and Saving Private Ryan (1998), how much is entertainment and how much is rooted in historical fact? In The Columbia Companion to American History on Film, more than seventy scholars consider the gap between history and Hollywood. They examine how filmmakers have presented and interpreted the most important events, topics, eras, and figures in the American past, often comparing the film versions of events with the interpretations of the best historians who have explored the topic. Divided into eight broad categories-Eras; Wars and Other Major Events; Notable People; Groups; Institutions and Movements; Places; Themes and Topics; and Myths and Heroes-the volume features extensive cross-references, a filmography (of discussed and relevant films), notes, and a bibliography of selected historical works on each subject. The Columbia Companion to American History on Film is also an important resource for teachers, with extensive information for research or for course development appropriate for both high school and college students. Though each essay reflects the unique body of film and print works covering the subject at hand, every essay addresses several fundamental questions: * What are the key films on this topic? * What sources did the filmmaker use, and how did the film deviate (or remain true to) its sources? * How have film interpretations of a particular historical topic changed, and what sorts of factors-technological, social, political, historiographical-have affected their evolution? * Have filmmakers altered the historical record with a view to enhancing drama or to enhance the "truth" of their putative message?

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About Author

Peter C. Rollins is Regents Professor of English and American Film Studies at Oklahoma State University and editor in chief of the magazine Film & History (


IntroductionPart I. Eras The Puritan Era and the Puritan Mind, by Edward IngebretsonThe 1890s, by Joseph MillichapThe 1920s, by John TibbettsThe 1930s, by Carlton JacksonThe 1960s, by Chris LovettThe 1970s, by Zia HasanThe 1980s, by William J. PalmerPart II. Wars and Other Major Events The American Revolution, by Cotten SeilerThe Civil War and Reconstruction, by Alicia BrowneLawrence KreiserThe Cold War, by Phil LandonThe Korean War, by Phil LandonThe Mexican-American War and the Spanish-American War, by James YatesThe Vietnam War, by Peter C. RollinsWestward Expansion and the Indian Wars, by James SandosWorld War I, by Peter C. RollinsWorld War II: Documentaries, by Peter C. RollinsWorld War II: Feature Films, by Robert FynePart III. Notable People The Antebellum Frontier Hero, by Mike BirdwellChristopher Columbus, by Anthony ChaseThe Founding Fathers, by Cotten SeilerIndian Leaders, by Robert BairdThe Kennedys, by Harris J. ElderAbraham Lincoln, by Martin JacksonRichard Nixon, by Don WhaleyFranklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, by Michael ShullBabe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, by Douglass NoverrHarry S. Truman, by Martin JacksonGeorge Washington, by John D. ThomasPart IV. Groups African Americans After World War II, by Michael ShullArab Americans, by Jack G. ShaheenAsian Americans, by Terry HongCatholic Americans, by Peter HolloranChildren and Teenagers in the Twentieth Century, by Ron GreenIrish Americans, by Peter HolloranItalian Americans, by Stacey DonahueJewish Americans, by Solomon DavidoffMexican Americans, by Scott BaughNative Americans, by Jacqueline KilpatrickRadicals and Radicalism, by Michael ShullDavid WiltRobber Barons, Media Moguls, and Power Elites, by Michael ShullDavid WiltWomen from the Colonial Era to 1900, by Sarah PearsallWomen in the Twentieth Century, by June SochenPart V. Institutions and Movements Baseball, by Gregory McNameeCity and State Government, by Thomas HalperDouglas MuzzioJessica MuzzioCivil Rights, by Ray ArsenaultCongress, by Anthony ChaseThe Family, by Steve MintzFootball, by Dale HerbeckJournalism and the Media, by Robert BairdThe Labor Movement and the Working Class, by Michael ShullDavid WiltMilitias and Extremist Political Movements, by Michael J. RileyThe Political Machine, by James HanlanThe Presidency After World War II, by Peter C. RollinsPrivate Schools, by Ron BrileyPublic High Schools, by Ron BrileyPart VI. Places The Midwest, by John TibbettsThe "New" West and the New Western, by James HanlanNew York City, by Joe Dorinson George LankevichThe Sea, by Mary MalloyThe Small Town, by John TibbettsThe South, by Owen GilmanSpace, by Michael DenisonSusan OptSuburbia, by David WiltTexas and the Southwest, by Mark BusbyThe Trans-Appalachian West, by Mike BirdwellPart VII. Themes and Topics Crime and the Mafia, by Ron WilsonDrugs, Tobacco, and Alcohol, by Jennifer Tebbe-GrossmanElections and Party Politics, by Anthony ChaseFeminism and Feminist Films, by June SochenRailroads, by Joseph MillichapSexuality, by Bill BrigmanSlavery, by Robert B. ToplinPart VIII. Myths and Heroes The American Adam, by Charles MalandThe American Fighting Man, by Robert DoyleDemocracy and Equality, by Thomas DohertyThe Frontier and the West, by R. Phillip LoyHollywood's Detective, by David WiltThe Machine in the Garden, by John TibbettsSuccess and the Self-Made Man, by Hannu Salmi

Product Details

  • publication date: 14/11/2006
  • ISBN13: 9780231112239
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 696
  • ID: 9780231112239
  • weight: 1225
  • ISBN10: 0231112238

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