To continue doing business in Germany, Hollywood studios agreed not to make films attacking Nazis or condemning persecution of Jews. Ben Urwand reveals this collaboration and the cast of characters it drew in, ranging from Goebbels to Louis B. Mayer. At the center was Hitler himself - obsessed with movies and their power to shape public opinion.
©2013 Ben Urwand (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I love history, crime and thrillers, biographies and almost anything by the BBC.
Hollywood and Hitler may seem like strange bedfellows but during the thirties they seemed to have a stormy courtship - money motivating Hollywood and madness motivating Hitler.
Ben Urwand has written a very thoroughly researched piece of work which also has the added bonus of being readable and accessible to the general public. It will certainly stimulate you to ask questions about how far the authorities not only in the States but elsewhere in the world knew what was happening to the Jews in Europe. Urwand takes a critical look at how the movie industry was driven by financial gains but he also shows that other motivations were at work on the allied side in their silence over the camps. He reveals how the Jewish lobbies in the States were also divided.
Some reviewers have criticised him for his seeming condemnation of Hollywood but I felt he recounted the facts without being overly emotional or prejudiced in his approach. Mind you some of the negative reviews came from authors writing on a similar subject so they may have had a vested interest!
The narrator is excellent and he does accents particularly well.
Whether you agree with the author or not you will certainly not be indifferent to the subject and no doubt will want to know more.
"Making mountains out of molehills"
The idea of Hollywood collaborating to hide Nazi crimes and Anti-semitism is intriguing.
But this book tries way to hard to connect the dots.
The performance is interesting, especially the accents for the Germans, but it wouldn't have hurt without the accents.
It's not that interesting.
Hitler did not speak English with a German accent... he spoke German... so translations of his speeches into English should not have an accent!
"Nazi's at the movies!"
I enjoyed this book, it answered some questions I've always had about why most of the Hollywood films from the pre World War 2 era always stop short in covering the powder keg in what would eventually become the second World War. The feeling I got from this book is that in the end, the major motion picture studios were only going along to get along so that they could keep making what was the only thing important to them and that is "SPOILER ALERT" MONEY, the studio heads definitely were not Nazi sympathizers, they were just trying not to offend the Nazi government so that they could continue to show their movies in Germany and continue their revenue stream. and it's a problem we are still dealing with today whenever money is involved people won't always do the right thing.
"Pact may be a bit hyperbolic"
It's interesting to watch the havoc that occur when one side has power and is willing to use it. The Germans updated their film laws so that they could threaten to ban all films from a Hollywood studio unless all copies worldwide of a particular movie were made so as to not offend German (Nazi) sensibilities. This explains some of the travesties committed to otherwise good books. This was an era where businesses stove to maintain a non-political stance, particular those selling to consumers so as not to alienate potential customers. It is sad to note that so much of Hollywood at the time was owner and/or run by Jews. The author also makes it clear that America knew more about the oppression of Jews in Europe. There is another theme which is not well explored, which was antisemitism in the West and in the US, in particular. There are a number of mentions of being unwilling to draw to much attention on themselves (Jews) because of a fear of a backlash. That's another sad chapter of that time period. It was an interesting contrast to reading about the war careers of some of the big names in Hollywood like Wyler, Houston, and Capra.
Reading this book had a profound impact on my already existing view of those in powerful positions already flush with money personally, but unbelievably greedy. Imagine those of us who would allow family and extended family to be exterminated (that is murdered for no other reason than race) and say nothing? Even worse, to capitulate with the enemy to the point that they have access to everything including decision making that the average person does not, and to call all the shots to boot? This all in the name of making money?
Shame on Hollywood then, and shame on them today and all those who would manipulate the news rather than report the truth!
This book is a must read for those not privy to the stories told by their fathers who returned from that war. Also, those who want the generation of today to believe and learn that such real crimes by nations and people that look the other way can and do occur.
"A real waste of time"
The book seemed to ramble on an on about different performers and characters. I almost gave up on it, but decided to finish.
Get to the point
Sorry I bought it
"I book I recommend"
Yes, it's fascinating. I've told friends, my parents and my film history professor about it.
"A good listen but"
I think the first half is excellent the second half felt padded
no one moebt stands our
He does a good german accent
I think the author said what he had to say-it was interest
I always learn something new when I read about Hitler, but Ben Urwand tries too hard in "The Collaboration." Hitler's links to Hollywood over one reel, (All Quiet on the Western Front) was a bit of a stretch for a book. The author just tries too hard on hot Hitler had a strong hold on Hollywood.
After a while, I lost interest in the book because I couldn't connect the dots. It's an interesting subject, but not well explain. This book is poorly bounded with loose information. It lacks in structure.
The subject needs to be redone by an historian.
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