Blacklisted: Hollywood, the Cold War, and the First Amendment
Blacklisted: Hollywood, the Cold War, and the First Amendment
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Annotation: Recounts the 1947 government investigation into the motion picture industry by the House Un-American Activities Committee.
Genre: Government
Catalog Number: #171520
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Publisher: Penguin
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: c2018
Pages: 171 p.
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-620-91603-7
ISBN 13: 978-1-620-91603-2
Dewey: 323
LCCN: 2018931176
Dimensions: 25 cm.
Language: English
Publishers Weekly
Brimner (Twelve Days in May) provides a cinematic recounting of the 1947 investigation into the motion picture industry by the House Un-American Activities Committee. Extensive quotes from contemporary sources help to recreate the struggle-complete with shouting matches, arbitrary rulings, and summary dismissals-between politicians determined to uncover evidence of communist infiltration and the Hollywood 10, men striving to protect their work, livelihoods, and futures by invoking the First Amendment. Throughout, Brimner provides necessary context and clearly explains each stage of the proceedings, from the Committee hearings to Supreme Court appeals several years later, showing how individual rights were trampled in the process. Later chapters focus on the Hollywood blacklist-created by studio executives to preclude further investigation into their business, it lasted until 1960-and the devastating impact it had on many careers. An author-s note concludes: -America and Americans need to be ever watchful that the Constitution-s guarantees are never sacrificed again out of fear, hysteria, prejudice, or political passion.- Abundant archival material, bibliography, and sources are included as back matter. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)

Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Brimner brings to life a shameful episode in American history when citizens working in the film industry were accused of disloyalty and subversion and persecuted for defending their First Amendment rights. In 1947, tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States were at an all-time high. The House Committee on Un-American Activities, which included members with ties to the KKK, called Hollywood actors, directors, producers, and screenwriters to answer accusations that they were Communists. Ten who appeared refused to answer questions, citing their Constitutional rights to freedom of speech and assembly. The "Hollywood Ten" were afterward denied work by all Hollywood studios. Brimner vividly chronicles the hearings and their fallout, braiding stories of individuals into the overall narrative. Screenwriter Dalton Trumbo worked under pseudonyms; director Edward Dmytryk, unable to work covertly, later cooperated with the committee and named names. Drawing heavily on hearings transcripts, Brimner also includes a great deal of historical background to put the story in context. He notes that the origins of HUAC were rooted in America's first "Red Scare" following the Russian Revolution, and he challenges readers to consider if things are all that different today, citing contemporary examples. The many archival photographs included are testament to the overwhelming whiteness of both Hollywood and Congress.A chilling look at a time when the government waged war on civil liberties, with the public a complicit ally. (bibliography, source notes, index) (Nonfiction. 12-18)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* "Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party of the United States?" That was the question asked of 19 men (Hollywood screenwriters, directors, a producer, and an actor) in 1947 congressional hearings. The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) played on Americans' fears of communists by investigating "subversive" influences in the movie industry. Ten men were charged with contempt of Congress, tried, found guilty, and imprisoned, while many others were blacklisted. The author of the Sibert Award-winning Twelve Days in May? (2017), Brimner presents an informative account of the HUAC hearings and their repercussions for the Hollywood Ten. In the chapters covering those hearings, the extensive use of quotes gives the writing great immediacy, while the commentary clearly explains the motivations of the committee members and the viewpoints of those called to testify before them. The well-captioned illustrations include archival photos, documents, and political cartoons. Most easily understood by readers with some knowledge of the period, this tightly focused book presents a meticulously detailed narrative of events related to the 1947 hearings. More broadly, Brimner offers a cautionary tale about the damage done to individuals and society when constitutional rights are denied by officials sworn to uphold them.
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. 143-147) and index.
Reading Level: 7.0
Interest Level: 6-8
Lexile: 1230L
Guided Reading Level: Z+
Fountas & Pinnell: Z+

A Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Book

NEW FROM 2018 SIBERT MEDALIST LARRY DANE BRIMNER! Here is the story of 19 men from the film industry who were investigated for suspected communist ties during the Cold War, and the 10--known as the Hollywood Ten--who were blacklisted for standing up for their First Amendment rights and refusing to cooperate.

World War II is over, but tensions between the communist Soviet Union and the US are at an all-time high. In America, communist threats are seen everywhere and a committee is formed in the nation's capital to investigate those threats. Larry Dane Brimner follows the story of 19 men--all from the film industry--who are summoned to appear before the House of Representatives Committee on Un-American Activities. All 19 believe that the committee's investigations into their political views and personal associations are a violation of their First Amendment rights. When the first 10 of these men refuse to give the committee the simple answers it wants, they are cited for contempt of Congress and blacklisted.

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