Empire of Their Own How the Je

Neal Gabler, Author Crown Publishers $24.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-517-56808-8
Best known as a former co-host of PBS's Sneak Previews , Gabler presents an entertaining, wide-ranging, in-depth account of the Jewish studio executives, theater owners, producers, writers, lawyers and talent agents who dominated the American film industry until shortly after WW II. Many of the founding fathers came from impoverished East European families, and in their early struggles and later achievements they ferociously embraced their new country and rejected their Jewish past. In the process, they invented an America in the image of their own fictionone that has come to be accepted throughout the world as the true image of the United Statesand created ``an empire of their own.'' Recounting their efforts as film emperors, Gabler also describes their personal lives as husbands, fathers, womanizers, party-givers, gamblers and racehorse owners. A particularly stimulating chapter focuses on the conflict between politics and esthetics, between left-wing writers and conservative magnates; it also covers the effects of WW II and the encroachments of un-American activities committees and blacklisters. Gabler vividly recreates a way of life now gone forever. Photos not seen by PW. (September)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1988
Release date: 12/01/1988
Paperback - 512 pages - 978-0-385-26557-7
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