Read e-book online America Noir: Underground Writers and Filmmakers of the PDF

By David Cochran

ISBN-10: 1560988134

ISBN-13: 9781560988137

ISBN-10: 1560989351

ISBN-13: 9781560989356

B-movies, crime novels, technological know-how fiction- all of those sorts of mass media got here into their very own within the Fifties. pushed aside by way of critics as dehumanizing to either writer and viewers, those genres unflinchingly uncovered the depths of yankee lifestyles at a time whilst it used to be now not politically right to take action. David Cochran info how, on the top of the chilly struggle, ten writers and filmmakers challenged such social pieties because the superiority of American democracy, the benevolence of loose company, and the sanctity of the suburban family members. Rod Serling's The Twilight quarter similar tales of sufferers of massive, faceless bureaucratic powers. Jim Thompson's The Grifters portrayed the ravages of capitalism on these on the backside of the social ladder. Patricia Highsmith's The proficient Mr. Ripley featured an amoral con guy who infiltrated the privileged type and wreaked havoc as soon as there. All of those artists helped to set the degree for the Nineteen Sixties counterculture's problem to the status quo. In doing so, they blurred the traces among "high" and "low" artwork.

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For the most part, liberal intellectuals disdained such naked attacks on radicalism as those carried out by McCarthy or HUAC, while simultaneously waging their own, more subtle war against political unorthodoxy. Fundamental challenges to the Cold War, they agreed, needed to be discredited. Right-wing isolationism was described as an abdication of America's postwar responsibility and certain to result in Soviet gains. On the other hand, the progressivism of Henry Wallace and his followers was labeled dangerously naive because it was based on a faulty understanding of human nature.

Louis project for organizing a union. "I wish to protest," the letter began, "against the recent outrage in St. " 4 As state director, Thompson oversaw the writing of the decidedly pro-union Labor History of Oklahoma. 5 Thompson departed the WPA in 1940 and moved to San Diego, where he eventually found employment in a wartime aircraft factory. Working as a timekeeper at night, he wrote during the day, completing his first published novel, Now and on Earth (1942). Largely autobiographical, the story concerns Jim Dillon, a worker in an aircraft factory struggling to support his extended family and write a novel.

Elia Kazan, the brilliant film and stage director, an ex-communist turned liberal whose work consistently expressed his political commitments, drew plaudits from many liberals for his willingness to cooperate with HUAC. In an advertisement published in the New York Times on April 12, 1952, Kazan justified his decision: "The employment of a lot of good liberals is threatened because they have allowed themselves to become associated with or silenced by Communists.  . Firsthand experience of dictatorship and thought control left me Page 5 with an abiding hatred of these.

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America Noir: Underground Writers and Filmmakers of the Postwar Era by David Cochran


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