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Hollywood Left and Right: How Movie Stars Shaped American Politics

Steven Ross challenges the commonly held belief that Hollywood has always been a bastion of liberalism. The real story, he argues, is far more complicated. First, Hollywood has a longer history of conservatism than liberalism. Second, and most surprising, while the Hollywood Left was usually more vocal and visible, the Right had a greater impact on American political life, capturing a senate seat (Murphy), a governorship (Schwarzenegger), and the ultimate achievement, the Presidency (Reagan).

Date & Time

Monday
Oct. 1, 2012
4:00pm – 5:30pm ET

Location

6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center
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Overview

Steven Ross challenges the commonly held belief that Hollywood has always been a bastion of liberalism. The real story, he argues, is far more complicated. First, Hollywood has a longer history of conservatism than liberalism. Second, and most surprising, while the Hollywood Left was usually more vocal and visible, the Right had a greater impact on American political life, capturing a senate seat (Murphy), a governorship (Schwarzenegger), and the ultimate achievement, the Presidency (Reagan).

Steven J. Ross is professor of history at the University of Southern California and co-director of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities.  He is the author of Hollywood Left and Right: How Movie Stars Shaped American Politics, which won the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Film Scholar’s Award, and Working-Class Hollywood: Silent Film and the Shaping of Class in America.

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Speaker

Steven J. Ross

Steven J. Ross, Professor of History at the University of Southern California, Co-Director of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities
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Hosted By

History and Public Policy Program

The History and Public Policy Program makes public the primary source record of 20th and 21st century international history from repositories around the world, facilitates scholarship based on those records, and uses these materials to provide context for classroom, public, and policy debates on global affairs.  Read more

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