Irish-American explores Nazi links to 1930s Hollywood

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Thomas Doherty’s Hollywood and Hitler is out now

“THE big studio bosses had to decide whether to cut their losses or bargain with the Devil,” so says Irish-American film historian Thomas Doherty in his provocative book Hollywood and Hitler, a story that entwines Tinseltown with totalitarianism.

Covering the troubled decade of the 1930s, Doherty’s history reveals the deep moral dilemma that faced Hollywood’s Jewish-American figureheads (Samuel Goldwyn, Louis B. Mayer, the Warner brothers) and their uncertain reaction to the rise of the Nazis in Germany.

A critic with astute insight and a deft touch, Doherty illuminates how American popular culture tussled with Nazi propaganda and wrestled with its own conscience at the same time.

To understand the worry for Hollywood aroused by the ascendance of Hitler in 1933, it’s necessary to know the cultural crossover between America and movie-going audiences in Europe.

Irish film scholar

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