Chapter

Introduction

Reynold Humphries

in Hollywood's Blacklists

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780748624553
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651153 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748624553.003.0002
Introduction

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The ultra-conservative newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst published a doggerel which evokes the twin assumptions destined to become articles of faith for the Red-baiting Right after World War II: the equation of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal with Communism with the notion that the New Deal's radical supporters were acting at the Soviet Union's behest. Those who continue to justify witch-hunting are embarrassed by the prevalence of anti-Semitism amongst the Red-baiters of the period. It is necessary to address the question of fascism and anti-fascism in order to understand why Communists lost support after World War II. The Hollywood Reds did represent an immense danger, but not to American democracy. What they challenged was the status quo, the economic order, the power and profits of the few, worse: the ideological notion of American hegemony as going without saying. And this challenge started before the opposition to racism and fascism became the rallying cry of the forces of progress.

Keywords: Franklin D. Roosevelt; New Deal; Communism; Hollywood; fascism; racism; Red-baiters; Right; anti-Semitism; anti-fascism

Chapter.  7950 words. 

Subjects: Film

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