In chronicling the sweeping account of the Twentieth Century Fox film studio – the first scholarly history of the empire – Frederick Wasser, Professor in the Department of Television, Radio and Emerging Media at Brooklyn college, shines a light on the history of business and entertainment in 20th century America. In fact, as he shares tales about the movies from each decade, it serves as a survey of not only American film history but, as he writes in the book’s introduction, “at times it becomes a history of the century itself.” In describing the story of the studio and its major players, Wasser uses analogies of the “Fall of Rome” and a “Greek tragedy.” The volume is one of eight that will eventually come into being as part of the Routledge Hollywood Centenary series, celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the establishment of the major Hollywood studios.
Our friends at CUNY SUM have summarized Frederick’s book here. A couple of other random teasers I’ll add: William Fox once asked Upton Sinclair to document his story. And Fox TV was an exemplary purveyor of the phenomenon known as “tele-rudeness.”
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