An Army of Phantoms
American Movies and the Making of the Cold War
By J. Hoberman
(New Press, Paperback, 9781595588333, 383pp.)
Publication Date: September 2012
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Called "the most detailed year-by-year look at Hollywood during the first decade of the Cold War ever published, one that takes film analysis beyond the screen and sets it in its larger political context" by the Los Angeles Review of Books, An Army of Phantoms is a "delightful" and "amazing" (Dissent) work of film history and cultural criticism by J. Hoberman, one of the foremost film critics writing today, addressing the dynamic synergy of American politics and American popular culture.
By "tell[ing] the story not just of what's on the screen but of what played out behind it” (The American Scholar), Hoberman orchestrates a colorful, sometimes surreal pageant wherein Cecil B. DeMille rubs shoulders with Douglas MacArthur, atomic tests are shown on live TV, God talks on the radio, and Joe McCarthy is bracketed with Marilyn Monroe. From cavalry Westerns, apocalyptic sci-fi flicks, and biblical spectaculars, movies to media events, congressional hearings and political campaigns, An Army of Phantoms "remind[s] you what criticism is supposed to be: revelatory, reflective and as rapturous as the artwork itself" (Time Out New York).