9780813122700 / 0813122708

Hollywood's White House: The American Presidency in Film and History


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Publisher:University Press of Kentucky, 2003



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About the book:

In addition to the real White House where America's first family lives and works, there is Hollywood's White House. For many Americans, the chief executives of this imaginary 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue are more vivid and memorable than their real-life counterparts. The popularity of film and television portrayals of the presidency poses challenges for teachers and historians. What does the language used by "The West Wing"'s President Bartlet reveal about his civic character and about the political views of his creator Aaron Sorkin? Were John and Abigail Adams the political equals sketched in "The Adams Chronicles", or did the PBS series more accurately reflect the influence of the women's movement of the 1970s? Has "Saturday Night Live" given us license to laugh at our leaders? What message is Hollywood trying to convey in "Independence Day" and "Air Force One"? While these films entertain, do they also instruct? The contributors to "Hollywood's White" House examine the historical accuracy of these presidential depictions, illuminate their influence, and uncover how they reflect the concerns of their times and the social and political visions of the filmmakers. The volume, which includes a comprehensive filmography and a bibliography, is ideal for historians and film enthusiasts.

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