Aisha Harris of Slate reports for NY1 on newly released book titles and the world of publishing in "The Book Reader."
Throughout his accomplished career, journalist and author Mark Harris has proven to be a smart and insightful writer on nearly everything Hollywood-related. His newest book, “Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War” only further emphasizes his talents.
In this comprehensive historical narrative, Harris zeroes in on the careers of five renowned Hollywood directors and their various contributions to the war effort during World War II. The motives, actions, and resulting films of John Ford, John Huston, William Wyler, Frank Capra, and George Stevens are fascinatingly depicted here through the painstaking research of their letters and government and film archives.
Harris details the effects of World War II on Hollywood through the successes and failures of each director, including Capra’s struggles to produce his ambitious multi-part propaganda series "Why We Fight" and Wyler’s acclaimed, groundbreaking aerial combat film "Memphis Belle."
Throughout, little-known historical facts are uncovered and the tempestuous relationship between Hollywood and the government during wartime are highlighted. Just as he did with the five Best Picture nominees of 1967 in his last book Pictures at a Revolution, Harris once again weaves remarkable, detailed stories together to reveal a more holistic view of cinematic and American history.
For more book reviews, visit the Slate Book Review at slate.com/books.