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American History and Contemporary Hollywood Film$
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Trevor McCrisken and Andrew Pepper

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780748614899

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748614899.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
American History and Contemporary Hollywood Film

Trevor B. McCrisken

Andrew Pepper

Edinburgh University Press

Since at least the 1970s, many historians have been increasingly willing to recognise the value of Hollywood films as both tools for teaching and as resources for helping to interpret American history. This book explores the link between contemporary Hollywood films and American history. Do these films represent a new departure in the way in which Hollywood filmmakers have approached and represented American history? Do they either explicitly or implicitly draw attention to ways in which the modes and practices of filmmaking have altered and thus to structural changes in the film industry itself? This book acknowledges the work carried out by Robert Rosenstone theorising the relationship between film and history. It analyses whether or to what extent the resultant films service and legitimise an affirmative and quite traditional version of nation and national identity. It discusses film-as-effective-history in the context of a more careful examination of the relationship between power, identity and representation.

Keywords:   Hollywood films, history, filmmaking, film industry, Robert Rosenstone, national identity, power, representation

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