The Paranoid Style
An Army of Phantoms:
American Movies and the Making of the Cold War
by J. Hoberman
$29.95 List Price
It’s always good to revisit the cold war to remind yourself that, despite an orgy of supporting evidence, you’re not living through the most fucked-up period in American history. As J. Hoberman’s factually dense, swiftly narrated history of Hollywood’s symbiosis with the atomic-age body politic makes clear, the cold war was, pace our current moment, the third great battle over the nation’s identity and purpose, trailing only the Revolutionary and Civil Wars in significance.
An Army of Phantoms is, like the second Star Wars trilogy, a prequel, in this case to Hoberman’s 2003 The Dream Life: Movies, Media, and the Mythology of the Sixties. And during the postwar decade of 1946–56, the scope of this new volume, the phantoms were legion: atomic radiation, Communist spies, space aliens, brainwashing, the Mafia,
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