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  • Originally published 08/07/2013

    More coverage for Ben Urwand's Hollywood & Hitler book

    Ben Urwand has apparently done what no historian has previously been able to do: Draw not just one but many substantial links between 1930s Hollywood and the Nazi Germany regime of Adolf Hitler.Urwand's revelations were first revealed in a June issue of online monthly Tablet. According to The New York Times, "that the German government meddled in the film industry during Hollywood's so-called golden age has long been known to film historians ... But Mr. Urwand, 35, offers the most stinging take by far, drawing on material from German and American archives to argue that the relationship between Hollywood and the Third Reich ran much deeper — and went on much longer — than any scholar has so far suggested."...

  • Originally published 07/18/2013

    Alexander C. Kafka: When Hollywood Held Hands With Hitler

    Alexander C. Kafka is deputy managing editor of The Chronicle Review.A debate is raging over Hollywood's alleged collusion with the Nazis. At stake: the moral culpability of Jewish studio heads during cinema's golden age.The catalyst is a forthcoming book from Harvard University Press, The Collaboration: Hollywood's Pact With Hitler, by the 35-year-old historian Ben Urwand. The book is still several months from publication, but emotions are running high after an early review in the online magazine Tablet, followed by an exchange of rhetorical fire in The New York Times between Urwand and Thomas Doherty, a professor of American studies at Brandeis University who this spring published his own account of the era, Hollywood and Hitler: 1933-1939 (Columbia University Press). The clash comes during a period of heightened scholarly attention to Nazi infiltration and counterinfiltration in Depression-era Los Angeles, complicating the story of Hollywood's stance toward fascism.