Rahul Sharma

An Empire of Their Own

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Language  English
Pages  502 pp (hardback)
Originally published  1988
Genre  Non-fiction
Country  United States of America

Publication date  1988
ISBN  0-385-26557-3
Author  Neal Gabler
Publisher  Crown Publishing Group
An Empire of Their Own t2gstaticcomimagesqtbnANd9GcR89vj6bCohL8AJSP
Media type  Print (Hardback and paperback)
Similar  Neal Gabler books, Non-fiction books, Film books

Hollywood an empire of their own 1 of 3


An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood is a 1988 non-fiction book whose topic is the careers of several prominent Jewish film producers in the early years of Hollywood. Author Neal Gabler focuses on the psychological motivations of these film moguls, arguing that their background as Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe shaped their careers and influenced the movies they made.

Contents

Themes

Gabler's main thesis is that these producers (whom Gabler terms "Hollywood Jews") generally came from poor, fatherless backgrounds, and felt like outsiders in America because of their Jewishness. In Hollywood, these producers were able to run their own industry, assimilate into the American mainstream, and produce movies that fulfilled their vision of the American Dream. Gabler asserts that the nature of their business and their movies can often be traced back to their feelings of alienation as immigrants.

The book also explains that the business background of the Hollywood Jews in theatre-ownership, retail distribution, and the garment industry shaped the approach these studio owners took to crafting movies for a popular audience, one similar to the marketing of films as commodities as well as works of art.

The title of the book is a reference to F. Scott Fitzgerald's unfinished novel The Last Tycoon, in which Fitzgerald describes his protagonist, Monroe Stahr (a character inspired by the producer Irving Thalberg) as "coming home to an empire of his own—an empire he has made." The book won the 1989 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for history and the 1989 Theatre Library Association Award.

Adaptations

The book was adapted into a documentary film in 1998, a decade after the book was published. The movie has two titles: Hollywoodism: Jews, Movies and the American Dream (original title for A&E) and Hollywood: An Empire of Their Own (title for video/DVD). The documentary won an award for Best Jewish Experience Documentary at the 1998 Jerusalem Film Festival.

References

An Empire of Their Own Wikipedia


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