Hollywood Left and Right | Los Angeles Public Library
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Hollywood Left and Right

Moderated by Ella Taylor
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Episode Summary
From Chaplin to Schwarzenegger, movie stars have played a leading role in shaping the course of American politics. Join us for a conversation about how Hollywood has evolved into a vital center for American political life.

Participant(s) Bio
Steven J. Ross is Professor of History at the University of Southern California. Ross has written extensively in the areas of film and social history. He is the author of Movies and American Society and Workers On the Edge: Work, Leisure, and Politics in Industrializing Cincinnati, 1788-1890. His book, Working-Class Hollywood: Silent Film and the Shaping of Class in America was named by the Los Angeles Times as one of the Best Books of 1998. Ross' book, Hollywood Left and Right: How Movie Stars Shaped American Politics, received the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Film Scholars Award-the academic equivalent of an Oscar.

Mike Farrell, best known for his eight years on M*A*S*H and five seasons on Providence, is also a writer, director and producer. Beyond his work in the entertainment industry, Farrell has traveled the world for the last 30 years as part of prominent international human rights and peace delegations. He helped establish the California Committee of Human Rights Watch, and his opposition to the war in Iraq resulted in his co-founding Artists United to Win Without War. He is currently involved in an international effort in support of a worldwide moratorium on the death penalty. Farrell is the author of two books: Just Call Me Mike: A Journey to Actor and Activist, and Of Mule and Man.

Roger L. Simon, local author of ten novels and and seven screenplays, including the prize-winning Moses Wine detective series and Enemies: A Love Story, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award. Simon served on the faculty of the American Film Institute, Sundance Institute, and was president of the West Coast branch of PEN. In 2009, he published his first non-fiction book - Blacklisting Myself: Memoir of a Hollywood Apostate in the Age of Terror. It was republished in 2011 as Turning Right at Hollywood and Vine: The Perils of Coming Out Conservative in Hollywood.

Ella Taylor is a free-lance film critic, book reviewer and feature writer. She is the author of Prime Time Families: Television Culture in Post-War America and was a regular contributor to KPCC-Los Angeles' weekly film-review show FilmWeek. Taylor taught media studies at the University of Washington in Seattle, and is now based in Los Angeles.