Hollywood movies owe a profound debt to the liberal values of New Deal cinema. Hollywood cinema is not usually thought of as politically or socially engaged, but the
author argues that it is, in fact, one of the most value-laden of all national cinemas. Drawing on a long historical view of persistent themes in Hollywood cinema, Smedley
demonstrates how film-makers in America continue to explore the balance between unbridled capitalism and a more socially-engaged liberalism. He also brings out the
persistence of pacifism in Hollywood’s consideration of American foreign policy in Vietnam and the Middle East. His third theme concerns the belated acceptance by the
film community of the post-feminist American woman. Featuring important new interviews with Michael Mann, Peter Weir, Paul Haggis, and Tony Gilroy, The Roots of Modern Hollywood is an incisive account of where Hollywood is today, and the path it has taken to get there.