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 Hollywood Red
The Autobiography of Lester Cole 

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"Startling"

Scene4 Books: Hollywood Red: The Autobiography of Lester Cole  Cover and Graphic ©2005 AviarPress  All Rights Reserved

Now, after 32 years, a witness to the nightmare of what we did and what we almost did again.

Too few Americans remember the dark days of the House Un-American Activities Committee. From 1938 to 1975 it traveled like a carnival throughout the country, breaking up families, turning friends into enemies, destroying reputations and lives. This is the intimate, inside story of one of the "Hollywood Ten", screenwriters and directors jailed for defying HUAC's nightmare of enforced orthodoxy.

"...the best 'inside' book yet about Hollywood under HUAC, a book that brings the whole period, and what came before and after, into frightening clarity, but also a book that is moving, exciting, funny and blessed with humanity."

  
— Carl Foreman, Director and Screenwriter whose films include High Noon, The Bridge On The River Kwai, Guns of Navarone, Young Man With A Horn, et al.

With original photos and graphics, full-color cover, bookmarks and page navigation. 
Available in PDF for all Epub Readers

$4.00 (USD)

 


 

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Scene4 Books: Hollywood Red: The Autobiography of Lester Cole  Cover and Graphic ©2005 AviarPress  All Rights Reserved

 Hollywood Red
The Autobiography of Lester Cole

Foreword

In October 1947, the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) cited ten Hollywood writers and directors for contempt of Congress. The leading organs of the daily press were outspoken and unhesitating in their criticism of the Committee's purposes and methods. Those of us who had been cited were heartened by the popular support.

About a week later, a cold-war Congress voted overwhelmingly to uphold the contempt citations. A short time after that, the Motion Picture Producers Association met in New York City and produced what became known as the Waldorf Astoria Decision. This document was a "white paper" formally instituting the blacklist in Hollywood. Somehow the mood had changed very rapidly. The recently indignant defenders of the First Amendment made no editorial comment on these latter developments. The news was merely "objectively" reported.

The first book to tell what actually happened at the HUAC hearings was titled Hollywood on Trial (Boni and Gaer, New York, 1948). It told who supported us, and who opposed us; it spelled out the consequences for both sides. The author was Gordon Kahn, a film writer and journalist who was one of the nineteen men originally subpoenaed by HUAC (although he was never actually brought to the stand). Kahn's book closed the subject, as far as we ten were concerned, for eight years. Then in 1956, a two-volume Report on Blacklisting appeared. Volume I covered the movies, volume II radio and television. The author was John Cogley, executive editor of Commonweal, and the book was sponsored by the Fund for the Republic. The back-cover blurb says that Cogley was commissioned to prepare a factual report on the situation. He did — selectively and with discretion. To my knowledge, none of us was consulted about the facts as we knew them.

Over the next twenty-five years, about a dozen more books appeared. At first the authors, if they examined us at all, looked upon us as creatures somewhere between villains and fools — or more generously just as freaks and misfits. Later on, for reasons which will be discussed in the text, we became subjects for more serious young scholars. But they, too, had prejudices and preferences; their political biases also showed, sometimes subtly, sometimes obviously. While some of the writing has been accurate and well crafted, all of these works have been written from the outside. As a result, the political dimensions of the Hollywood Ten have never been personally penetrated. The books have been neither personal nor political.

This story will be personal and political. In the writer's opinion, there can be no separation. Those "on the outside," the historians and investigative reporters whose works com­prise most of the literature on the Hollywood Ten, could not have known (although some pretend to) the feelings and thoughts of those who were cited for contempt, fought the convictions all the way to the Supreme Court, and went to prison after a three-year struggle. Outsiders could not convey to the reader the conflicts we experienced — with others, with our families, and within ourselves — as we held fast to principle and firmly held convictions, only partly aware at the time of the pain, humiliation, heartache and punishment that lay ahead.

What were those convictions that I so deeply cherished?........

 

 

Copyright © 1981, 2013 Estate of Lester Cole

Read an Excerpt
More on Author
Reviews
How to Order
Rights

"Timely"
"Provocative"
"Startling"

Scene4 Books: Hollywood Red: The Autobiography of Lester Cole  Cover and Graphic ©2005 AviarPress  All Rights Reserved

Now, after 32 years, a witness to the nightmare of what we did and what we almost did again.

Too few Americans remember the dark days of the House Un-American Activities Committee. From 1938 to 1975 it traveled like a carnival throughout the country, breaking up families, turning friends into enemies, destroying reputations and lives. This is the intimate, inside story of one of the "Hollywood Ten", screenwriters and directors jailed for defying HUAC's nightmare of enforced orthodoxy.

"...the best 'inside' book yet about Hollywood under HUAC, a book that brings the whole period, and what came before and after, into frightening clarity, but also a book that is moving, exciting, funny and blessed with humanity."

  
— Carl Foreman, Director and Screenwriter whose films include High Noon, The Bridge On The River Kwai, Guns of Navarone, Young Man With A Horn, et al.

With original photos and graphics, full-color cover, bookmarks and page navigation. 
Available in PDF for all EPub Readers

$4.00 (USD)

 

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