Left of Hollywood: Cinema, Modernism, and the Emergence of U.S. Radical Film Culture

By Chris Robé | Go to book overview

Conclusion
FRAGMENTS OF THE FUTURE

By the late 1930s, the U.S. Popular Front had begun to splinter. The 1936 Moscow Trials opened a rift in the historical Left between Trotskyites and Stalinists. Although the trials were later shown to have been horrifying frame-ups that led to the executions of many participants in the Russian Revolution, U.S. Left writers at the time were unclear about their exact meaning. In 1937, John Dewey headed a commission that traveled to Mexico, where Trotsky was in political asylum, to investigate treasonous allegations Stalin had leveled against Trotsky. The commission found Trotsky innocent.1

The Trotskyite and Stalinist division served as a major impetus behind the creation of the anti-Stalinist Left, which adhered to some Marxist principles but rejected its more radical tenets. Philip Rahv, Williams Phillips, Clement Greenberg, and Dwight Macdonald were some of its key figures. Together they relaunched the Partisan Review in 1937 as its flagship journal. In its pages, anti-Stalinists recast the 1930s U.S. Left as nothing more than an assembly of vulgar and reactionary Marxists. In an effort to distance themselves from their previous radical politics, the antiStalinist Left derided the organizations they once belonged to and the beliefs that they had once held dear. As the Cold War heated up, the myths they conjured up about the 1930s U.S. Left ossified into the dry husks of unsubstantiated fact, bearing little resemblance to the rich complexities of the actual cultural moment.2

A perfect example of how the anti-Stalinist Left refashioned older Left concepts into a conservative framework can be seen in their attitude toward kitsch. Clement Greenberg’s essay “Avant-Garde and Kitsch” (1939) offers a dramatic contrast to Hanns Sachs’s 1932 Close Up essay on the same subject, which is discussed in Chapter One. Although Greenberg’s essay has been canonized as a theoretical breakthrough that established the boundaries between a high-art, avant-garde tradition and the supposed dreck of mass art facilitated by modernization, the context of its emergence has often been effaced.

-229-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Left of Hollywood: Cinema, Modernism, and the Emergence of U.S. Radical Film Culture
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 298

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.