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Ayn Rand and Song of Russia: Communism and Anti-Communism in 1940s Hollywood (Softcover)

By Robert Mayhew

 


In October 1947, more than twenty years after leaving Russia, Ayn Rand testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), which was investigating communist infiltration of the motion picture industry. The focus of that testimony was Song of Russia, a 1944 pro-Soviet film that Rand decried for its unrealistic, absurdly flattering portrait of life in the communist country.


Ayn Rand scholar Robert Mayhew focuses on this controversial period of American and Hollywood history by examining both the film and the furor surrounding Rand's HUAC testimony. His analysis provides the first detailed history of any of the pro-Soviet films to come out of 1940s Hollywood. Mayhew begins by offering a brief synopsis of the MGM film, followed by an account of its production, as well as its reception. Most significantly, Mayhew analyzes Rand's appearance before HUAC and discusses the response to her much-maligned testimony.


By carefully scrutinizing this one episode in the history of communism and anti-communism in 1940s Hollywood, Mayhew presents a more accurate picture of those times and the issues surrounding them. His study allows for a re-evaluation of the role of communism in Hollywood, the nature of the HUAC, and even the Hollywood Ten.


This book should be of interest to anyone interested in the life and thought of Ayn Rand, as well as to anyone interested in the history of Hollywood communism and of American film.


Table of Contents


Acknowledgments

A Note on the Hollywood Ten and the Lubyanka Thousand

Introduction


Part I    Distorting Facts: Song of Russia


Chapter 1    Song of Russia: A Synopsis

Chapter 2    The Making of Song of Russia

Chapter 3    Reactions to Song of Russia


Part II    Naming Facts: Ayn Rand's 1947 HUAC Testimony


Chapter 4    From Russia to Washington, D.C., via Hollywood

Chapter 5    Ayn Rand on the House Un-American Activities Committee

Chapter 6    Big Lies: Song of Russiaversus Soviet Russia—An Analysis of Ayn Rand's HUAC Testimony, Part 1

Chapter 7    Noble Lies: Rejecting the Standard Defense of Song of Russia—An Analysis of Ayn Rand's HUAC Testimony, Part 2

Chapter 8    Russian Smiles: The Leftist Response to Ayn Rand's HUAC Testimony


Conclusion


Appendix 1    Ayn Rand's HUAC Testimony

Appendix 2    Files on Song of Russia at the Margaret Herrick Library

Appendix 3    From the FBI Files: The Motion Picture Alliance and the "Other Blacklist"


Select Bibliography

Index

About the Author


(Softcover; 213 pages)