Professor Jenna Joselit interviews scholar Ben Urwand about his controversial new book, The Collaboration: Hollywood’s Pact with Hitler. Urwand tells the astonishing story of Hollywood’s dealings with Nazi Germany. Throughout the 1930s Hollywood studies abandoned or changed movies that would have exposed the horrors of Nazism in order to keep the German market open for American films. Urwand draws on a wealth of archival documents—including Hitler’s own notes on American movies—to reveal the shocking history of Hollywood’s collaboration.
Ben Urwand attended the University of Sydney. He worked in the film industry during and after college, but left it to pursue his PhD in Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago. He later transferred to the History program at the University of California, Berkeley. Urwand was elected a junior fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows in 2011.
Jenna Weissman Joselit is the Charles E. Smith Professor of Judaic Studies & Professor of History at The George Washington University, where she also directs its Program in Judaic Studies and its MA in Jewish Cultural Arts.
“Full of startling and surprising revelations, presented in exemplary fashion, without any moralizing or sensationalism. The Collaboration shows how Hollywood and especially the big studios went along with German demands to censor movies not only before but especially after the Nazi seizure of power.” – Richard J. Evans
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