I read this book for the Mount TBR Reading Challenge hosted over at My Reader’s Block from January 1 – December 31, 2015. The challenge is to read books that you already own.
Hollywood Hoopla – Robert S. Sennett
This book chronicles the Hollywood publicity machine during the so-called golden age from 1929 to 1949. The mad promotional gimmicks and stunts have a gleeful unabashed quality that is as American as a sawed-off shotgun.
Sennett devotes chapters to agents, studio heads, publicists, gossip columnists and the studio publicity departments. A plus of the book is that he stands on the shoulders of giants. He leans heavily on columnist Ezra Goodman’s immortal study, The Fifty-Year Decline and Fall of Hollywood.
He has an unfortunate tendency to deplore the passing of the star system and to regret that stars and producers call too many shots nowadays at the end of every chapter.
The writing style is typical of books about Hollywood during the golden age. That is, it is readable and entertaining aplenty but the tone is chirpy and not nearly satirical enough for me.
This is a good book for the summertime when sunlight and humidity make it hard to concentrate.