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The Hollywood Sign: Fantasy and Reality of an American Icon (Icons of America)

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The Hollywood Sign: Fantasy and Reality of an American Icon (Icons of America) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Hollywood's famous sign, constructed of massive white block letters set into a steep hillside, is an emblem of the movie capital it looms over and an international symbol of glamour and star power. To so many who see its image, the sign represents the earthly home of that otherwise ethereal world of fame, stardom, and celebrity--the goal of American and worldwide aspiration to be in the limelight, to be, like the Hollywood sign itself, instantly recognizable.

How an advertisement erected in 1923, touting the real estate development Hollywoodland, took on a life of its own is a story worthy of the entertainment world that is its focus. Leo Braudy traces the remarkable history of this distinctly American landmark, which has been saved over the years by a disparate group of fans and supporters, among them Alice Cooper and Hugh Hefner, who spearheaded its reconstruction in the 1970s. He also uses the sign's history to offer an intriguing look at the rise of the movie business from its earliest, silent days through the development of the studio system that helped define modern Hollywood. Mixing social history, urban studies, literature, and film, along with forays into such topics as the lure of Hollywood for utopian communities and the development of domestic architecture in Los Angeles, The Hollywood Sign is a fascinating account of how a temporary structure has become a permanent icon of American culture.

About the Author

Leo Braudy is among America's leading cultural historians and film critics. His most recent book, From Chivalry to Terrorism, was named Best of the Best by the Los Angeles Times and a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times. Among his previous books, The Frenzy of Renown: Fame and Its History was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and Jean Renoir: The World of His Films was a finalist for the National Book Award. Braudy's writing has appeared in the New York Times, Harper's, American Film, and Partisan Review. He currently is University Professor and Leo S. Bing Chair in English and American Literature at the University of Southern California. He lives in Los Angeles.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780300156607
Author:
Braudy, Leo
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Subject:
United States - 20th Century
Subject:
US History - 20th Century
Subject:
World History-General
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Series:
Icons of America
Publication Date:
20110331
Binding:
Paperback
Language:
English
Illustrations:
17 b/w illus.
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.50 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » Buildings » Landmarks and Monuments
History and Social Science » Americana » California
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General
History and Social Science » World History » General

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