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Beyond Free Speech and Propaganda: The Political Development of Hollywood, 1907–1927

The Politics of Depoliticization

Motion pictures do more than just reflect our political life. If we take seri­ously the cultural construction of human identity—how social life forges the performative features of gender and sex, race and ethnicity—then American movies of the twentieth century were more than a mirror onto a culture. They were dreams that made that culture. They were mass-produced dreams for the most part, commercial products of a factory-based system in Hollywood. As much a reflection of the political, the cinema has always been productive of political identity, a medium of images that travel along our relations of power.

These images are the products of an industry that shaped ideologies and institutions central to American political development. The specific ide­ologies produced are less central to the following study than the frames of ideological production—the politics of free speech for motion pictures, on the one hand, and the democracy of movie propaganda, on the other. But if the movies were economic products of social performance they were also, for much of the classic Hollywood era, a field of delimited political power. The story of the early American movie industry is the story of the triumph of commercialism over the social power of the cinema. What are the politics that lay behind the depoliticization of American movies?

Film free speech and movie propaganda were two ideological frames of American cinema in the 1910s. Both were to be cast aside in the creation of the classic Hollywood system. Film free speech was legally defeated by the Supreme Court case Mutual Film Corporation v. Industrial Commission of Ohio (1915) and somewhat ironically limited by Hollywood’s first block­buster and early symbol of film free speech, The Birth of a Nation (1915). The defeat of an explicitly propagandistic cinema came later, in the spasmodic paranoia of wartime America from 1917–1918, in which propaganda itself was put on trial. Both film free speech and movie propaganda were severely limited by a commercial industry forced to navigate the demands of moral regulation. But in a sense, both these limitations proved incomplete, hollow to the realities of an artistic medium with unique and pervasive social power. Commercialism may have triumphed in America’s most powerful entertain­ment industry, but it could never fully eliminate the social power of movies.

As America entered the 1920s, one part of the American film indus­try—big producers in Southern California—set about mastering an industry denatured of political meaning, casting aside the free speech argument for film, and eliminating the propagandistic power of the screen. The process of denaturing the political from the American movie industry coincided with other processes: the decline of exhibitor power and the rise of producer power in the industry; the decline of Progressive-Era moralism; and the destruction of legal liquor. These three developments reinforced the depoliticization of American movies, creating opportunities for the future moguls of the industry to define the economic arrangements of entertainment and to shape the foun­dations of consumer capitalism. There were a series of strategies, alignments, and conflicts that shaped what we know today as the classic Hollywood sys­tem, all of which threaded through two main institutional threats—economic regulation of the industry and censorship of the screen.

Far from the end of politics in the industry, the depoliticization of the movie screen necessitated thick political negotiation, beginning with an industry centered on the site of consumption—the moving picture theater— and its battles with a powerful economic competitor, liquor and the saloon. The movie industry relied on the propagandistic spirit of the screen in the Pro­gressive Era, intimately binding together the value of deliberative democracy and the commercial imperative of motion pictures. This industry-sanctioned political power of propaganda helped defeat liquor interests and the ubiqui­tous saloon. Attacking the saloon through movies could conveniently make movies respectable by cutting against liquor’s immoral and deleterious social effects. As a war raged between these two industries, both were developing unique conceptions of personal liberty that tied consumption to individual freedom. For the liquor interests, particularly the brewers, this discursive formulation of modern liberty often centered on the notion of liberal identity and liberal action, attenuating the negative conceptions of liberal consump­tion (as excessive and immoderate) by infusing it with temperate freedom and the distinction between liberty and license. These discursive formations were failures in the immediate term, but they fertilized the cultural ground in which modern liberty becomes more than political and propertied freedom.

For the movie exhibitors of early American film, liberty was formulated through the democratic value of free speech welded to the realities of influ­ence and persuasion. This meant propaganda, but not simply as an inevitable feature of politics and power, rather propaganda as a desirable instrument of democratic will. The motion picture theater could embody the demo­cratic arena of deliberation in this conception, revitalizing the machinery of self-government so central to the anxieties and hopes of Progressivism. Along these lines, American cinema was developing a robust capacity for an explicitly political, if still commercial, medium. Legal conceptions of the cinema curtailed this political function. In the Mutual case, lawyers for the film distributors argued that film was entitled to First Amendment protection on grounds that it was both speech and publications, protection that would render state and municipal film censorship boards unconstitutional. The Court answered by denying this conception of the cinema, ruling instead that film was not speech nor a publication of the press, but simply an economic product that could legally be censored by states and localities.

The relationship between the commercial industry and political cinema was further troubled by the release and exhibition of D. W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation (1915). Sold out shows, protests, and censorship agitation followed the film’s exhibition at nearly every stop. Legal challenges were raised in Chicago, Boston, and New York, and while lawyers for the film argued for free speech protection, these arguments failed to advance the cause of film free speech. Defenders of the film did win in these legal challenges for the most part, but only by advancing the argument of property protection under the Fourteenth Amendment Due Process Clause. Although Griffith and his producers denied that the film was explicit propaganda, it was viewed by many at the time as an incitement toward racial demagoguery and white terror. Defenders of the film attempted to parse the conceptions of cinema as propaganda and speech, arguing that Birth hardly constituted the former but demanded legal protection as the latter.

More broadly speaking, Birth mobilized conflicting social movements that defined the early configurations of modern liberalism at the progressive turn—a political call for free speech articulated through the propagandistic powers of cinema on the one hand and a liberalism grounded in civil rights and racial justice on the other. Such a distinction rests along traditional legal lines of civil liberty (in this case, to engage in the free speech of racist dema­goguery) and civil right (to suppress such exhibitions of racist propaganda as harmful to the public). The Birth of a Nation so often appears at the nexus of this complex cultural formation, determining not just what American cinema becomes, but what it does not become, and limiting the development not just of an industry but of a political culture in the throes of a crisis over the modernization of democracy. As a powerful symbol of film free speech, Birth was the wellspring of modern liberalism’s civil libertarian form, but it also provided conditions for the fruitful generation of social justice in twentieth-century American culture, a conception of justice that cut powerfully against the film’s racist paranoia.

Griffith’s epic was not the birth of an industry indelibly tied to propaganda, but precisely the opposite—it was the first articulation of a crisis in the pro­pagandistic power of the medium, the beginning of the end for explicitly political cinema. Here it is important to note that most of the men who would eventually become moguls of classic Hollywood started out in exhibition. For the first era of American silent film, power shifted in varying degrees from the owners of raw production material and industry patents to the point of purchase and site of consumption: the motion picture theater. Exhibitors were motivated by economic interests, of course, but often understood this inter­est through the theater’s social binds to the community. Exhibitors had an economic interest in democracy, or, at least, the revolution in democracy the motion picture theater promised to be. Such a spirited conception of political cinema was fully amplified in World War I, when the American motion pic­ture theater fashioned itself a civic institution capable of mobilizing wartime will and patriotism, both through propaganda movies and the Four Minute Men, who articulated the war’s progressive cause in the time it took to change a movie reel. The war was the apotheosis of Progressivism, exhibitor power in the movie industry, and propagandistic power in American cinema.

Propaganda as a functional part of democracy necessitates the doctrine of free speech. The competition of persuasion and influence relies on conditions fostered through open and fair opportunity for communication. But the art of persuasion is often most effective when closing off the potential for persua­sive speech among competing and alternate options. Propaganda necessitates free speech, but one of the imminent challenges to free speech is the social power of propaganda itself. The tension between a principle and form of com­munication was rarely more manifest than in World War I. The Committee on Public Information, headed by George Creel, sought to harness the powers of propaganda to sell America and the world on Progressivism, but they also sought to stifle, and at times prosecute, speech that they felt was harmful to the war effort. The ideological force of propaganda severely undermined the ideological principle of free speech, a conflict often articulated through the movies.

For producer-distributors consolidating the industry around the power cen­ter of Hollywood, both propaganda and film free speech were threats to the system they were trying to create. Propaganda threatened the inevitability of state regulation and political contestation over the method and content of the cinema. If the movies were to become the arena of democracy, politics would have to be its spectacle and story—the wood, brick, and mortar of its visual expression. The process undertaken to ward off this threat of propaganda was the depoliticization of the movie screen, a process most visible in the entan­glements, and later disentanglements, between liquor and the movies. As the movies harnessed the social power of propaganda to defeat legal liquor in the 1910s, it sought in remarkable degrees to denature this very power when the federal authorities pressured Hollywood to aid prohibition enforcement in the 1920s. Liquor wasn’t the only cultural force that made visible this process of American cinema shedding its explicitly political function: the rise and fall of the second-wave Ku Klux Klan, party politics, and educative cinema had to be negotiated by the commercial interests of Hollywood. The process was the depoliticization of American movies. The outcome of this process was the dream factory of Hollywood’s narrative-based cinema.

The big producers in Hollywood also had little use for film free speech. The principled call of speech protection that animated the defense of The Birth of a Nation was an idealistic and utopian vision that, in this case, was grounded in images of white supremacy and racial demagoguery. Despite its huge financial success, Birth’s controversies revealed the perils of the indus­try’s future as much as its promise. Coordinating acceptable and unacceptable guidelines for Hollywood movies required a more limited ground. Film free speech, in principle, created a more open field of film expression, in which independents and proponents of noncommercial cinema could present alter­natives to Hollywood’s consolidated vision for the industry. With film free speech more a danger than a principle with which to defend their interests, the big producers embarked on a process of internal self-regulation of movie content. To condition regulatory principles and build the capacity of an insti­tutionalized self-regulatory regime required greater horizontal coordination among producers and control over the political environment surrounding the movie industry. Thus, when Will Hays and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPPDA) closed off film products that were used as recruitment materials by the burgeoning Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s, despite also work­ing with Klan mobilizations to scuttle film censorship bills, the big producers sought to suppress the social power of movies to influence the public, limiting speech through coordinated business practices.

Internalizing movie regulation was, foremost, a psychological and prag­matic process for the big producers, Hays, and the MPPDA. Unlike the arguments for propaganda and film free speech in the 1910s, they were not ideologically motivated. It was psychological in its accommodation to moral forces. Hays and MPPDA consistently talked about the right “psychological time” to engage the censorship issue, and that the work of the association was “principally psychological.” “The people of this country must have their amusement or the country will go red,” Hays would warn. The movies could provide “a mood of relaxation, of reception—in precisely that state of mind and emotion in which a master psychologist would want them to come.” This public condition, of a “plastic state for the receiving and holding of impressions,” acknowledged the great fear of reformers—that the movies had tremendous influence over society—in order to make the case that a consolidated industry could limit film expressions to the morally safe and culturally acceptable.1

Developing the capacity for self-censorship was also pragmatic in its economic strategy and deployment. There was a trial-and-error process that slowly shaped acceptable and unacceptable parameters for movie content that the industry set upon regulating for itself. Trade industry censorship developed through a series of applications, objections, revisions, and reap­plications of social and political meaning in movie content throughout the 1920s. Broadly speaking, the self-regulation of the American movie industry required four overlapping and reinforcing steps: horizontal coordination of business practices by big producers in Hollywood; moral control over the site of production by defining acceptable and unacceptable movie content; fully coordinated vertical integration of the industry in which big producers con­trol the industry chain down to the movie theater; and, finally, moral mastery over screen content through the institutionalization of moral regulation. This four-step process aided in the depoliticization of American film necessary to ward off external regulation without having to resort to a defense of film free speech, a defense that threatened to undue the industry’s consolidated oligop­oly. Self-regulation would not be fully institutionalized until 1933–1934 with the establishment of the Production Code Administration. By then, educative and religious film interests were cast aside, the screen would be white-washed of explicit political meaning (the end of the precode era), exhibitor power had been dismantled and scattered, and power in the industry had become synonymous with the power of Hollywood.

The depoliticization of the American movie screen was not motivated by ideational or cultural factors, but rather a more crudely political and eco­nomic negotiation that served the interests of the big producers in shaping the features of the classic Hollywood system. Along these lines, The Birth of a Nation became a template of what to avoid—propaganda, political controversy, psychological disruption, not psychological pacification. These limitations were already manifest in World War I, when Robert Goldstein’s Spirit of ’76 and Robert Cochrane’s Yellow Dog marked the incendiary limitations of propagandistic cinema. Spirit and Yellow Dog were both pro­paganda films and failures—the persuasive war fever of Progressivism and democracy created the conditions of its own demise. In the early 1920s, as Hays begins insisting that the American film industry never did propaganda, movies such as Thomas Ince’s Those Who Dance and Louis B. Mayer’s One Clear Call were important, if subtler, political limitations of the Hollywood screen. Casting aside film free speech and movie propaganda for a depoliti­cized and self-regulated movie industry necessitated economic coordination and consolidation. But for the blue nose reformers of the Progressive Era, consolidation invited the peril of a “movie trust” and its harmful effects on the social body.

Economic Consolidation and Moral Regulation

The trust problem was viewed by many reformers as the source of the moral problem in movies, but no reformer so consistently attacked the movie trust as Canon William Sheafe Chase, leader of the Christ Episcopal Church in Brooklyn, New York. Chase assailed the movie trust as a “school of crime” that violated the personal liberty of the community to protect itself against the ideological forces of violence, decadence, desire, and excess. Chase spoke at a congressional hearing on federal film censorship in 1914, arguing that Congress had a duty not only to censor, but to smash the consolidated forces of the industry in order to restore competition. Competition, argued Chase, would better foster the conditions for a more righteous and godly cinema:

“Think of the money and governmental machinery which Congress and the States are using to conserve forests, to enrich the land, to improve rivers and chan­nels, protect harbors, and promote the welfare of cattle. Congress has found it necessary to control freight rates and restrain trusts in order to protect the small businesses of this country. Is not the mental and moral welfare of children worth more than all the property, lands, and animals of our Republic? The children are the lifeblood of the nation.”2

Chase was still at it in 1927, leading the call for censorship and trust busting with scathing letters to federal officials and Hays. He was by this time the general secretary of the Federal Motion Picture Council of America, a reform organization that lobbied for federal government regulation, both moral and economic, over the American movie industry. But was the “movie trust” a real monopoly? And could the restoration of competition protect the public from immoral movies?

As in the uproar over the “liquor trust,” there’s substantial evidence that the American film industry was not the insidious monopoly harmful to the public interest that reformers like Chase claimed. By the late 1920s, arbitra­tion boards functioned relatively smoothly, adjudicating conflicts between exhibitors and distributors successfully enough that few cases required an impartial tiebreaker.3 There were 11,197 disputes between exhibitors and distributors in 1924, for example. 5,697 of these disputes were settled before coming to arbitration. 4,875 went to arbitration, 332 were withdrawn by the complainants, and 293 were dismissed by the board. Only fifteen cases out of 11,197 went to the impartial tiebreaker.4 Block booking, the practice of forcing upon exhibitors a slate of movies without much choice over what they could show on their screens, appeared to be less common in the 1920s than later historians would claim. Of the 47,000 contracts investigated in the 1927 Federal Trade Commission, US v. Famous Players-Lasky case, for instance, only 1,741 were block contracts. While the claim from big producers that block booking was “merely a case of quantity discount” is hardly accurate, as it was not a widespread practice, at least in the 1920s.5 Further, while producer-distributors would quietly admit that arbitration boards had been abused in the past in such a way as to be “a club against exhibitors,” Hays and the MPPDA worked hard to standardize arbitration practices and ensure some level of fairness in the process.6

From a legal standpoint, the case against consolidated big producer control over the industry required proof of an unreasonable restraint of interstate trade and commerce in motion picture films. The pertinent question centered on whether standard exhibition contracts or practices such as block booking impose an undue and unreasonable restraint on interstate trade. In Standard Oil Company of New Jersey v. United States (1911), the term restraint of trade was legally defined and narrowed to contracts that resulted in a monop­oly or “the consequences of monopoly.” Without this narrowing, restraint of trade could be interpreted to fit any sort of contract regardless of whether it harms the public. The MPPDA did work to suppress competition and shape the industry toward greater consolidation. The result, by the 1930s, certainly appeared to be the consequences of monopoly. Eight major companies domi­nated the field, with the largest five (Paramount, MGM, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, and RKO) having substantial interests in exhibition. These 8 major firms produced some seventy percent of American films, controlled ninety-five percent of distribution, and owned some sixteen percent of the total motion pictures theaters in the country (but close to eighty percent of the first-run movie palaces in larger cities).7 With this kind of control, big producers were certainly in a position to dictate terms and force independents (be they in production or exhibition) to do their bidding.

By 1935, more vocal antitrust agitation in the New Deal climate led to new congressional hearings and drafted legislation. Sponsored by Senator Matthew Neely and supported by much of the same reformers, who argued that not only were big producer practices unfair but they also “compelled the showing of undesirable and immoral pictures,” the legislation garnered significant press attention, but was ultimately defeated by Hays.8 This time, however, United States Department of Justice renewed their investigations into the industry, culminating in the antitrust suit United States vs. Para­mount, first filed in 1938. It would take a decade to resolve this case, and its resolution was unprecedented. It did not end in criminal prosecution but in an industry apology and consent decree by the MPPDA and its members in 1948, after which they agreed to sell off their exhibition holdings, severing exhibition from production-distribution in the industry.9 The results of this momentous case were hardly what reformers had in mind. The industry there­after was more decentralized and competitive, but in the context of numerous other changing conditions—such as the rise of television, shifting Ameri­can demographics toward suburban lifestyles, changing movie tastes, and greater interest in other culture and leisure activities—there is little definitive proof that the Paramount case was the deciding factor.10 Moreover, the case certainly did not bring about cheaper ticket prices, more moral movies, or higher-quality films.11 It took over a generation for the law to test the claim that antitrust action would solve the moral problem of American movies, but in the 1920s, for the time being, it was a question that was as much political and cultural as it was legal and economic.

Would greater competition bring about more moral movies? From a policy standpoint, the distrust of consolidation in the movie industry worked to antithetical ends for the Progressive moralists, who often attacked the “movie trust” as the source of immoral or dangerous influence. But coordination under some form of a trust—specifically a producer-led trust—was precisely what was needed to control and master the social capacity of the screen. We see in the development of the Motion Picture Production Code a capacity for moral self-regulation remarkably cautious, if not conservative, that could have only happened through vertical integration and coordinated practices of the big producers. Moralists assailed big producer control as the source of movies “capable of evil” without much consideration of the way in which organizational and scientific management in industry development could effectively manage these moral anxieties.

Animated by Progressive-Era fears of trusts and a nativist fear of a Jewish-dominated industry, reformers exacerbated the dissonance between consolidation and moral control. It might have been easier for the blue-nose moralists to see consolidation as the solution to the moral problem of movies had the industry remained in control of non-Jewish industrialists. Rather than indicating racial limitations in the logic of capitalism, however, this history reveals the ways in which associationalism and cooperation negotiated the political power of morally driven prejudice. Canon Chase is an exemplary antagonist in this political development of Hollywood. A pro­ponent of both censorship and noncommercial cinema, a religious reformer, and a man publicly sympathetic to the Ku Klux Klan (indeed, he may have himself been a Klansman), Chase bound together the “immoral evils” of Hollywood with the evils of economic monopoly. Industry consolidation and coordination were greatly hampered by the nativist ideology of the era, but the discursive and ideological strategies that shaped the depoliticization of the American movie screen necessitated economic consolidation and cooperation—it did not necessitate greater competition, and certainly not film free speech.

Consolidation and scientific management actually fit with progressive thinking and ideals, and so it is hard to understand the moral concern over the big producer trust in the 1920s without a broader understanding of the cultural and political forces at work. The movies were part of an infant industry dominated by Jewish immigrants—factors that severely curtailed its path toward consolidated self-regulation. Political conditions of nativ­ism and anti-Semitism cut against the economic conditions of the 1920s that were conducive to consolidation. Hays and the MPPDA could not facilitate the latter without controlling the cultural impulses of the former. The politics of depoliticizing the American movie screen were indelibly tied to economic imperatives.

Why did the MPPDA succeed in consolidation whereas the Edison Trust had failed a decade previous? Edison’s combine had a bottom-up hold on the manufacturing output of raw materials and the patents that protected those inventions. Controlling the materials of production was nineteenth-century industrial thinking. It could not attend to the ideology and social power of moving images. But the masters of cinema—the moguls—could not embrace and foster this social power. It had to be scuttled and buried, tamped into an industrial process of movie-making, of entertainment pure and simple. The social power of the cinema, in short, had to be controlled and institutionalized.

The dream factory was, in its ideal, an aesthetic attack on ideology itself—the triumph of style, spectacle, story, intrigue, and emotion over the raw power of ideas in their social form. The story of the depoliticization of American movies is, in one sense, the withering of a particular conception of ideology (cinematic, democratic, and overtly political) and the triumph of commercial entertainment in the American movie industry—a triumph that subsequently shaped some of the contours of modern liberalism and consumer capitalism. The MPPDA and the emerging movie moguls suc­ceeded where Edison failed because they had negotiated the necessary path of economic coordination to moral control, and, subsequently, economic consolidation to moral mastery.

The masters of cinema, Richard Schickel has suggested, were not those concerned with the hardware of the movie industry, but those concerned with the software of the movies themselves—the images and ideas reflected off the picture sheet. The moguls mastered the industry by controlling the ideational power of moving pictures, not by fostering an ideational medium of democratic expression. Control of this social power in movies emanated from the perception of moral authority and the institutionalization of moral self-regulation. Without such moral authority, the movies may have never risen to such a powerful position in American culture and economy. The consequences were not only felt by the movie industry—the moral authority necessary for the development of American cinema also created the condi­tions for the triumph of consumer capitalism in the American economy.

Consumer spending today accounts for approximately 70 percent of the total US economic output.12 The rise of consumer spending as the economic engine of American capitalism has been traced to corporate decision-making in the 1920s and 1930s, both as a strategy of economic survival and as an attempt to counter government policies of planning and managing the econ­omy.13 This history of consumerism necessarily touches on motion pictures as a powerful instrument of persuasion, one of the many mediums through which “image managers, spin doctors, and legions of ideological cosmeti­cians routinely package truth for public consumption.”14 But little attention has been paid to the development of this industry and its relationship to the rise of retail and consumer capitalism. More than a medium of persuasion, the growth and consolidation of the motion picture industry, and the political contests that emerged from its development, shaped the contours of modern consumer capitalism.

Politics has been effectively denatured from today’s American consumer culture, one that traffics in ideals but often fails to provide a medium of ideas. But a system of denatured dreams is itself an ideology. Commercialism has reached its apotheosis in American visual culture. The cinematic production value of entertainment is the currency of consumer capitalism. From the dream factory of classic Hollywood to the Super Bowl commercials of today, the optics of American culture have developed a profound celebration of commercialism that is cinematic, triumphant, and irrepressibly entertaining. Political meaning can be gleaned, but only through the recesses of identity. Gender, race/ethnicity, and sexuality are constructed from the screens of contemporary culture. It is not the realm of ideas or deliberation, but the realm of feeling and the story of personhood. Today’s visual culture may have been radically different had the movie men of Hollywood not denatured the American movie screen. In the final account, the ideology that most vis­ibly emerges from the political conflicts in the early twentieth-century movie industry is the ideology that rests at the fault line between modern liberalism and civil libertarianism, between government as an instrument and the people as harbingers of expression, between a persuasive state and the will of con­sumers and culture-makers, between propaganda and free speech.



1. Will H. Hays, speech at the Carnegie Institute, May 26, 1922. In: WHH Papers, vol. 1, reel 5.

2. Canon William Sheafe Chase, Motion Picture Commission Hearings Before the Committee on Education. House of Representatives, 63rd Congress, second session, March 20, 1914. In: National Board of Review Archive, New York Public Library, box 142.

3. This tiebreaker was a seventh arbiter of the board who was chosen by the six original arbiters. Exhibitors and distributors had equal representation on the board— three arbiters for the former and three for the latter.

4. Pettijohn to Hays, MPPDA memo, March 19, 1925; Hays Speech at Vincent Astor’s house, March 19, 1925. Hays Papers, vol. 1, reel 21.

5. Morning Telegraph, January 28, 1927. Clipping in: Hays Papers, vol. 1, reel 31.

6. W. E. Wilkinson, Annual Report of MPPDA, April 1925. Hays Papers, vol. 1, reel 26.

7. Ellis Hawley. The New Deal and the Problem with Monopoly. Princeton: Princ­eton University Press, 1966, 365–66.

8. Ibid., 367.

9. Legal review of Justice Department investigation into film boards of trade, Wickersham, Grosevnor, Hess, and Pettijohn, May 1926. Hays Papers, vol. 1, reel 26.

10. “The movie industry was undoubtedly less centralized and more competitive than it had been in the past, whether the antitrust action had much to do with it is debatable.” Hawley, The New Deal, 451.

11. Ibid., 452.

12. Household final consumption expenditure (percentage of GDP), World Bank, (accessed on May 13, 2016).

13. Stuart Ewen, Captains of Consciousness: Advertising & the Social Roots of the Consumer Culture. New York: Basic Books, 2001; Stuart Ewen, PR!: A Social History of Spin. New York: Basic Books, 1998.

14. Ewen, PR!, 46.


This excerpt is from Beyond Free Speech and Propaganda: The Political Development of Hollywood, 1907-1927 (Lexington Books, 2017)

Jay Douglas SteinmetzJay Douglas Steinmetz

Jay Douglas Steinmetz

Jay Douglas Steinmetz is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Willamette University in Oregon. He is author of Beyond Free Speech and Propaganda: The Political Development of Hollywood, 1907–1927 (Lexington Books, 2017).

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