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Go West, Young Women!: The Rise of Early Hollywood

ISBN: 9780520274099 | 0520274091
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Univ of California Pr
Pub. Date: 1/15/2013

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In 1920, Los Angeles became the only western city where women outnumbered men. In Go West, Young Women, Hilary A. Hallett explores the relatively unknown New Woman of the West and her role in the development of Los Angeles and the nascent film industry. Hallett explains how women on both sides of the screen pioneered the transformation of the fledgling film industry from a marginal, decentralized business controlled by wealthy Anglo-Americans into the dominant, cosmopolitan industry of early Hollywood centered in Los Angeles. As early publicity stories about female celebrities focused on their independence, resourcefulness, and traversal of Los Angeles's increasingly bohemian terrain, Hollywood came to represent a different kind of frontier, one that spoke to a country torn between Victorian rectitude and individual emancipation, dreams of upward mobility and fears of moral dissolution. From Mary Pickford's rise to become perhaps the most powerful woman of her age, to the racist moral panics of the anti-war years and the aftermath of Hollywood's first sex scandal, Hallett describes how the path through early Hollywood presaged the struggles over modern gender roles that animated the century to come.


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