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Cinema's Military Industrial Complex$
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Haidee Wasson and Lee Grieveson

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780520291508

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520291508.001.0001

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Star Testimonies

World War and the Cultural Politics of Authority

(p.281) 16 Star Testimonies
Cinema's Military Industrial Complex

Sue Collins

University of California Press

This chapter, by Sue Collins, historicizes Hollywood stardom’s legitimation as a source of political authority during World War I and World War II. It charts film stars’ participation in war mobilization from the Liberty Loan bond drives of World War I to the star appearances, war relief, and USO activities managed by the Hollywood Victory Committee during the World War II. By showing how the government’s valorization of the popular became a mode of authority exploitable for propaganda, the chapter argues that the stars’ war work established a new logic for celebrity as a crucial personification of state discourse and cultural policy supporting state power during wartime.

Keywords:   film stardom, celebrity, popular culture, authority, cultural policy, propaganda, war bond, Liberty Loan, Hollywood Victory Committee

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