Table of Contents


This book has been in the making longer than I care to recall, but throughout its uneven development I have benefited from the both the kindness of strangers and the support of friends and family. It is a great pleasure to acknowledge the many people who helped along the way.

As always, archivists are a historian’s best friend, and that was particularly true for this project. Lauren Buisson at the Arts Library Special Collection at UCLA, Ned Comstock at USC, and the many knowledgeable staff members at the Margaret Herrick Library at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Wisconsin Historical Society, the American Jewish Committee Archive, and the Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research all played key supportive roles in the original research for this book. I am particularly grateful to Rick Ewig and Carol Bowser at the American Heritage Center of the University of Wyoming-Laramie for archival support and especially for the two travel grants which funded my post-dissertation research in the Adrian Scott Papers.

For me, the most substantive and lasting benefit of the digital format of this book is the archive of primary documents, which I hope will provide a resource for other scholars, teachers and students. The creation of this digital archive would not have been possible without the help of Harry Miller at the Wisconsin Historical Society and especially the extraordinary Leslie Waggoner at the American Heritage Center. Both went well beyond the call of duty to work with me long-distance, locating the originals of muddy photocopies from my research files, strategizing copyright permissions, and creating digital versions of the bulk of the documents in this archive. My gratitude to them is boundless.

I also am deeply grateful to Sam Serafy and especially the fabulous Athena Angelos for help in tracking down pictures and working through copyright concerns, and to Estelle Carol and Bob Simpson for their technical support and unflagging interest in this project.

For their help in securing permissions to reprint specific materials I would like to thank: Terrie Albano, of The People's Weekly World; Ornah Medivoi of the Motion Picture Association of America; Emily Johnson of The Saturday Evening Post; Peter Nelson of Amherst College Archives and Special Collections; Samantha Klein of the Oviatt Library Special Collections and Archives at CSU-Northridge; and Jill Schary.

Though the complexities of copyright and multiple ownership claims proved impossible to surmount in seeking permission to use film clips, I would also like to say a special thank you to Julie Heath of the Clip and Still Licensing Office at Warner Brothers Entertainment, Inc., for generosity with her time and expertise.

Many senior scholars gave generously of their time and expertise. Melvyn Dubofsky and Sarah Elbert, of course, nurtured this project as a PhD dissertation and me as a young scholar. I am forever grateful for their support. Matthew Bernstein pointed me to key information sources on fair use and digital reproduction. Paul Buhle, Bernard F. Dick and especially Rick Jewell all shared research leads and scholarly insights that significantly shaped my work. I am especially grateful for the collegiality, generosity and wisdom of Larry Ceplair, Patrick McGilligan and John D’Emilio, who read early chapters and offered advice about the transition from dissertation to book. Peter Stanfield and Steve Neale provided important feedback and publishing opportunities for versions of my chapters on Cornered and Scott’s work as a producer. I am grateful to them and to Rutgers University Press and the journal Film Studies for permission to reprint substantial portions of those articles.

The selection of my dissertation for the Gutenberg Prize did far more than provide substantial funding for the final writing and revisions of my book. It also transformed my work from conventional print to a digital text and accompanying document archive, which allowed me to share with readers not only my scholarly interpretation but the primary sources on which I based my work – the very stuff of history and the historian’s trade. For this unusual opportunity, I am enormously grateful to the American Historical Association and the Mellon Foundation.

I am also profoundly indebted to the editorial and creative staff at the Gutenberg Project. Kate Wittenberg was a thoughtful and generous sounding board for my work as well as a consistent advocate for digital scholarship and all of the Gutenberg authors; I cannot thank her enough for her support. Ann Miller, my incredibly kind and rigorous copy editor, was a joy to work with. Nathaniel Herz and his production design team performed digital magic. This book would not have been possible without them.

But before the bytes came the words themselves. This project started with my own love of words, my fascination with the wordsmiths – the writers and storytellers and creators. Members of the progressive film community, including Sarah Jane Paxton, Leonard Neibauer, Betsy Blair Reisz and Bernard Gordon, generously shared their memories of Adrian and Hollywood during the studio era and the blacklist. I am especially indebted to Norma Barzman and Joan Scott, who spent so many hours with me, telling their stories and helping me understand.

Many friends and family members supported me in myriad ways throughout this seemingly endless project: M. Gwin Wheatley, Judith Magee, Paula Hanley, Lea Dottke, Maureen Madden, John D’Emilio, Jacob Mueller, Glynis Kinnan, Tricia Kowalik, Beverly Stewart, Tim Teclaw, and especially my sister Emily Langdon and my parents, Jon and Barbara Langdon, who believed in me from the beginning.

This book is dedicated to my two lifesavers: Renee McCartney Nies, whose presence is a daily reminder of what really matters to me, and Garry Cooper, who was there for me at my high noon of the soul.