A House Divided
With Newt Gingrich’s call for a new House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), there may be no relevant book than Hollywood Divided: The 1950 Screen Directors Guild Meeting and the Impact of the Blacklist (University Press of Kentucky) by Kevin Brianton. This new title centers on a now legendary meeting held by the Screen Directors Guild in 1950 (at the height of the anti-communist “Red Scare”) to consider the adoption of an industry loyalty oath. Among those present at the meeting were some of the biggest names in Hollywood―Cecil B. DeMille, John Ford, John Huston, Frank Capra, William Wyler, Joseph L. Mankiewicz, George Stevens, Fritz Lang, and Rouben Mamoulian, among others. The background to that meeting, its effect on the film industry, who was conservative, who was liberal, and the way the meeting had been depicted in the press is at the heart of this fascinating and provocative new book.