Introduction: Culture, Politics, Film 1
1. The Formation of Spielberg’s Generation 18
2. Spielberg Gets His Break 39
3. The Shark and the Blockbuster 66
4. E.T. and All Things Private 101
5. Looking to the Past 137
6. The Historical Film 164
7. Spielberg and Dark Visions 193
Coda: Open Questions 215
Works Cited 224
Eileen Meehan, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
"In varied writings, Frederick Wasser has established himself as a trenchant commentator on contemporary movies and the media industry behind them. Now, with his sharp, concise study of Steven Spielberg's complex resonances for America today, Wasser extends his critical reflection in important, new ways. This is a compelling, intelligent take on the director and his social role."
Dana Polan, New York University
"A masterful case study that illuminates aspects of American politics and culture through the work of one filmmaker. Wasser deftly weaves a sophisticated analysis of Spielberg and his films with a provocative look at corporate Hollywood and capitalist America. A great addition to film and media studies."
Janet Wasko, University of Oregon
• Explains the complex relationship between film and politics through the prism of an iconic filmmaker.
• Shows how Spielberg uses filmmaking tricks to keep his audience with him as his ideological concerns have changed over his career.
• Written in a vibrant manner for a general readership, and is packed with examples from Spielberg's films.