A Very Dangerous Citizen: Abraham Lincoln Polonsky and the Hollywood Left
Price : £18.50 & postage in UK £2.80 (or free collection)
Availability : Can be ordered in

Published Date :
ISBN : 9780520223837
Category : North America
Format : Hardback
Add To Basket

When he was summoned before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1951, Abraham Lincoln Polonsky (1911-1999) was labeled 'a very dangerous citizen' by Harold Velde, a congressman from Illinois. Lawyer, educator, novelist, labor organizer, radio and television scriptwriter, film director and screenwriter, wartime intelligence operative, and full-time radical romantic, Polonsky was blacklisted in Hollywood for refusing to be an informer. "The New York Times" called his blacklisting the single greatest loss to American film during the McCarthy era, and his expressed admirers include Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Sidney Lumet, Warren Beatty, and Harry Belafonte. In this first critical and cultural biography of Abraham Polonsky, Paul Buhle and Dave Wagner present both an accomplished consideration of a remarkable survivor of America's cultural cold war and a superb study of the Hollywood left. The Bronx-born son of immigrant parents, Polonsky - in the few years after the end of World War II and just before the blacklist - had one of the most distinguished careers in Hollywood. He wrote two films that established John Garfield's postwar persona, "Body and Soul" (1947), still the standard for boxing films and the model for such movies as "Raging Bull" and "Pulp Fiction"; and "Force of Evil" (1948), the great noir drama that he also directed. Once blacklisted, Polonsky quit working under his own name, yet he proved to be one of television's most talented writers. Later in life he became the most acerbic critic of the Hollywood blacklist's legacy while writing and directing films such as "Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here" (1970). "A Very Dangerous Citizen" goes beyond biography to help us understand the relationship between art and politics in American culture and to uncover the effects of U.S. anticommunism and anti-Semitism. Rich in anecdote and in analysis, it provides an informative and entertaining portrait of one of the most intriguing personalities of twentieth-century American culture.

Open An Account

You can help to secure the future of radical bookselling by opening a Bookmarks Account.

We ask that you pay in a minimum of £10 a month by Standing Order which you can then spend on books at any time.

We will also give you 10% off all books or free postage anywhere in the UK.

Click Here


We sell much more than books, check out our posters, mugs and other stuff here

Bookmarks Publishing

Browse here for books from Bookmarks Publications and Redwords.

Bookmarks has been publishing books for over 40 years. Every year we publish a selection of books and pamphlets that address the key issues facing activists and trade unionists. Many of our older publications are available from our secondhand section.

See Our Publications