In 1918 the leaders of the FBI William Burns and J Edgar Hoover expressed deep concern about the power of movie stars to affect politics. As a result, they began a surveillance program to watch over those they thought might be radicals. Since then it has long seemed the Hollywood crowd was ideologically left, however, Steven Ross says that is actually not true. Maria Armoudian explores the various ways Hollywood has influenced politics in the United States with Ross.

Steven Ross is a Professor of History at the University of Southern California. He is the author of Hollywood Left and Right: How Movie Stars Shaped American Politics.

 

 

This interview was originally aired on the Scholars’ Circle. For more information and to access our archive of episodes click here.