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 an expert in American society and popular culture and is the author of Hollywood Left and Right: How Movie Stars Shaped American Politics.
This interview originally aired on the Scholars’ Circle. To access our archive of episodes and download this interview, click here.
For more of our audio and visual content, check out our YouTube channel, or head to the University of Auckland’s manuscripts and archives collection.
Disclaimer: The ideas expressed in this podcast reflect the views of the guest and not necessarily the views of The Big Q.