In this Book

Purdue University Press
The outsized influence of Jews in American entertainment from the early days of Hollywood to the present has proved an endlessly fascinating and controversial topic, for Jews and non-Jews alike. From Shtetl to Stardom: Jews and Hollywood takes an exciting and innovative approach to this rich and complex material. Exploring the subject from a scholarly perspective as well as up close and personal, the book combines historical and theoretical analysis by leading academics in the field with inside information from prominent entertainment professionals. Essays range from Vincent Brook’s survey of the stubbornly persistent canard of Jewish industry “control” to Lawrence Baron and Joel Rosenberg’s panel presentations on the recent brouhaha over Ben Urwand’s book alleging collaboration between Hollywood and Hitler. Case studies by Howard Rodman and Joshua Louis Moss examine a key Coen brothers film, A Serious Man (Rodman), and Jill Soloway’s groundbreaking television series, Transparent (Moss). Jeffrey Shandler and Shaina Hamermann train their respective lenses on popular satirical comedians of yesteryear (Allan Sherman) and those currently all the rage (Amy Schumer, Lena Dunham, and Sarah Silverman). David Isaacs relates his years of agony and hilarity in the television comedy writers’ room, and interviews include in-depth discussions by Ross Melnick with Laemmle Theatres owner Greg Laemmle (relative of Universal Studios founder Carl Laemmle) and by Michael Renov with Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner. In all, From Shtetl to Stardom offers a uniquely multifaceted, multimediated, and up-to-the-minute account of the remarkable role Jews have played over the centuries and ongoing in American popular culture.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. i-iv
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Foreword
  2. Steven J. Ross
  3. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Editorial Introduction
  2. Michael Renov and Vincent Brook
  3. pp. ix-xvi
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  1. CHAPTER 1. Still an Empire of Their Own: How Jews Remain Atop a Reinvented Hollywood
  2. Vincent Brook
  3. pp. 3-22
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  1. CHAPTER 2. The Ben Urwand Controversy: Exploring the Hollywood-Hitler Relationship
  2. pp. 23-24
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  1. Caution or Collaboration? The Doherty-Urwand Controversy
  2. Lawrence Baron
  3. pp. 25-34
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  1. Hollywood and Nazi Germany: Reflections on What Might Have Been
  2. Joel Rosenberg
  3. pp. 35-42
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  1. Coda to the Doherty-Urwand Panel
  2. Vincent Brook
  3. pp. 43-46
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  1. CHAPTER 3. Dirty Jews: Amy Schumer and Other Vulgar Jewesses
  2. Shaina Hammerman
  3. pp. 49-72
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  1. CHAPTER 4. “The Woman Thing and the Jew Thing”: Transsexuality, Transcomedy, and the Legacy of Subversive Jewishness in Transparent
  2. Joshua Louis Moss
  3. pp. 73-98
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  1. CHAPTER 5. Eastern-European Fatalism in Minnesota: The Mournful Destinies of A Serious Man
  2. Howard A. Rodman
  3. pp. 99-108
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  1. CHAPTER 6. “If Jewish People Wrote All the Songs”: The Anti-Folklore of Allan Sherman
  2. Jeffrey Shandler
  3. pp. 109-124
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  1. CHAPTER 7. Comedy and Corned Beef: The Genesis of the Sitcom Writing Room
  2. David Isaacs
  3. pp. 127-136
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  1. CHAPTER 8. The Faemmle Business: Laemmle Theatres, Los Angeles, and the Moviegoing Experience—an Interview with Bob and Greg Laemmle
  2. Ross Melnick
  3. pp. 137-156
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  1. CHAPTER 9. An Outsider’s View of Sixties America: Matthew Weiner Talks with Michael Renov about the Jews of Mad Men
  2. Michael Renov
  3. pp. 157-184
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  1. About the Contributors
  2. pp. 185-188
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  1. The USC Casden Institute for the Study of the Jewish Role in American Life
  2. pp. 189-190
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  1. Back Cover
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Additional Information

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