In different ways, the books under review offer alternative perspectives on what is arguably the most polarizing of film genres. All three are by established film historians who have written extensively on specific eras and themes. Yet of the three texts only Hollywood Musicals You Missed opens up fresh lines of inquiry.
Kent Worcester is a professor of history and political science at Marymount Manhattan College. His books include C.L.R. James: A Political Biography (1996), A Comics Studies Reader (2008, coedited with Jeet Heer), and Silent Agitators: Cartoon Art from the Pages of New Politics (2016).
Posts by Kent Worcester
The real Elvis is American, remember, and America is a consumer society. The desires we project, the stuff we buy—that is what feels real to us. It lets us have any Elvis we want. He left plenty of kitsch in his wake, plenty of pseudo-religion, plenty of Elvis jokes—but he was not, is not, a joke. He lived our contradictions, released our inhibitions, and lost himself in the process.