Book Review: Collaboration Without Corroboration Is Tyranny – A Tale of Two Takes on Hollywood’s Dealings with Nazi Germany

“Even the news needs a little showmanship,” the television producer in the movie Network proclaims. And, within bounds, the same opportunistic dictum applies to historical writing—no more so, perhaps, than in our publishing-challenged times. Ben Urwand thus can partly be forgiven for the sensationalism of the title, and thesis, of his new book The Collaboration: Hollywood’s Pact with Hitler. Partly forgiven, that is—not completely. Thomas Doherty’s similarly themed Hollywood and Hitler: 1933 – 1939, meanwhile, by channeling showmanship into style rather than content, fares much the better for it. Both books are well worth reading, however, for the gaps in one that the other fills, and for the cautionary tale each provides—on confronting fascism and rewriting history.

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