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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Seeing Is Believing

Seeing Is Believing

How Hollywood Taught Us to Stop Worrying and Love the Fifties

Peter Biskind

Holt Paperbacks


Seeing is Believing is a provocative, shrewd, witty look at the Hollywood fifties movies we all love-or love to hate-and the thousand subtle ways they reflect the political tensions of the decade. Peter Biskind, former executive editor of Premiere, is one of our most astute cultural critics. Here he concentrates on the films everybody saw but nobody really looked at--classics like Giant, On the Waterfront, Rebel Without a Cause, and Invasion of the Body Snatchers--and shows us how movies that appear to be politically innocent in fact carry an ideological burden. As we see organization men and rugged individualists, housewives and career women, cops and doctors, teen angels and teenage werewolves fight it out across the screen from suburbia to the farthest reaches of the cosmos, we understand that we have been watching one long dispute about how to be a man, a woman, an American--the conflicts of the period in action.

A work of brilliant analysis and meticulous conception, Seeing Is Believing offers fascinating insights into how to read films of any era.

Praise for Seeing Is Believing

“Nothing escapes Peter Biskind and he is very funny. His book is indispensable reading for anyone interested in American cinema or recent American history.” —Michael Wood, author of America in the Movies

“A brilliant and imaginative analysis of the political and sexual crosscurrents of the fifties in the movies.” —Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Blood Rites

Reviews from Goodreads

Peter Biskind

Peter Biskind is the author of The Godfather Companion and Easy Riders, Raging Bulls. A contributing editor at Vanity Fair, he has written for The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and Rolling Stone, among other publications. He lives in New York City.

image of Peter Biskindo
Karen Wagner

Holt Paperbacks

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