Sunday, July 31, 2011
Hedda Hoppers Hollywood..Celebrity Gossip and American Conservatism by Jennifer Frost
I don`t expect that too many people will run out and buy this book simply because it isn`t that kind of a book. What it is however is an excellently written, engaging recount of an era long gone, an era that has transitioned via...video, facebook, twitter etc into something that bares a stunning resemblance to the past, different mode, very similar power and messages.
Hedda Hopper used her power as a Hollywood Gossip Columnist to comment on anything,in any way that she wished. In an era when the Newspaper ruled and columnists were like family, this gave her a great deal of power indeed, power she used to influence her vast readership into forming and expressing opinions that she formulated and supported be it the rights and wrongs of Movie Stars, Politics, Racial Issues, Family Values, Who should do this, that and the other..in reality exactly what goes on in our gossip obsessed and media driven society today. It is easy to dismiss Hedda and her like as ill informed, old fashioned and irrelevant when in fact they were trail blazers who paved the road we now go down. Her influence was mighty, she had the ability until the 60`s to make or break a career and she didn`t hesitate, step on her wrong side and bang! As she brought huge revenue to her papers they didn`t bother to restrain her and all though there were consequences in one or two situations, basically Hedda was always the winner.
I didn`t read every page of this book but what I did read (99%)of it was very good indeed.
The narrative flowed well and the author drew very realistic portraits of Hedda, her supporters, followers and foes and the forces that drove her.
If you are interested in the Media Culture of today you will certainly get the back story from this book, I enjoyed it but then I would!