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|Additional Physical Format:||Online version:
Wills, Garry, 1934-
John Wayne's America.
New York : Simon & Schuster, c1997
|Named Person:||John Wayne; John Wayne|
|All Authors / Contributors:||
|Description:||380 p.,  p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm.|
|Contents:||Prologue : The most dangerous man --
Introduction : Scope of the book --
Inventing a cowboy --
John Ford --
Inventing another cowboy --
Later Ford and Hawks --
A third cowboy --
Conclusion : American Adam
Unlike other actors and actresses with whom we associate political views, Wayne embodied a politics of large meanings - a politics of gender (masculine), ideology (patriotism), character (self-reliance), and personal responsibility. It was a politics of implicit dogmas that often transcended his own views and behavior. Although Wayne avoided serving in the military during World War II, he became, through his screen roles, the model of the American soldier. Likewise, although Wayne's popular image is that of a staunch anti-Communist, in reality he avoided taking a stand in the bitter ideological war that raged in Hollywood until after the issue had been decided.
In this work of great originality, the biography of an idea, Wills shows how John Wayne and the Hollywood image factories distorted or ignored important facts of Wayne's life to create his myth. Wills shows for the first time how Wayne, through his screen characters, spoke to the needs of his audience at crucial periods in American history, and how in response Americans invested their emotions in that embodiment of their deepest myths.