Dalton TrumboBlacklisted Hollywood Radical

Dalton TrumboBlacklisted Hollywood Radical

Larry Ceplair and Christopher Trumbo

Print publication date: 2015

ISBN: 9780813146805

Publisher: University Press of Kentucky

Abstract

Dalton Trumbo (1905–1976) was one of the highest-paid screenwriters in Hollywood, an outspoken advocate of left-wing political views, the most famous member of the Hollywood Ten, and the person who did more than anyone else to undermine the blacklist in the motion picture industry. This book, the first comprehensive, thoroughly researched biography of Trumbo, tells the story of a man who rose from bakery worker to celebrated author and from proscribed radical back to the top of his profession. During a prolific life, he wrote short stories, novels, poems, essays, pamphlets, theater scripts, and thousands of witty letters. A brilliant epistler, Trumbo used his letters like a journal or diary—a means of keeping track of and commenting on the important events and people in his life and the battles he fought. This book is not just a biography; it is also a detailed look at the motion picture industry and a political and cultural history of the United States (1920–1975), including the role of the Communist Party. The author demonstrates that Trumbo’s membership in the party did not define him; it was only one aspect of a complex political career.