Fifteen Eighty Four

Academic perspectives from Cambridge University Press


Who’s Who of When Hollywood Was Right

Donald T. Critchlow

In the wake of World War II, an informal alliance of movie stars, studio moguls, and Southern California business interests formed to revitalize a factionalized Republican Party. Businessmen, moguls, and celebrities joined forces to contribute money, organize rallies, and campaign for the party. A veritable stable of superstars lent their star power to attract crowds and donations, including celebrities like Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire, and Humphrey Bogart, which fostered staunch enthusiasm.

“Rebuilding the California Republican Party took money, lots of money,” says Donald Critchlow, author of When Hollywood Was Right (this month’s Cambridge Book Club feature title). “Political advertising was costly in such a sprawling state, but California’s media-driven politics would eventually become a national model.”

To see which actors, actresses, moguls, and business leaders played an active role in the grassroots conservative movement, view our slideshow below. (Click on the images to view each caption.)


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About The Author

Donald T. Critchlow

Donald T. Critchlow is the author of When Hollywood was Right: How Movie Stars, Studio Moguls, and Big Business Remade American Politics....

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