Oscar Wars Oscar Wars

Oscar Wars

A History of Hollywood in Gold, Sweat, and Tears

    • 4.1 • 64 Ratings
    • $12.99
    • $12.99

Publisher Description

The author of the New York Times bestseller Her Again: Becoming Meryl Streep returns with a lively history of the Academy Awards, focusing on the brutal battles, the starry rivalries, and the colorful behind-the-scenes drama.

America does not have royalty. It has the Academy Awards. For nine decades, perfectly coiffed starlets, debonair leading men, and producers with gold in their eyes have chased the elusive Oscar. What began as an industry banquet in 1929 has now exploded into a hallowed ceremony, complete with red carpets, envelopes, and little gold men. But don’t be fooled by the pomp: the Oscars, more than anything, are a battlefield, where the history of Hollywood—and of America itself—unfolds in dramas large and small. The road to the Oscars may be golden, but it’s paved in blood, sweat, and broken hearts.

In Oscar Wars, Michael Schulman chronicles the remarkable, sprawling history of the Academy Awards and the personal dramas—some iconic, others never-before-revealed—that have played out on the stage and off camera. Unlike other books on the subject, each chapter takes a deep dive into a particular year, conflict, or even category that tells a larger story of cultural change, from Louis B. Mayer to Moonlight. Schulman examines how the red carpet runs through contested turf, and the victors aren't always as clear as the names drawn from envelopes. Caught in the crossfire are people: their thwarted ambitions, their artistic epiphanies, their messy collaborations, their dreams fulfilled or dashed.

Featuring a star-studded cast of some of the most powerful Hollywood players of today and yesterday, as well as outsiders who stormed the palace gates, this captivating history is a collection of revelatory tales, each representing a turning point for the Academy, for the movies, or for the culture at large.

Arts & Entertainment
February 21

Customer Reviews

Kim Manning ,

Fascinating look behind the curtain

A very unique way to look at Hollywood’s history filled with great anecdotes and fun facts. Each chapter is interesting in its own right. I couldn’t put it down. As an Oscar buff myself, this book was a revelation and totally recommendable for anyone who loves Hollywood.

Brad from Austin ,

Oscar Wars

To start with the good, the final chapter on Envelopegate is a riveting read. Beyond that, there are some things to know. The book is not a survey of Oscar history, but rather picks and chooses its moments. Unfortunately, the moments that interested me only occasionally aligned with the author’s. The chapter on the red scare and Hollywood blacklist was more politics than movie business, and it was a slog to get through (I almost didn’t). I would have liked a chapter on the Godfather movies, but these garnered hardly a mention. Many chapters involve three stories told in a round robin fashion, which I find more suitable to fiction. A good editor would have broken this down into parts with each story getting its own chapter. Although there is a bibliography, there are no footnotes, and at times it seemed like the author was just lifting long quotes from celebrity memoirs. If one is looking for a breezy read with a good dose of celebrity gossip, this is not that.

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