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Last Stands from the Alamo to Benghazi

How Hollywood Turns Military Defeats into Moral Victories

Last Stands from the Alamo to Benghazi by Frank Wetta
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Last Stands from the Alamo to Benghazi examines how filmmakers teach Americans about the country’s military past. Examining twenty-three representative war films and locating them in their cultural and military landscape, the authors argue that Hollywood’s view of American military history has evolved in two phases. The first phase, extending from the very beginnings of filmmaking to the Korean War, projected an essential patriotic triumphalism. The second phase, from the Korean and Vietnam Wars to the present, reflects a retreat from consensus and reflexive patriotism. In describing these phases, the authors address recurring themes such as the experience of war and combat, the image of the American war hero, race, gender, national myths, and more. With helpful film commentaries that extend the discussion through popular movie narratives, this book is essential for anyone interested in American military and film history.

Taylor and Francis; December 2016
160 pages; ISBN 9781317591924
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Title: Last Stands from the Alamo to Benghazi
Author: Frank Wetta; Martin Novelli
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