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Love Rules: Silent Hollywood And The Rise Of The Managerial Class
by Mark Garrett Cooper
University of Minnesota Press, 2003
Cloth: 978-0-8166-3752-2 | Paper: 978-0-8166-3753-9
Library of Congress Classification PN1995.9.L6C66 2003
Dewey Decimal Classification 791.4363543

Arguing for a sweeping new consideration of the shift from print to cinema as a governing system for organizing modern American social relations, this book uncovers an intimate connection between Hollywood romances of the silent era and the empowerment of a managerial class.

During the 1910s and 1920s, American movies told love stories through what rapidly became ubiquitous images. Again and again, silent features showed lovers separated by seeming happenstance and reunited as if by magical forces. Mark Garrett Cooper argues that this "magic" implies the expertise of the corporate movie studio with its hierarchies of professional experts. In other words, the Hollywood love story amounts to a managerial technique. Through close study of such films as Birth of a Nation, Enoch Arden, The Crowd, Why Change Your Wife? and The Jazz Singer, Love Rules shows how cinematic romance offers an object lesson in how to arrange American society-a lesson that implies that such work can be accomplished only by a managerial class.

Love Rules offers a boldly original account of how the Hollywood feature film supplanted the "imagined community" of print culture and, in doing so, played a key role in the transformation of American mass culture.

Mark Garrett Cooper is assistant professor of English at Florida State University.
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