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Real People/Real Stories: A Nonfiction Book Group – “Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War” by Mark Harris
November 16 @ 2:00 pmFree
Real People/Real Stories meets the third Thursday of each month to explore the best in nonfiction history, biography, science, nature, and the arts.
This month’s title: Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War by Mark Harris In Honor of Veterans Day
During the Second World War, the U.S. government recruited five of Hollywood’s best directors – John Ford, George Stevens, John Huston, William Wyler, and Frank Capra – to go overseas with the troops and record battles as they occurred. This fascinating work of history reveals what they saw, the films they created, and the momentous effect their experiences had on their lives and careers.
“A comprehensive, clear-eyed look at the careers of five legendary directors who put their Hollywood lives on freeze-frame while they went off to fight in the only ways they knew how. As riveting and revealing as a film by an Oscar winner.” —Kirkus
“Harris surpasses previous scholarship on the directors who are the focus here . . . This well-researched book is essential for both film enthusiasts and World War II aficionados.” —Library Journal
“Mr. Harris has a huge story to tell, and he does so brilliantly, maintaining suspense in a narrative whose basic outcome will be known ahead of time. Five Came Back is packed with true stories that, according to the proverb, are stranger than fiction. Mr. Harris’s story of five particular directors at one particular moment of history tells us much about the motion-picture industry, about the nature of filmmaking and, more generally, about the relation of art to the larger demands of society . . . [A]n inspirational, if cautionary, tale of the triumph of the individual over the collective, of personal vision over groupthink, and ultimately of art over propaganda.” —Wall Street Journal