Banned Books discussion

30 views
BANNED/CHALLENGED > Publishers Blacklisted Author During The McCarthy Era

Comments Showing 1-6 of 6 (6 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Shomeret (new)

Shomeret | 32 comments I just read I Am Spartacus!: Making a Film, Breaking the Blacklist by Kirk Douglas which is his memoir about the movie Spartacus.

The movie was based on a novel by Howard Fast. I found out from Kirk Douglas' book that Fast couldn't get it published because he was Communist and he was submitting his manuscript in the McCarthy Era. It was the first book he had written since he was released from prison. He had been sentenced to prison for not cooperating with the House Un-American Activities Committee. The publisher Little Brown considered publishing Spartacus until they got a visit from the FBI threatening them with a disloyalty investigation if they didn't reject Howard Fast's novel.

So Fast self-published Spartacus and sold 48,000 copies out of his garage according to Kirk Douglas. Now that's amazing when you consider that he was known to be a Communist, and the conventional distribution networks of the time were closed to him.


message 2: by George (new)

George King (kinggeorge) | 15 comments Dalton Trumbo, a great Hollywood screenwriter, was also on the blacklist and wrote the screenplay for SPARTACUS.


message 3: by Shomeret (new)

Shomeret | 32 comments George wrote: "Dalton Trumbo, a great Hollywood screenwriter, was also on the blacklist and wrote the screenplay for SPARTACUS."

Yes, I knew that Dalton Trumbo was one of the blacklisted Hollywood Ten and that he wrote the screenplay for Spartacus. But I hadn't known that the novel it was based on had to be self-published.


message 4: by Barbara (new)

Barbara | 5 comments Kirk Douglas showed so much courage and grace in Using the banned book, employing the blacklisted Trumbo ... and then giving credit despite the ugly HUAC.

I liked the book a good deal.


message 5: by Kelly H. (Maybedog), Big Kahuna, Ministry of Illicit Reading (new)

Kelly H. (Maybedog) (maybedog) | 623 comments Mod
It's amazing that it was made. It was a well-received movie, too, wasn't it?


message 6: by Shomeret (new)

Shomeret | 32 comments Oh yes, it was. I think that it helped to bring the McCarthy Era to an end.


back to top