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The red and the blacklist : the intimate memoir of a Hollywood expatriate
Norma Barzman
Adult Nonfiction PS3503.A754 Z476 2003

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Barzman arrived in Hollywood from Radcliffe in 1941, a good-looking 21-year-old who wanted to be a writer or director, not an actress. She met Ben Barzman at a party for Hollywood "progressives"; before long, they were in the Communist Party together. Ben stayed focused on his career of script writing. Norma, especially after they married, made do with anything, mainly writing for Hearst's Examiner. By 1944, they knew they were both under surveillance; by 1949, they realized they had to leave the country or face HUAC (House Un-American Activities Committee) and jail for refusing to inform. They settled in Paris, their base for nearly 20 years. Even though Ben subscribed to leftist ideals about equality, his wife's career made him uncomfortable, so from 1955 on, Norma made babies, had affairs and researched movie ideas for Ben. From her stories-dealing with the likes of Picasso, Sophia Loren, Peter Sellers, Anthony Quinn and Ingrid Bergman-it seems the life of a Cold War expatriate was more attractive than anything America was offering. Still, blacklisted men like Ben and his sometime collaborator Joseph Losey "hugged their bitterness," while the women just adapted. Visiting the Soviet Union and watching the Communist betrayal of May 1968 in France were profoundly disillusioning, but Norma found new hope stateside in the '70s amid women's liberation and the push to restore the reputations of the blacklisted Hollywood artists. Her unique, absorbing and richly detailed memoir is a contribution to both, restoring women to the history of this period and documenting the bravery with which some people stood by their ideals. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Screenwriter and novelist Barzman here offers her memoirs of the Hollywood blacklist era, with details of her up-and-down career and marriage to acclaimed screenwriter Ben Barzman. As recounted in an early chapter titled "Girl Gets Job," William Randolph Hearst gave her a byline in the Los Angeles Herald, and she eventually gained entrance into his castle estate in San Simeon, CA, and met Marion Davies. Of the newspaper world, she says, "To be the only female in that smoky, jokey sea of macho required the courage of Richard Lion-Heart, the diplomacy of Anthony Eden, the poise of Sarah Bernhardt, and a strong stomach." Pregnancy cut her career short, and the blacklist forced the Barzmans to uproot themselves and live in Europe throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Over the years, their milieu included Picasso, Sophia Loren, Charleton Heston, and John Wayne. In 1999, Barzman organized a protest against honorary Oscar recipient Elia Kazan for his involvement with the House Un-American Activities Committee. Presenting herself primarily as a victim of circumstance, the author was more an observer than a player, and, as a result, her reminiscences are not very powerful. Still, her book will interest Hollywood blacklist buffs. (Photographs and index not seen.)-Barbara Kundanis, Batavia P.L., IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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