Author: Lisa Nanney
Extent: 256 pp
Publication: June 2019
Publisher: Clemson University Press (Liverpool UP)
The book features previously unpublished manuscripts and correspondence illustrating case studies of John Dos Passos’ screen writing for Paramount Pictures (1934); his role in writing and filming The Spanish Earth (1937), a Spanish Civil War relief project whose circumstances culminated in his public break from the Left; the 1936 screen treatment he wrote just before The Spanish Earth in consultation with its director, Joris Ivens; and his later-career attempts, beginning in the 1940s, to adapt his radically innovative trilogy U.S.A. directly for the screen and to realign its leftist politics toward the anti-Communist conservatism reflected in his work and activism after the 1930s and the disillusionments of the Spanish Civil War.
It thus provides a new context for and reading of his political reorientation in the 1930s that not only ended his long friendship with Ernest Hemingway but also evoked the opprobrium of his former champions on the Left and redefined his literary career.