The Beginning or the End: How Hollywood--And America--Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

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Product Details
$27.99  $26.03
New Press
Publish Date
5.7 X 8.6 X 1.0 inches | 1.05 pounds

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About the Author

Greg Mitchell's books include The Beginning or the End: How Hollywood Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (The New Press) as well as The Tunnels; The Campaign of the Century, winner of the Goldsmith Book Prize and finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; Tricky Dick and the Pink Lady, a New York Times Notable Book; So Wrong for So Long; and, with Robert Jay Lifton, Hiroshima in America and Who Owns Death? He lives in the New York City area.


Praise for The Beginning or the End

"MGM's little-seen 1947 docudrama about the creation of the atomic bomb' The Beginning or the End' provides the unlikely but fascinating subject for this rich look at the early nuclear age. . . . While the film bombed at the box office' Mitchell's rich account of its making and larger implications should draw both history buffs and those concerned with the continuing issues around nuclear weapons."
--Publishers Weekly

"[Greg Mitchell] uses his sharp investigative reporting skills to unearth this detailed, behind-the-scenes story about Hollywood's first movie on the atomic bomb. . . . Excellent research and rich dialogue give Mitchell's book a novelistic flair as he recounts the battles between MGM and the military over actor choices, deletions, revisions, and retakes concerning fact vs. fiction."
--Kirkus Reviews

"This intriguing, behind-the-scenes look at a disjointed creative partnership is sure to be of interest to readers of history and cinema."
--Library Journal

"Greg Mitchell's The Beginning or the End is an engrossing, wry, and always lively look behind the scenes of a historic Hollywood flop. But it's also much more than that: a deeply serious, meticulously researched account of how the movie industry--and the American public in general--embraced a comforting myth to justify one of the most controversial decisions in history. This is a first-rate piece of work by one of our most accomplished nonfiction storytellers."
--Gary Krist, author of Empire of Sin and The Mirage Factory

"A story of dishy Hollywood doings but with atomic bombs and a screenplay by Ayn Rand--what more could a reader ask for?"
--Richard Rhodes, author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb and winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award

"A fascinating and brilliantly researched account of how Hollywood and Washington grappled with how to portray and profit from the new nuclear age. Another great read and exposé from Mitchell. "
--Alex Kershaw, bestselling author of The Liberator and Avenue of Spies

"A fascinating, sharp-eyed study of Hiroshima's cinematic aftershocks. Mitchell expertly chronicles the gradual transformation of a gigantic, and still-radiating, moral catastrophe."
--Nicholson Baker, author of Human Smoke: The Beginnings of World War II, the End of Civilization, and Double Fold, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award

"From the nation's top secret to the silver screen: Mitchell tells an unforgettable tale about a forgotten film and the tug-of-war between scientists' the White House and the Pentagon over the Hollywood version of the bombing of Hiroshima."
--Peter Biskind, best-selling author of Easy Riders, Raging Bulls