Bookends: Nov. 21, 1988

AN EMPIRE OF THEIR OWN: HOW THE JEWS INVENTED HOLLYWOOD

by Neal Gabler

Crown; 502 pages; $24.95

It was a "sustained attempt to live a fiction, and to cast its spell over the minds of others." The words are not Neal Gabler's. They are taken from Sir Isaiah Berlin's characterization of Benjamin Disraeli. But it is a measure of this book's range, seriousness and distance from the typical Hollywood history that Gabler can comfortably evoke an Oxford scholar's description of a 19th century English Prime Minister to define the achievements of the first generation of movie mogul-ogres.

Not that Gabler stints...

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