Otto Friedrich, who is also responsible for a delightful history of Berlin in the 1920s, takes on Hollywood in the 1940s. He’s got some great anecdotes about Gene Tierney, Charlie Chaplin, Ronald Reagan, Howard Hughes, Rita Hayworth, L.B. Mayer, Orson Welles, and of course his favorite Bert Brecht. I especially liked the sections dedicated to the German emigres; Heinrich and Thomas Mann reading laudatory speeches about each other at their birthdays etc. Like the decade it covers, the book finally gets bogged down in subcommittee hearings.