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Bloody Crossroads 2020: Art, Entertainment, and Resistance to Trump

af Danny Goldberg

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingSamtaler
15131,352,501 (3)Ingen
A deep dive into the role that mass-appeal movies, television, videos, and music played in Donald Trump's failed reelection campaign, including brand-new interviews with some of the major players. "Bloody Crossroads 2020 is a riveting and thoughtful tour of the role artists played in resisting the horrors of the Trump presidency. Danny Goldberg provides a bracing and thorough recollection that is both a service and a reminder for artists to stay engaged and awake. To counter those who continually tell me to 'shut up and sing,' I will buy a couple of crates of this book and get my marching boots polished. Thank you, Danny, for reminding me how it went down, and where it might go." --Rosanne Cash "The people who produce our popular culture--the performers and makers of TV shows and movies and music and the rest--are nearly all on the political left. (Which drives the right crazy; crazier.) Danny Goldberg--impresario, activist, mensch--knowingly and passionately chronicles how and why more of his fellow culture-makers than ever enlisted in the fight to save American democracy in 2020. Our annus horribilis had a political happy ending, and Bloody Crossroads 2020 is its star-studded souvenir program." --Kurt Andersen, author of Evil Geniuses and Fantasyland "Music and politics have been the twin engines driving Danny Goldberg for decades. In his latest work he explores how these culture-defining machines left a wannabe king in the dust." --Nelson George, author of Hip Hop America Bloody Crossroads 2020 takes a deep dive into the role that mass-appeal movies, television, videos, and music played in America's political culture in the year of Donald Trump's failed reelection campaign. The book also explores the impact of entertainment celebrities in communications, fundraising, and campaigning to support the election of Joe Biden. Although there existed a decades-old tradition of "liberal Hollywood," Trump's ascension to the presidency in 2016 triggered an unprecedented level of engagement by artists and performers. Within days of the 2016 election, a critical mass of entertainers, from teenagers to the last survivors of the World War II generation--blockbuster movie stars, art-film auteurs, Broadway dramatists, comedians, and musicians from the worlds of classical, country, pop, rock, R&B, and hip-hop--all seemed to have heard the tom-tom beat of resistance at the same moment and amplified a moral alternative to Trumpism. That level of engagement intensified with rare passion and purpose in the period of 2020 chronicled in Bloody Crossroads 2020--the Democratic primaries, the COVID-19 pandemic, the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd, the conviction of sexual predator Harvey Weinstein, and the 2020 general election campaign--culminating in Trump's failed insurrection. Exhaustively researched, Bloody Crossroads 2020 draws from brand-new interviews with Bruce Springsteen, John Legend, Rosanne Cash, David Simon, Adam McKay, Chuck D, David Corn, Mandy Patinkin, and many more. It also explores the important political activities of entertainers like Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah, Taylor Swift, Cardi B, Alyssa Milano, Mark Ruffalo, Jane Fonda, Robert De Niro, Bette Midler, Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Ava DuVernay, Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, and Wanda Sykes. Bloody Crossroads 2020 expertly dissects and celebrates how the empowering actions of artists and entertainers helped a record turnout of everyday citizens realize a triumphant 2020 election.… (mere)
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Viser 1-5 af 12 (næste | vis alle)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I wanted to like this better than I did. It’s jammed with factoids for a 252 page book, which makes it listy rather than insightful. The author’s and the book’s biases line up with my biases, but even with that, I was put off by how slanted it was. True, the book was about the entertainment industry’s participation in the resistance to Trump and MAGA. But it would have been more interesting to include more discussion about books, films and music from Trump’s supporters. The country is divided over the political issues discussed, but this book presents the entertainment industry as the leftist monolith the right often claims it is.

( )
  dds1981 | Aug 19, 2023 |
point, people would know the issues that were important to them and the voters’ positions would guide the elected officials. The 1960s were the years of civil rights and antiwar movements. Music was the common denominator. During the Trump era, it became comedy. Even more important to artists were younger people whose interests in climate change, economic inequality, and gun safety were ignored by the politicians
Now, the majority of people don’t vote so the pressure is on political parties to get their supporters to the polls, aka “turning out the base.”
Today people receive their information largely from the social media, the entertainment field, and news sources that show bias rather than presenting facts. The Republicans understand this. Steve Bannon explained Trump’s strategy: The real opposition is the media. And the way to deal with them is to flood the zone with shit.”
Pop celebrities had more Twitter followers than even the most popular democrats in Congress.” Amy Klobuchar scored well in the early debates but didn’t attract entertainers and her campaign crashed.
At the national conventions, the entertainers get more publicity and attract more people than many of the speakers. Not having big name performers was considered to be a sign of a losing campaign. The Democrats had a lot of stars. The Republicans could not attract them.
Before he ran for President, Trump was best known for owning a lot of large buildings and golf courses with his name emblazoned on them and his TV show. What was not as well known was his primary interest was self-promotion and using his office to benefit himself. “He’s interested in two things: making you afraid and telling you who to blame for it.”
TIDBIT: In “Lion King,” Samba was destined to rule. Mufasa observed “while others search for what they can take, a true king searches for what he can give.
A major flaw of the book focuses on the 2020 election. A good portion of it, in particular the later chapters reads like a list – this famous person tweeted this, this musician did this, this group of actors raised x about of money for this group and so on. On the other hand, Trump illegally used songs and videos, sometimes altered, during his campaign. While on one hand this important to know the levels of engagement at all levels of popular media, on the other hand, listing does not make particularly engrossing reading.
I received a free review copy of BLOODY CROSSROADS 2020 from LibraryThing. ( )
  Judiex | Nov 15, 2022 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
In "Bloody Crossroads 2020", Danny Goldberg provides us with an invaluable source of contemporary history, a concise and pithy survey of the last year of the Trump presidency and of the efforts by those on the cultural front line to make sure it was the last of his dismal regime. We are living in such weird times that it is a service to history that scholars, and readers in general, of the future, will have a book such as this that documents that the bizarre events of these times really did happen.

Goldberg begins with a brief history of resistance by American popular culture to fascism, starting with Charlie Chaplin's 1940 film "The Great Dictator". In the film Chaplin uses a satiric parody of Hitler as "Adenoid Hynkel" to both ridicule the Nazis and warn Americans of the danger of ignoring their threat to democracy.

Donald Trump had already demonstrated that he is a misogynistic, racist homophobe before his election in 2016, but his reference to "very fine people on both sides" after the deadly neo-Nazi riot at Charlottesville in 2017 alerted many Americans to the fact that he poses an existential threat to democracy in the United States. This became more obvious in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd in May 2020, as many American entertainers, from Bruce Springsteen to Harry Belafonte, took up the cause of Black Lives Matter, and Trump's campaign appealed to the blatant racism of the MAGA base.

Fortunately, Trump lost the 2020 election. He refused to accept defeat and instead incited the January 6 attack on the Capitol. He is still very dangerous, but the "Red Wave" of 2020 was more like a ripple. Perhaps there is hope for American democracy after all. ( )
  ChuckNorton | Nov 15, 2022 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Bloody Crossroads 2020: Art, Entertainment, and Resistance to Trump by Danny Goldberg is like an insightful diary of the intersection of popular culture and politics as they joined forces to oppose Trump.

Like the title says, this is a book about resistance to Trump, so any call for equal time for celebrities who supported Trump is both a misunderstanding of what the book is as well as an indication of the gross misunderstanding of what "balanced" has come to mean in journalism, namely giving equal time and space to viewpoints that are demonstrably false or pointless.

While to some this may seem like a list, I think that is overstatement. It does cover a lot of comments, tweets, and events in a short volume but these are chronologically organized (which makes far more sense than a call for a thematic format) with commentary linking them. Part of the value in this is seeing how things played out in real time, not looking back on the year as a whole piece and putting things together by theme. When you see that a particular tweet was the day before or the day after something else, that is as important, for an active reader, as having a writer hold our hand and point out each and every juxtaposition.

I do think this book will age very well. Specifically because of its almost diary-like form it will be a great source for future researchers who want to put the many comments and events of the year into a relationship with each other. While a tweet may, for example, be most closely related topic-wise to something that happened a week or two before, it may have been triggered by something that happened that day but on an entirely different topic. So ultimately thematic works, of which there are already plenty, and chronological works will be used together to make a more holistic narrative of the year 2020.

Highly recommended for those who remember most of 2020 as a jumble of crisis after crisis but would like to take a look at it in a more "as lived" manner. Perhaps not quite so highly recommended for those who think a book about resistance to Trump needs to give his supporters equal space, or those who think of a diary as a list and are incapable of making connections on their own with some assistance from the author.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via LibraryThing. ( )
  pomo58 | Mar 20, 2022 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
In Bloody Crossroads 2020: Art, Entertainment, and Resistance to Trump, Danny Goldberg examines the way in which the film, television, and music industries responded to Trump in 2020 and shaped the political discourse throughout the United States. He begins with a clear introduction, defining the scope of his argument. For example, fashion and memes, though undoubtedly art, are not a subject of Goldberg’s study. Goldberg argues, “The cosmic debates at the core of modern politics have been a part of the struggle to define America for more than a century, and they will continue long after the headlines of 2020 are forgotten” (pgs. 11-12). His initial study of the media in politics from the fight against fascism in the 1940s through McCarthyism, Nixon, and Reagan explains the focus of his work while offering valuable historic insight that demonstrates how the media events of 2020 fit a larger pattern. From there, Goldberg covers the early years of the Trump presidency with the majority of Bloody Crossroads 2020 focusing specifically on 2020 itself.

At times, Goldberg’s work is heavy on summary and light on analysis, though his documentation of these events will prove valuable to future historians. Unfortunately, one misinterpretation stood out particularly glaringly early in Goldberg’s work: he describes Ryan Coogler’s 2018 film, Black Panther, as existing on an alien planet (pg. 65) rather than on the same planet Earth as the other Marvel heroes. Other than that, he packs each chapter with detail. I could easily see future college professors assigning individual chapters as readings for upper-level undergraduates or master’s students. For example, discussing Damon Lindelof’s 2019 HBO series, Watchmen, Goldberg writes, “Once Americans had watched the eight-and-a-half minute sadistic killing of [George] Floyd, the comic book world seemed like it had a grasp on America’s most disturbing elements” (pg. 148). Linking back to his survey of entertainment and politics in history, Goldberg concludes, “There were some artists for whom certain political issues took on an ethical significance that was intertwined with their deepest spiritual beliefs. This is where Charlie Chaplin had been coming from when he made The Great Dictator in the shadow of Hitler’s growing power” (pg. 252). Overall, the work may prove useful for lesson-planning in years to come, but the over-use of summary can occasionally make for dull reading. ( )
  DarthDeverell | Dec 14, 2021 |
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A deep dive into the role that mass-appeal movies, television, videos, and music played in Donald Trump's failed reelection campaign, including brand-new interviews with some of the major players. "Bloody Crossroads 2020 is a riveting and thoughtful tour of the role artists played in resisting the horrors of the Trump presidency. Danny Goldberg provides a bracing and thorough recollection that is both a service and a reminder for artists to stay engaged and awake. To counter those who continually tell me to 'shut up and sing,' I will buy a couple of crates of this book and get my marching boots polished. Thank you, Danny, for reminding me how it went down, and where it might go." --Rosanne Cash "The people who produce our popular culture--the performers and makers of TV shows and movies and music and the rest--are nearly all on the political left. (Which drives the right crazy; crazier.) Danny Goldberg--impresario, activist, mensch--knowingly and passionately chronicles how and why more of his fellow culture-makers than ever enlisted in the fight to save American democracy in 2020. Our annus horribilis had a political happy ending, and Bloody Crossroads 2020 is its star-studded souvenir program." --Kurt Andersen, author of Evil Geniuses and Fantasyland "Music and politics have been the twin engines driving Danny Goldberg for decades. In his latest work he explores how these culture-defining machines left a wannabe king in the dust." --Nelson George, author of Hip Hop America Bloody Crossroads 2020 takes a deep dive into the role that mass-appeal movies, television, videos, and music played in America's political culture in the year of Donald Trump's failed reelection campaign. The book also explores the impact of entertainment celebrities in communications, fundraising, and campaigning to support the election of Joe Biden. Although there existed a decades-old tradition of "liberal Hollywood," Trump's ascension to the presidency in 2016 triggered an unprecedented level of engagement by artists and performers. Within days of the 2016 election, a critical mass of entertainers, from teenagers to the last survivors of the World War II generation--blockbuster movie stars, art-film auteurs, Broadway dramatists, comedians, and musicians from the worlds of classical, country, pop, rock, R&B, and hip-hop--all seemed to have heard the tom-tom beat of resistance at the same moment and amplified a moral alternative to Trumpism. That level of engagement intensified with rare passion and purpose in the period of 2020 chronicled in Bloody Crossroads 2020--the Democratic primaries, the COVID-19 pandemic, the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd, the conviction of sexual predator Harvey Weinstein, and the 2020 general election campaign--culminating in Trump's failed insurrection. Exhaustively researched, Bloody Crossroads 2020 draws from brand-new interviews with Bruce Springsteen, John Legend, Rosanne Cash, David Simon, Adam McKay, Chuck D, David Corn, Mandy Patinkin, and many more. It also explores the important political activities of entertainers like Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah, Taylor Swift, Cardi B, Alyssa Milano, Mark Ruffalo, Jane Fonda, Robert De Niro, Bette Midler, Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Ava DuVernay, Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, and Wanda Sykes. Bloody Crossroads 2020 expertly dissects and celebrates how the empowering actions of artists and entertainers helped a record turnout of everyday citizens realize a triumphant 2020 election.

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