New Book: Inside the Hollywood Fan Magazine

Anthony Slide's Inside the Hollywood Fan Magazine: A History of Star Makers, Fabricators, and Gossip Mongers provides the definitive history of a little known artifact. The book charts the development of the fan magazine from the golden years when Motion Picture Story Magazine and Photoplay first appeared in 1911 to its decline into provocative headlines and titillation in the 1960s and afterward.

Today, fan magazines such as People and US Weekly are quickly dismissed as publicity tools or fluff journalism. But, the American fan magazine represents a fascinating and indispensable chapter in journalism and popular culture.

Slide discusses how the fan magazines dealt with gossip and innuendo, and how they handled nationwide issues such as Hollywood scandals of the 1920s, World War II, the blacklist, and the death of President Kennedy. Fan magazines thrived in the twentieth century, and they presented the history of an industry in a unique, sometimes accurate, and always entertaining style.

This major cultural history includes a new interview with 1970s media personality Rona Barrett, as well as original commentary from a dozen editors and writers. Also included is a chapter on contributions to the fan magazines from well-known writers such as Theodore Dreiser and e. e. cummings. The book is enhanced by an appendix documenting some 268 American fan magazines and includes detailed publication histories.

Slide lives in Studio City, California, and is an independent scholar who has published more than seventy-two books on popular entertainment. He has been a specialist appraiser of entertainment memorabilia for more than thirty years, an associate archivist for the American Film Institute, and the resident film historian of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Inside the Hollywood Fan Magazine is now available from UPM.