Author: Robert Kolker
Original publication date: 1980

You've read about the drugs and other counter-culture happenings of the great American males of movies with books like Easy Riders, Raging Bulls—now let Robert Kolker, professor at the University of Maryland, walk you through a dense but rewarding critical analysis of the films of the lonely men: Penn, Kubrick, Scorsese, Spielberg, Stone, Altman, and, in the recent edition, Fincher.

With a steady eye on the sordid and violent political machinations of the '60s, '70s, and '80s, Kolker fixes these filmmakers at the heart of the American film canon. He also takes a nice, long detour through Rambo country, to talk about the ugliness of American action pictures and the conservative fixation on the lone strongman who will save us.

The dressing down of Steven Spielberg's perpetual nostalgia machine is worth the cover price alone. RS