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Synopsis

Films that dramatize historical events and the lives of historical figures-whether they are intended to educate or to entertain—play a significant role in shaping the public's understanding of the past. In The Hollywood History of Science and Technology, A. Bowdoin Van Riper focuses on the dramatized portrayals of a particular group of historical figures—scientists, engineers, and inventors—that have appeared on American film and television screens. This volume analyzes individual portrayals, the public images of particular scientists and inventors, and the ideas about science and technology that, collectively, they represent. In this first in-depth study of how historic scientists and inventors have been portrayed on screen, Van Riper catalogs nearly 300 separate performances and includes essays on the screen images of more than 80 historic scientists, inventors, engineers, and medical researchers. The individuals covered include Isaac Newton, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Dian Fossey, and Bill Gates. Arranged chronologically by the subject's date of birth, entries for each individual explain their major contributions to science and technology, analyze the ways in which they've been portrayed in film and on television, and conclude with a complete list of screen portrayals and a discussion of suggestions for further reading. The Hollywood History of Science and Technology will be of interest to anyone concerned with the depiction of historical events and historical figures in film and television, and to anyone interested in the public understanding of science and technology.

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