Scott Eyman

Oct 31, 2023

Charlie Chaplin vs. America

When Art, Sex, and Politics Collided

Simon & Schuster 2023

The remarkable, must-read story of Charlie Chaplin’s years of exile from the United States during the postwar Red Scare, and how it ruined his film career, from bestselling biographer Scott Eyman.

Bestselling Hollywood biographer and film historian Scott Eyman tells the story of Charlie Chaplin’s fall from grace. In the aftermath of World War Two, Chaplin was criticized for being politically liberal and internationalist in outlook. He had never become a US citizen, something that would be held against him as xenophobia set in when the postwar Red Scare took hold.

Politics aside, Chaplin had another problem: his sexual interest in young women. He had been married three times and had had numerous affairs. In the 1940s, he was the subject of a paternity suit, which he lost, despite blood tests that proved he was not the father. His sexuality became a convenient way for those who opposed his politics to condemn him. Refused permission to return to the US from a trip abroad, he settled in Switzerland, and made his last two films in London

In Charlie Chaplin vs. America: When Art, Sex, and Politics Collided (Simon & Schuster, 2023), bestselling author Scott Eyman explores the life and times of the movie genius who brought us such masterpieces as City Lights and Modern Times. This is a perceptive, insightful portrait of Chaplin and of an America consumed by political turmoil.

Scott Eyman was formerly the literary critic at The Palm Beach Post and is the author or coauthor of sixteen books, including the bestseller John Wayne and You Must Remember This with actor Robert Wagner. Eyman also writes book reviews for The Wall Street Journal, and has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Chicago Tribune. He and his wife, Lynn, live in West Palm Beach.

Daniel Moran earned his B.A. and M.A. in English from Rutgers University and his Ph.D. in History from Drew University. The author of Creating Flannery O’Connor: Her Critics, Her Publishers, Her Readers and articles on G. K. Chesterton and John Ford, he teaches research and writing at Rutgers and co-hosts the podcast Fifteen-Minute Film Fanatics, found here on the New Books Network and on X.

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Daniel Moran

Daniel Moran earned his B.A. and M.A. in English from Rutgers University and his Ph.D. in History from Drew University. The author of Creating Flannery O’Connor: Her Critics, Her Publishers, Her Readers, he teaches research and writing at Rutgers and co-hosts the podcast Fifteen Minute Film Fanatics.

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