Jacqueline R. Braitman

Nov 2, 2023

She Damn Near Ran the Studio

The Extraordinary Lives of Ida R. Koverman

University Press of Mississippi 2020

In this episode, I am happy to be interviewing historian and author Dr. Jacqueline R. Braitman about her very engaging biography, She Damn Near Ran the Studio: The Extraordinary Lives of Ida R. Koverman (University Press of Mississippi, 2020).

This very detailed and comprehensively researched book tells the story of Ida Koverman, whose life was almost accidentally remarkable. She was not only Louis B. Mayer’s gatekeeper at MGM for over two decades but also a major mover and shaker in the conservative wing of the California Republican party throughout the first half of the twentieth century. Coming from humble beginnings in Ohio, when Ulysses S. Grant was president, Koverman worked tirelessly to elect Herbert Hoover to the White House. In addition, she made a remarkable contribution to American culture, scouting and nurturing the iconic stars of the future at MGM, while also acting as a spokesperson for the studio and its relationship to the politicians of the day.

In this interview, Dr. Braitman describes how she came to admire Ida Koverman, whose politics are far to the right of the author’s views, and how she was met with surprises throughout the years-long process of writing She Damn Near Ran the Studio.

I hope you’ll join me for this engaging and informative conversation with Dr. Jacqueline R. Braitman.

Bruce Shapiro is a recently retired professor of theater at several universities, primarily in the areas of drama, directing and acting.

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Bruce Shapiro

Bruce Shapiro has been a professor of theater and English at several universities, primarily in the areas of drama, directing and acting.

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