Bruce DavisNov 8, 2022
The Academy and the Award
The Coming of Age of Oscar and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Brandeis University Press 2022
Written by the former executive director of the Academy, this is the first behind-the-scenes history of the organization behind the Academy Awards.
For all the near-fanatic attention brought each year to the Awards, the organization that dispenses those awards--the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences--has never been well-understood. The organization itself has never produced a thorough account of its birth and its touch-and-go adolescence, and the few reports on those periods from outside have always had a glancing, cursory quality. Yet the story of the Academy's birth and maturation is a critical piece of Hollywood's history. Now that story is finally being told. Bruce Davis, executive director of the Academy for over twenty years, was given unprecedented access to its archives, and the result is a revealing and compelling story of the men and women, famous and infamous, who shaped one of the best-known organizations in the world. No one has ever written about the Academy with as intimate a view of its workings, its awards, and its world-famous membership. Thorough and long overdue, The Academy and the Award: The Coming of Age of Oscar and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Brandeis UP, 2022) fills in a crucial gap in Hollywood history.
Joel Tscherne is an Adjunct History Professor at Southern New Hampshire University and an Associate Faculty member at University of Arizona Global Campus. His Twitter handle is @JoelTscherne.