Best Of

Best Book by a Local Author


In 2008, former Entertainment Weekly executive editor Mark Harris made his literary debut with the absorbing bestseller Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood, which traced the trajectory of 1968’s diverse, paradigm-shifting “Best Picture” field (Bonnie and Clyde, The Graduate, Doctor Dolittle, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, and eventual winner In the Heat of the Night). Pictures at a Revolution evinced the same industry literacy and cultural sensitivity that have made Harris’s recent Oscar coverage for Grantland such essential reading. For his follow-up, however, Harris decided to burrow even deeper into the past to outline the story of how the lives and careers of five Hollywood giants — Frank Capra, John Ford, John Huston, George Stevens, and William Wyler — were profoundly altered by the onset of World War II. Every bit as diligently researched as Pictures, Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War charts everything from Ford’s on-the-ground experiences on Midway Island to Huston’s time in the Aleutians, and it does so with the kind of vigor and attention to character that should appeal both to general readers and to discerning film-history buffs.

Archive Highlights