The March of Time and the American Century
Gilbert, James B
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The March of Time and the American Century examines the content and ideological orientation of the The March of Time, a documentary film series produced by Time Inc., between 1935 and 1951. The March of Time dealt with a vast array of topics during its production, with nearly half of its 208 films examining foreign affairs and the American role in the world. In its analysis of American domestic life and society, The March of Time proved to be moderately reformist, while maintaining a conservative, sentimental view of the nature of American life, reflecting the values of small-town, middle class America. The March of Time participated fully in the raucous 1930s ideological debates about the definition of America and Americanism, a decade that saw deep intellectual divisions between left and right and the use of patriotic symbology and the techniques of mass communication to define a distinct vision of America. In addition, The March of Time represented an important step in the evolution of modernism in America, creating a new documentary form based on the mechanical reproduction of reality.