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History on Film/Film on History

History on Film/Film on History

Robert Rosenstone

Feb 2006, Paperback, 200 pages
ISBN13: 9780582505841
ISBN10: 0582505844
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Fictional films tell true historical stories…

Film and History is a compelling and unique overview of the cinema and its relationship with history, ranging from the ancient world to the modern day.

This is the first book of its kind to offer such a broad historical and theoretical portrayal of the rapidly-growing sub field of history and film.

Rosenstone introduces the varieties, types and traditions of historical films made worldwide and sets this against the changing ways in which historians and other public critics debate the portrayal of history in modern film.

1. History on Film

2. To See the Past

3. Mainstream Drama

4. Innovative Drama

5. Documentary

6. Telling Lives

7. Film maker/ Historian

8. Engaging the Discourse

9. Film on History


  • Detailed examination of different types of films – American, European, Mexican and Soviet – made in different political systems and climates, supports the theoretical ideas in the book
  • Chapter on recent Holocaust films shows how they present a wide ranging understanding of those horrific events
  • Analysis of October, Eisenstein’s masterpiece on the Bolshevik revolution, in the context of the best written histories on the topic
  • Chapter on Oliver Stone demonstrates why he is a brilliant historian of the Vietnamera
  • Rosenstone is both a respected scholar in this field and also a participant in several major film projects, which allows him to unite the perspectives of both film maker and historian

Professor Robert A Rosenstone of the California Institute of Technology is currently the leading scholar in the world in the controversial and growing field of history and film. He was the historical consultant on Warren Beatty's Academy Award winning film Reds.

Rosenstone is the Founding Editor of Rethinking History: The Journal of Theory and Practiceand his other publications include Crusade of the Left: The Lincoln Battalion in the Spanish Civil War (1969), Mirror in the Shrine: American Encounters with Meiji Japan(1988), King of Odessa (2003), and The Man Who Swam Into History (2005). He also wrote the award winning Romantic Revolutionary (1975) upon which the film Reds was based.

" is timely that a prominent American historian has taken a critical look at history on film..."

" important book that should be read and discussed."

Taylor Downing, History Today, September 2006