Unmasking Frank Capra

By Joseph McBride

“There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches.”
— Ray Bradbury

Joseph McBride’s 1992 biography Frank Capra: The Catastrophe of Success was described by Barry Gewen in The New York Times Book Review as “Masterly, comprehensive, and frequently surprising.” What readers did not know then was how arduous it was to reveal the hidden truth about this iconic American figure. While McBride was researching and writing for more than seven years, he was fighting a pitched legal battle with his original publisher and allies of the celebrated film director. Frankly is McBride’s revealing, harrowing, often darkly comical account of that Kafkaesque but ultimately successful struggle.

Joseph McBride’s many other books include biographies of John Ford and Steven Spielberg, three studies of Orson Welles, and an investigation of the murders of President John F. Kennedy and Officer J. D. Tippit. McBride is a professor in the School of Cinema at San Francisco State University.

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Behind the Scenes with Joseph McBride and Frank Capra here.

About the Author

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Joseph McBride was born in Milwaukee and educated at Marquette University High School and the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He lives in Berkeley, California, and is a professor in the Cinema Department at San Francisco State University.

McBride is the author of seventeen previous books, including biographies of Frank Capra, John Ford, and Steven Spielberg; three books on Orson Welles; and Into the Nightmare: My Search for the Killers of President John F. Kennedy and Officer J. D. Tippit.

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