Schulman reminds us that the academy has often been less progressive than its members would like us to believe ... Amid such stories of ignorance and failure, and of posturing and power, Schulman offers a real history of real people whose actions had consequences, for better and worse.
The drama, as Mr. Schulman shows in his richly entertaining, deeply researched history, often has been more compelling than anything in a multiplex ... Mr.Schulman...deep-dives into key moments that take the reader from the earliest days of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to the present day. More crucially, Mr. Schulman’s book chronicles how the Academy stumbled through the 20th century’s rapid cultural changes with little grace or fellow feeling ... The author takes great delight in pointing out that, in terms of the quality of the films recognized, the Oscars have gotten it all wrong more often than not ... Some of these episodes are familiar. But Mr. Schulman has seemingly interviewed everyone, and even these oft-told tales are decked out with fascinating details ... A lot to love.
Endlessly fascinating ... the highly detailed stories function like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, each revealing part of the bigger picture. The author,... clearly knows his subject, and his enthusiasm is thoroughly contagious.