Chris Yogerst is associate professor of communication, Department of Arts and Humanities, at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. He is author of "From the Headlines to Hollywood: The Birth and Boom of Warner Bros." (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016). His most recent book is "Hollywood Hates Hitler: Jew-Baiting, Anti-Nazism, and the Senate Investigation Into Warmongering in Motion Pictures" (University Press of Mississippi, 2020). In addition, Yogerst regularly writes for the popular press such as the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Washington Post, and the Hollywood Reporter.
The Warner Brothers
One of the oldest and most recognizable studios in Hollywood, Warner Bros. is considered a juggernaut of the entertainment industry. Since its formation in the early twentieth century, the studio has been a constant presence in cinema history, responsible for the creation of acclaimed films, blockbuster brands, and iconic superstars.
These days, the studio is best known as a media conglomerate with a broad range of intellectual property, spanning movies, TV shows, and streaming content. Despite popular interest in the origins of this empire, the core of the Warner Bros. saga cannot be found in its commercial successes. It is the story of four brothers—Harry, Albert, Sam, and Jack—whose vision for Hollywood helped shape the world of entertainment as we know it.
In The Warner Brothers, Chris Yogerst follows the siblings from their family's humble origins in Poland, through their young adulthood in the American Midwest, to the height of fame and fortune in Hollywood. With unwavering resolve, the brothers soldiered on against the backdrop of an America reeling from the aftereffects of domestic and global conflict. The Great Depression would not sink the brothers, who churned out competitive films that engaged audiences and kept their operations afloat—and even expanding. During World War II, they used their platform to push beyond the limits of the Production Code and create important films about real-world issues, openly criticizing radicalism and the evils of the Nazi regime. At every major cultural turning point in their lifetime, the Warners held a front-row seat.
Paying close attention to the brothers' identities as cultural and economic outsiders, Yogerst chronicles how the Warners built a global filmmaking powerhouse. Equal parts family history and cinematic journey, The Warner Brothers is an empowering story of the American dream and the legacy four brothers left behind for generations of filmmakers and film lovers to come.
Hollywood Hates Hitler: Jew-Baiting, Anti-Nazism, and the Senate Investigation into Warmongering in Motion Pictures2020
From the Headlines to Hollywood: The Birth and Boom of Warner Bros.2016
Awards and Recognition
- 2021-2022 Fellow: UW-Madison Institute for Research in the Humanities
Press and Media Mentions
- When the US Government Went After Anti-Nazi Hollywood
- When Democratic Senators Collaborated With American Nazis to Stop Hollywood From Taking on Hitler
- Senators are targeting Hollywood over ‘Cuties’ and China. They should avoid these mistakes.
- 100 Years Ago: How Hollywood’s Early Self-Censorship Battles Shaped the MPA. Pressures from social reformers during an "era of scandal" led the industry to self-regulate by creating the organization in 1922 and paving the way for a Production Code that impacted film content and satisfied many anti-Hollywood activists for nearly two decades.
- When Hollywood Was Punished for Its Anti-Nazism. Ken Burns' commendable new PBS doc series 'The U.S. and the Holocaust' overlooks a key Senate investigation that marked a crescendo of anti-entertainment-industry sentiment that walked hand in hand with America’s antisemitism.
- Why Brendan Fraser's Hollywood comeback story is both warming hearts and raising ire
- When Hollywood Was Punished for Its Anti-Nazism
- Orson Welles‘ ’War of the Worlds’ Broadcast: Its Ominous Echoes for a Fractured Media
- How ‘Babylon’ Chases Hollywood’s Decadent Past
- What Studio Franchises Can Learn From the Rise, Fall and Rise of the Western
- How the Warner Brothers Got Their Film Business Started