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John Ford's classic films - such as Stagecoach, The Grapes of Wrath, How Green Was My Valley, The Quiet Man , and The Searchers - earned him worldwide admiration as America's foremost filmmaker, a director whose rich visual imagination conjured up indelible, deeply moving images of our collective past. Joseph McBride's Searching for John Ford surpasses all previous biographies of the filmmaker in its depth, originality, and insight. Encompassing and illuminating Ford's myriad complexities and contradictions, McBride traces the trajectory of Ford's life from his beginnings as 'Bull' Feeney, the nearsighted, football-playing son of Irish immigrants in Portland, Maine, to his recognition, after a long, controversial, and much-honoured career, as America's national mythmaker. Blending lively and penetrating analyses of Ford's films with an impeccably documented narrative of the historical and psychological contexts in which those films were created, McBride has at long last given John Ford the biography his stature demands.
Joseph McBride is a film historian and associate professor in the Cinema department at San Francisco State University. His many books include Searching for John Ford, Frank Capra: The Catastrophe of Success, Steven Spielberg: A Biography, Hawks on Hawks, Whatever Happened to Orson Welles?: A Portrait of an Independent Career, as well as the critical studies John Ford (1974, with Michael Wilmington) and Orson Welles.