Synopsis: "With the publication of "Lena Horne: The M-G-M Years", cinema historian Stephen Burne begins in 1942 when Lena Horne became the first black actress and movie star to sign a long-term contract with M-G-M, one of Hollywood's top studios. M-G-M then transformed Lena into a movie goddess after initial uncertainties of how to employ her talents on screen at a time when African Americans were greatly discriminated against with whole chains of movie theaters in the South refusing to run any films with black actors in a too prominent a role.
Critique: Succinct, fascinating, detailed, and featuring a section of b/w historic photos, "Lena Horne: The M-G-M Years" is a 'must' for the legions of Lena Horne fans, for Hollywood cinema historians, and anyone with an interest in the evolution of black actors in the 20th Century movie business. While a very strongly recommended pick for community and academic library Theatre/Cinema/History and African American Biography collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Lena Horne: The M-G-M Years" is also readily avalable from BearManor Media in a digital book format (Kindle, $32.00).
Editorial Note: Stephen Bourne (https://stephenbourne.co.uk/books) is a writer, film and social historian specializing in black heritage and gay culture. He graduated from the London College of Printing with a bachelor's degree in film and television in 1988, and in 2006 received a Master of Philosophy degree at De Montfort University for his dissertation on the subject of the representation of gay men in British television drama. In 2017 he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by London South Bank University for his contribution to diversity.