Silent Film and the Triumph of the American Myth is a broad cultural study that connects the rise of film to the rise of America as a cultural center and world power in the twentieth century. Cohen argues that through the medium of film, America was able to sever its literary and linguistic ties to Europe, assert its cultural independence, and forge a unique form of cultural expression. Silent films drew on elements developed in popular forms of representation like photography, landscape panoramas, and vaudeville performance to create a medium that more accurately represented the American experience.

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