Reading literature may be key to the development of empathy and societal awareness. Billy J. Stratton, Professor of American Literature and Culture at the University of Denver, comments on America’s shock over Hollywood’s sexual misconduct scandals.

“Recent revelations about Hollywood’s culture of sexual harassment and violence might come as a surprise to many Americans…

People familiar with the industry might tell a more complicated story. That group includes writers who have made Los Angeles and Hollywood their subjects: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nathanael West, Evelyn Waugh, Gore Vidal, Joan Didion and Bret Easton Ellis. All have chronicled a seamier side of the California dream, a world awash with drugs, sex, violence and abuses of power.

So how did so many of us miss this? Could it have anything to do with the fact Americans who read literature recently fell to a three-decade low?…

Billy J. Stratton

READ MORE: Literature has Long Been Sounding the Alarm About Sexual Violence in Hollywood | The Good Men Project

Related Reading

The Long, Steady Decline of Literary Reading | The Washington Post

Reading & Awareness


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