Steven Spielberg is the director or producer of over one third of the thirty highest grossing films of all time, yet most film scholars dismiss him as little more than a modern P. T. Barnum--a technically gifted and intellectually shallow showman who substitutes spectacle for substance. To date, no book has attempted to analyze the components of his worldview, the issues which animate his most significant works, the roots of his immense acceptance, and the influence his vast spectrum of imaginative products exerts on the public consciousness.
In Citizen Spielberg, Lester D. Friedman fills that void with a systematic analysis of the various genres in which the director has worked, including science fiction (E.T.), adventure (Raiders trilogy), race films (The Color Purple, Amistad), and war films (Saving Private Ryan, Schindler’s List). Friedman concludes that Spielberg’s films present a sustained artistic vision combined with a technical flair matched by few other filmmakers, and makes a compelling case for Spielberg to be considered as a major film artist.