Searching for John Ford

Joseph McBride

Searching for John Ford, by Joseph McBride, is a deeply insightful and impeccably documented narrative, and the epic tribute that Ford merits as the director of films like Stagecoach, The Grapes of Wrath or The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.

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‘Joseph Mcbride’s book has the sweep, passion, complexity and tragic grandeur of a great John Ford film – it should be compulsory reading.’ Martin Scorsese

John Ford’s many classic movies – among them Stagecoach, The Grapes of Wrath, The Quiet Man, The Searchers, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance – earned him worldwide praise and renown. Now Joseph McBride presents us with the definitive account of the man’s myriad complexities and contradictions, tracing Ford’s life from his modest beginnings as ‘Bull’ Feeney, the nearsighted football-playing son of Irish immigrants in Maine, to his recognition, after a long, controversial, and much-decorated career, as America’s national myth-maker. This deeply insightful and impeccably documented narrative is the epic tribute that Ford’s stature merits.


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…

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