Make My Day

Movie Culture in the Age of Reagan

Acclaimed media critic J. Hoberman’s masterful and majestic exploration of the Reagan years as seen through the unforgettable movies of the era

“[A] suave, scholarly tour de force.” —A. O. Scott, The New York Times, on The Dream Life

The third book in a brilliant and ambitious trilogy, celebrated cultural and film critic
J. Hoberman’s Make My Day is a major new work of film and pop culture history. In it he chronicles the Reagan years, from the waning days of the Watergate scandal when disaster films like Earthquake ruled the box office to the nostalgia of feel-good movies like Rocky and Star Wars, and the delirium of the 1984 presidential campaign and beyond.

Bookended by the Bicentennial celebrations and the Iran-Contra affair, the period of Reagan’s ascendance brought such movie events as Jaws, Apocalypse Now, Blade Runner, Ghostbusters, Blue Velvet, and Back to the Future, as well as the birth of MTV, the Strategic Defense Initiative, and the Second Cold War.

An exploration of the synergy between American politics and popular culture, Make My Day is the concluding volume of Hoberman’s Found Illusions trilogy; the first volume, The Dream Life, was described by Slate’s David Edelstein as “one of the most vital cultural histories I’ve ever read”; Film Comment called the second, An Army of Phantoms, “utterly compulsive reading.” Reagan, a supporting player in Hoberman’s previous volumes, here takes center stage as the peer of Indiana Jones and John Rambo, the embodiment of a Hollywood that, even then, no longer existed.


“Hoberman spurns easy 1980s nostalgia to map the grey zone where politics and pop culture meet.”
—Danny Leigh, Financial Times
“Rigorous, scholarly. . . . For readers seeking an insightful, academic meditation on the relationship between media and sociopolitical issues.”
Library Journal

News and Reviews

Publishers Weekly

“Intelligent, insightful … a convincing case for the benefits of engaging critically with seemingly trivial popcorn movies.”


Books by J. Hoberman

An Army of Phantoms
American Movies and the Making of the Cold War

J. Hoberman

The Dream Life
Movies, Media, and the Mythology of the Sixties

J. Hoberman

Goodreads Reviews