That is the new and excellent book by Jonathan Buchsbaum, offering the first comprehensive history of the debates over free trade and the “cultural exception,” as it has been called. It is thorough, readable, and goes well beyond the other sources on this topic.
To be sure, I disagree with Buchsbaum’s basic stance. He views “advertising dollars” as something attached to Hollywood movies like glue, giving them an unassailable competitive advantage, rather than an endogenous response to what viewers might wish to watch. The notion that French or other movie-makers could possibly thrive by innovating and exploring new quality dimensions seems too far from his thought. And he writes sentences such as: “France sought quickly to regulate multiplex development,” yet without wincing.
Perhaps his best sentence is the uncharacteristic: “Other commentators during the 1980s observed wryly that the only real European films were U.S. films, for only U.S. films succeeded in crossing borders in Europe.”
He spends a fair amount of time criticizing me, usually a positive feature in a book. Furthermore, he delivers very strongly on the basic history and narrative, and draws upon a wide variety of sources. So this one is definitely recommended to anyone with an interest in these topics.