Congressional Theatre: Dramatizing McCarthyism on Stage, Film, and Television

Overview

Congressional Theatre is the first book to identify and examine the significant body of plays, films, and teleplays that responded to the actions of the House Committee on Un-American Activities during the "show business hearings" it held between 1947 and 1960. Among the writers discussed are Arthur Miller, Bertolt Brecht, Lillian Hellman, Maxwell Anderson, Elia Kazan, Barrie Stavis, Herman Wouk, Eric Bentley, Saul Levitt, Budd Schulberg, Carl Foreman, Abraham Polonsky, and ...

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Overview

Congressional Theatre is the first book to identify and examine the significant body of plays, films, and teleplays that responded to the actions of the House Committee on Un-American Activities during the "show business hearings" it held between 1947 and 1960. Among the writers discussed are Arthur Miller, Bertolt Brecht, Lillian Hellman, Maxwell Anderson, Elia Kazan, Barrie Stavis, Herman Wouk, Eric Bentley, Saul Levitt, Budd Schulberg, Carl Foreman, Abraham Polonsky, and Walter Bernstein.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"congressional Theatre is nevertheless a juicy addition to the historiography of the second red scare..." The Journal of American History

"For students of this era and those concerned about the impact of politics upon art, this is essential." Library Journal

Library Journal
The tactics of the House Committee on Un-American Activities mesmerized the public and created a political fervor now known as "McCarthyism"--although Sen. Joseph McCarthy did not serve on this particular investigative committee. Artists took a strong interest in the proceedings, particularly since many of their own were called upon to testify or were objects of suspicion. Murphy (English, Univ. of Connecticut) explains the social, political, and historical contexts of the McCarthy era, providing riveting slices of testimony and examples of its often stunning after-effects. She also gives a detailed overview of the hearings that pertained to literary and show business figures. In response to the hearings, dramatists and screenwriters produced a body of work (including The Crucible, Joan of Lorraine, and Galileo, among others) either directly about the hearings or rife with analogous references to the atmosphere of the time. Murphy discusses these works in relation to their individual historical content and in terms of their references to McCarthyism. For students of this era and those concerned about the impact of politics upon art, this is essential. For libraries with large scholarly arts collections.--Carol J. Binkowski, Bloomfield, NJ Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments; Introduction; Part I. The Committee and the Culture: 1. The stage is set; 2. The social drama; 3. Dramatizing directly; Part II. Making Analogies: 4. Witch hunt; 5. Inquisition; 6. Informers; 7. Forensics; Conclusion; Notes; Screen credits; Television and radio credits; Index.

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