Arthur Miller: American Witness

Arthur Miller: American Witness

by John Lahr
Arthur Miller: American Witness

Arthur Miller: American Witness

by John Lahr


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A great theater critic brings twentieth-century playwright Arthur Miller’s dramatic story to life with bold and revealing new insights
“Lahr’s cogent analyses are revelatory. . . . He does not reduce the work to the life, but shows how it explains the life from which it emerges.”—Willard Spiegelman, Wall Street Journal
New Yorker critic Lahr shines in this searching account of the life of playwright Arthur Miller. . . . It’s a great introduction to a giant of American letters.”—Publishers Weekly
Distinguished theater critic John Lahr brings unique perspective to the life of Arthur Miller (1915–2005), the playwright who almost single-handedly propelled twentieth-century American theater to a new level of cultural sophistication. Organized around the fault lines of Miller’s life—his family, the Great Depression, the rise of fascism, Elia Kazan and the House Committee on Un-American Activities, Marilyn Monroe, Vietnam, and the rise and fall of Miller’s role as a public intellectual—this book demonstrates the synergy between Arthur Miller’s psychology and his plays.
Concentrating largely on Miller’s most prolific decades of the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, Lahr probes Miller’s early playwriting failures; his work writing radio plays during World War II after being rejected for military service; his only novel, Focus; and his succession of award-winning and canonical plays that include All My Sons, Death of a Salesman, and The Crucible, providing an original interpretation of Miller’s work and his personality.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300234923
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 11/01/2022
Series: Jewish Lives
Pages: 264
Sales rank: 1,098,594
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

John Lahr has been a contributor to the New Yorker since 1991, where for twenty-one years he was its senior drama critic. He is the author of eighteen books, including Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography. He is the first critic to win a Tony Award, for coauthoring Elaine Stritch at Liberty.

Table of Contents

1 Meeting Miller 1

2 Beginnings 18

3 Stirrings 37

4 The Greasy Pole 52

5 Passion for Ignorance 71

6 All the Wild Animals 98

7 Collisions 123

8 Blonde Heaven 142

9 Love's Labour's 158

10 Darkness Visible 174

Epilogue 197

Notes 203

Acknowledgments 235

Index 239

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