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Arranged chronologically, these writings take the reader on a whirlwind tour of modern history: the Nazi war crimes trials, Vietnam, Watergate, the Balkan conflict and even President Clinton´s infamous liaison with Monica Lewinsky. From his personal experience, Miller writes passionate discourses on censorship and the death penalty, and Swiftian satire on the McCarthy witch-hunts; records his meeting with Nelson Mandela; and assesses the lasting impact of the Depression on an American generation.
The essays are also a remarkable record of Miller´s views on theatre, including discourses on the origins of modern drama, the nature of tragedy, what makes plays endure, and theatre in Russia and the US. They give eloquent expression to his belief in ´the theatre as a serious business, one that makes or should make man more human, which is to say, less alone´.
This collection features selected essays from three earlier publications: Echoes Down the Corridor, The Theatre Essays of Arthur Miller and The Crucible in History. The volume is edited and features a new introduction by Matthew Roudané, Regents Professor of American Drama at Georgia State University.
´Arthur Miller understands that serious writing is a social act as well as an aesthetic one, that political involvement comes with the territory. A writer´s work and his actions should be of the same cloth, after all. His plays and his conscience are a cold burning force.´ Edward Albee