Buy Used
$6.17
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Fast Shipping - Safe and Secure Bubble Mailer!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Arthur Miller: His Life And Work Hardcover – August 14, 2003


See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover, August 14, 2003
$3.39 $0.01
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
$12.00

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Choose Your Own Autobiography
Step right into Neil Patrick Harris's shoes in an exciting, interactive autobiography that places the reader squarely in the driver's seat. Learn more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; annotated edition edition (August 14, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306812142
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306812149
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #854,131 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Former New York Post drama critic Gottfried (Sondheim) shares an illuminating and profound picture of playwright Miller. Outraged at the shameful critical disrespect heaped in recent years on the author of Death of a Salesman and All My Sons, Gottfried carefully analyzes all Miller's plays to rebut the adverse comments. An indifferent student, son of a father barely literate yet successful as a women's clothing manufacturer, Miller (b. 1915) blossomed in college and produced promising works: Final Curtain, Honors at Dawn and They Too Arise. The Jewish Miller married Catholic Mary Grace Slattery, the daughter of anti-Semitic parents, and persevered despite the failure of his first production, The Man Who Had All the Luck (1944). After this rejection, Miller consciously aimed to create a commercial hit, accomplished with All My Sons. Gottfried leads readers through the playwright's meticulous work regimen-his attention to potential titles, dialogue and scene descriptions, pointing out that it took five years, six drafts and 700 pages before Miller was satisfied with his first hit. Material about Marilyn Monroe is incorporated seamlessly throughout the text, and Gottfried refuses to unbalance his overall literary study with sensationalism. He compellingly presents the Miller/Elia Kazan artistic collaborations and doesn't avoid unflattering details (e.g., his subject's tendency toward pomposity and his tight-fisted financial attitude) but also expresses admiration for Miller's willingness to offer informer Lee J. Cobb a starring role in A View from the Bridge. (Miller discussed his plays with Gottfried, but not his life.) Only Inge Morath, Miller's third wife, remains shadowy. Fortunately, personal stories are refreshingly secondary in one of the rare books that makes the playwriting process comprehensible and consistently involving.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From The New Yorker

At the mid-century moment when psychological realism, moral seriousness, and progressive politics formed our dominant literary aesthetic, the Broadway success of "All My Sons" catapulted Miller to fame, not just as a playwright but as an exemplar: the intellectual as superstar, mighty enough to engage the country's conscience, sexy enough to make Marilyn Monroe his bride. Gottfried traces Miller's development from his family's devastation in the 1929 stock-market crash through his leftist indoctrination at the University of Michigan and his literary ascendancy and shows a man emotionally remote and professionally sanctimonious, who complained, for instance, that audiences were supposed to "think, not weep" at "Death of a Salesman." While Miller's own interest in psychology doubtless encourages such biographical scrutiny, the dutiful Ping-Ponging between life and writings unfortunately amplifies the sense of the playwright's self-involvement and mutes the sense of his achievement.
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Keith Carlsen on June 13, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Arthur Asher Miller is famous, as this book's back cover sums up, for three things: his own body of work, his defiance of the House Un-American Activities Committee in the mid-1950s, and his marriage to "the most famous of movie stars" (Gottfried's quote), namely Marilyn Monroe.
In his own country, Miller is, also as Gottfried says, unappreciated to the point of scorn. My only disappointment with this work-and it is a fine book-is that he does not explore this aspect of Miller's relationship to the "vox populi", whom his work, like that of Rockwell and Springsteen, is supposed to relate to. My own observation is that one's attitude to Miller-as playwright, as 'Mr.Marilyn Monroe', as human being-often is, like an artificial horizon indicator of one's own sociopolitical attitudes. Those listing to port will invariably uphold Miller as the great conscience of his generation whilst those heading starboard will dismiss him pretty perfunctorily as merely another "Intellectual", in the vein of those figures of derision Paul Johnson deftly skewers in his volume of that title.
Actors, or those considering themselves as such, place Miller's work on a great pedestal, and the technical merits of his work are considerable and generally undisputed. However,Miller's sense of life, so to speak, is not essentially noble, but essentially fatalist and indifferent.
Miller, personally, despite his wealth, critical success, and longevity-he's still working at 88-is not a figure one wants to view sympathetically, and I certainly do not. He left his first wife and ran off with a very public movie star whom he had ample reason to know would be very high maintenance, and, like an intricately built exotic car in the hands of a teenager, didn't maintain her well at all.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By B. A Varkentine on March 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the best of Gottfried's books that I have read since the oversized Broadway Musicals volume of the '70s. I found his Fosse book exploitative and his life of Danny Kaye defensive.

Miller was once the ultimate playwright and perhaps unique as one known as a personality. Gottfried walks a sword's edge between academic appreciation of his works and biographical information, highlighting the places where one informs the other.

The book is the poorer because Miller chose not to cooperate with its biographical aspects. Thus, the title is a little unbalanced (it should almost be: His life and WORK). It also shares with the author's otherwise classy biography of George Burns the unavoidable flaw of having been written before the subjects death. You can see Gottfried straining a bit for an ending on the last page--how to tie up the mysteries of his subject into a neat little paragraph?

But this makes engaging reading for theatre-goers, and is highly recommended for struggling playwrights, actors, etc.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on November 17, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Expertly written by award-winning drama critic and biographer Martin Gottfried, Arthur Miller: His Life And Work is the exhaustive and superbly presented biography of the award winning American playwright, and knowledgeably examines his life and his theatrical creations in close detail. A wealth of information and insight into one man's life and his timeless, century-defining plays set Arthur Miller: His Life And Work quite apart among notable and worthy biographies. No academic or community library American Theater History or American Biography collection can be complete without the inclusion of Arthur Miller: His Life And Work.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Lias on March 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover
There are 2 factual errors in this book. "Anna Christie" was NOT written by August Strindberg, and John Kennedy was not shot and klilled on November 23. Mess up things that a high school kid should be able to catch, and it casts doubt on other things.

It doesn't mean the book isn't a good read, but how could such obvious errors make it into print? And why is wife #3 of such little focus? She was married to the man for 40 years! More than the other two combined.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Anne Salazar on March 29, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book appeared to be so dense and so detailed that I was tempted to skim a lot of it, but in the end I found it to be passionate as well as inviting. Especially in its favor, the book refrains from being pawning. It's too bad it ended so soon because it makes Miller's life abruptly come to a complete stand-still with no end in sight.

Arthur Miller is another so-called genius who turns out to be cold and self-righteous. He didn't attend either his mother's or his father's funerals because he "already had other plans" for those days (which were years apart). Additionally, he appears either stupid or oblivious to the feelings of human beings which goes beyond hubris and even conceit. He showed little to no empathy for his parents as well as his children, his wives, and many of his friends and contemporaries. Oh, and let's not forget what would appear to be total disregard to a son who is born with Down Syndrome and never again mentioned by Miller, even in his autobiography.

He also appears to have forgotten about his brother whom he considers a fool for not forging ahead with his own plans and career in lieu of caring for his parents. He even blamed his father for his own down-fall in the depression for being a working man in the first place. He showed no pity for him since he described his father, and other working men, as "never having expected to have a destiny" in the first place, and who "die of boredom". I have read a lot of biographies but this is the only time I have read quotes such as those.

How Arthur Miller became such a snob isn't clear. Lots of artists sense their calling at a young age and strive for recognition and to make a living at it, but most of them are not as callous as it seems he was.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?