One of the most important theater autobiographies of the 1980s, Elia Kazan: A Life
, has finally been released in paperback. The extra decade adds to the book's poignancy and its value: a history of backstage personalities and politics in the 20th century is included in this release. Elia Kazan was a founding member of the Group Theatre, was among those shouting "Strike! Strike!" on the legendary opening night of Waiting for Lefty
, directed the two greatest Broadway dramas ever--Death of the Salesman
and A Streetcar Named Desire
--and earned countless other credits, but he also played a flawed role in the greatest real-life moral drama of his era: the McCarthy Communist witch hunts of the 1950s. Kazan offered names to the House Un-American Activities Committee. He cut his conscience to fit the fashion of the time, and his conscience continues to bleed. Though this book is framed, like so much of Kazan's best stage and film work, as a lifelong search for man's proper relationship to society, the book serves as a massive explanation and apologia for Kazan's one monumental lapse. He lived his life intensely, a life in which a single word could transform you, where a misdeed might be "never forgotten or forgiven." Such were the times, and Kazan captures them with appropriate drama.
From Publishers Weekly
According to PW , "flashes of sudden insight or eloquence keep the reader turning the pages of Kazan's garrulous autobiography." His expansive memoir makes no apologies for his decision to name names during the McCarthy era, and includes cutting portraits of Lillian Hellman and Arthur Miller, as well as glimpses of Odets, Cagney, Bankhead, Monroe, Brando, Goldwyn and dozens more. Photos.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.