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Arthur Miller

Christopher Bigsby

4 Reviews

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Biography: arts & entertainment, Prose: non-fiction

Biography of one of the greatest of modern playwrights, Arthur Miller (1915-2005).

This is the long-awaited biography of one of the twentieth century's greatest playwrights whose postwar decade of work earned him international critical and popular acclaim.

Arthur Miller was a prominent figure in American literature and cinema for over sixty years, writing a wide variety of plays - including The Crucible, A View from the Bridge, All My Sons and Death of a Salesman - which are still performed, studied and lauded throughout the world.

Born in 1915 to moderately affluent Jewish-American parents, Miller wrote during a fascinating time in American history. The Great Depression was a period of deprivation for many that left an indelible mark on the national psyche and, like many, Miller found hope for the beleaguered common man in Communism. The Second World War elevated the common man to war hero, but when the Cold War subsequently began, the ugly elements of American conservatism freely persecuted writers and artists who had embraced Communism.

Miller was among them. His refusal to give evidence against others to the notorious House Un-American Activities Committee in 1956 gave him a heroic role to play. In that same year, Arthur Miller momentously married the young actress Marilyn Monroe, a marriage that remains famous to this day.

Christopher Bigsby's gripping, meticulously researched biography, based on boxes of papers made available to him before Miller's death, offers new insights into their marriage and sheds new light on how their relationship informed Miller's subsequent great plays.

After his death in 2005, many respected actors, directors and producers paid tribute to Miller, calling him 'the last great practitioner of the American stage'. Christopher Bigsby's supremely authoritative biography does full justice to Miller's life and art.

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Praise for Arthur Miller

  • as definitive as we are likely to get - SUNDAY TIMES - Bryan Appleyard

  • he reveals the many sides of this iconic writer - DAILY EXPRESS

  • I doubt if we shall be getting a better biography than this. - SUNDAY TELEGRAPH - Nicholas Bagnall

  • brilliantly crafted...beautifully written and painstakingly researched - GUARDIAN - Aimee Shalan

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Christopher Bigsby

Christopher Bigsby is Professor of American Studies at the University of East Anglia, and is Director of the Arthur Miller Centre there.

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