Faculty Book: Harriet Hyman Alonso
Harriet Hyman Alonso
Robert E. Sherwood: The Playwright in Peace and War
(Univ. of Massachusetts Press, 2007)
One of the nation's first film critics, an acclaimed speechwriter on his own and for President Franklin D. Roosevelt, a propagandist during World War II, and a leading producer on Broadway, Robert E. Sherwood scripted some of the most popular plays and films of his day, including Waterloo Bridge, The Best Years of Our Lives, Idiot's Delight, Abe Lincoln in Illinois, and Rebecca. His work brought him four Pulitzer Prizes and an Oscar. In this interdisciplinary political biography, which relies largely on correspondence, diaries, plays, films, and essays, the author traces Sherwood's obsession with the world of politics and its effects on his life and art. She also describes his participation in the Algonquin Round Table, his friendships and working relationships with notable actors and political figures, his two marriages, and his leadership role in the Broadway community. In the process, she illuminates major currents in U.S. foreign policy, society, and culture over the sixty years of Sherwood’s life, 1896–1955. Harriet Alonso is a professor of history at City College and the Graduate Center.
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Submitted on: DEC 1, 2007