Shakespeare in a Divided America

James Shapiro
AUD $39.99
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From the author of 1599, a fresh perspective on the history of the United States - and a timely reminder of Shakespeare's indelible influence.

Shakespeare's position as England's national poet is established and unquestionable.

But as James Shapiro illuminates in this revelatory new history, Shakespeare has long held an essential place in American culture. Why, though, would a proudly independent republic embrace England's greatest writer? Especially when his works enact so many of America's darkest nightmares: interracial marriage, cross-dressing, same-sex love, tyranny, and assassination?

Investigating a selection of defining moments in American history - drilling into issues of race, miscegenation, gender, patriotism and immigration; encountering Presidents, activists, writers and actors - Shapiro leads us to fascinating answers and uncovers rich and startling stories.

But perhaps most pressingly, we learn how, in Trump's America, the staging of his work has provoked threats of violence and has become a battleground for freedom of speech.

Author bio:

James Shapiro is Professor of English at Columbia University, where he teaches Shakespeare. His earlier books have received international acclaim, including The Year of Lear: 1606, which won the James Tait Black Prize; A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599, which won the Samuel Johnson Prize; Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Shapiro is also the author of Oberammergau: The Troubling Story of the World's Most Famous Passion Play, Shakespeare and the Jews, and Rival Playwrights: Marlowe, Shakespeare, Jonson, and is the Editor of Shakespeare in America (Library of America). His reviews have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Times Literary Supplement, the London Review of Books, and other publications. He is on the board of directors of The Royal Shakespeare Company, and advises productions for the Public Theatre in New York and other companies. Shapiro was a collaborator on Jacobean Genius, a series he hosted for the BBC and also hosted the BBC The Mysterious Mr. Webster. In 2012 he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Category: Literature & literary studies
ISBN: 9780571338887
Publisher: Faber
Imprint: Faber Non Fiction
Pub Date: March 2020
Page Extent: 320
Format: Book
Subject: Literary studies: plays & playwrights

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