On Politics and the Art of Acting

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9780670030422: On Politics and the Art of Acting
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Looks at the similarities between politics and acting, reviewing presidents of the twentieth-century and their skill as actors.

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About the Author:

One of America's greatest playwrights and foremost public intellectuals, Arthur Miller is the author of numerous works, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Death of a Salesman and The Crucible. His most recent book was Echoes Down the Corridor: Collected Essays 1944-2000.

From Library Journal:

In this very brief book, drawn from an expanded lecture, Miller, arguably America's greatest living playwright, expounds on the similarities between politics and acting. Never dull and often controversial, Miller contends that "the closer one approaches any kind of power the more acting is required." But it was not always so, as Miller notes when he compares the Lincoln-Douglas debates with the presidential debates of 2000. While all the candidates "acted," what's different today is the transmission of the event via the mass-media cameras. The camera's "reality" is different from the reality perceived by the human eye. However, what Miller does not express is an appreciation of how elections and, for that matter, governing itself have evolved with the introduction of mass media. Yes, candidates and politicians "act," feigning sincerity, but this is an adaptation necessary for survival. In his review of the modern presidents, Miller most admired FDR because he didn't see him as acting, while Reagan was the best actor because he lived the Stanislavsky method. Clinton is rated the second-best actor. Ultimately, Miller appears to lament the loss of honest and genuine politicians and the ascendance of politicians who are bad actors. He's rather idealistic when he assesses the political world, but he certainly understands human nature. Recommended for all libraries and audiences. Thomas J. Baldino, Wilkes Univ., Wilkes-Barre, PA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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