Shakespeare in a Divided America: What His Plays Tell Us about Our Past and Future James Shapiro

Shakespeare in a Divided America: What His Plays Tell Us about Our Past and Future

Author: James Shapiro
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Book Title
Shakespeare in a Divided America: What His Plays Tell Us about Our Past and Future
Author
James Shapiro
ISBN
9780525522294
From leading scholar James Shapiro, a timely exploration of what Shakespeare's plays reveal about our divided land, from Revolutionary times to the present day The plays of William Shakespeare are rare common ground in the United States. They are read at school by almost every student, staged in theaters across the land, and long valued by conservatives and liberals alike. For well over two centuries, Americans of all stripes--presidents and activists, writers and soldiers--have turned to Shakespeare's works to explore the nation's fault lines, including such issues as manifest destiny, race, gender, immigration, and free speech. In a narrative arching across the centuries, from Revolutionary times to the present day, leading scholar James Shapiro traces the unparalleled role of Shakespeare's four-hundred-year-old tragedies and comedies in illuminating the many concerns on which American identity has turned. Reflecting on how Shakespeare has been invoked--and at times weaponized--at pivotal moments in our past, Shapiro takes us from President John Quincy Adams's disgust with Desdemona's interracial marriage to Othello, to Abraham Lincoln's and his assassin John Wilkes Booth's competing obsessions with the plays, up through the fraught debates over marriage and same-sex love at the heart of the celebrated adaptations Kiss Me, Kate and Shakespeare in Love. His narrative culminates in the 2017 controversy over the staging of Julius Caesar in Central Park, in which a Trump-like leader is assassinated. Deeply researched, and timely, Shakespeare in a Divided America reveals how no writer has been more closely embraced by Americans, or has shed more light on the hot-button issues in our history. Indeed, it is by better understanding Shakespeare's role in American life, Shapiro argues, that we might begin to mend our bitterly divided land.Binding Type: HardcoverAuthor: James ShapiroPublisher: Penguin PressPublished: 03/10/2020ISBN: 9780525522294Pages: 320Weight: 1.15lbsSize: 8.90h x 6.20w x 1.20dReview Citations: Library Journal Prepub Alert 10/01/2019 pg. 64Library Journal 12/01/2019 pg. 88Kirkus Reviews 01/01/2020Publishers Weekly 01/13/2020Booklist 02/01/2020 pg. 16
From leading scholar James Shapiro, a timely exploration of what Shakespeare's plays reveal about our divided land, from Revolutionary times to the present day

The plays of William Shakespeare are rare common ground in the United States. They are read at school by almost every student, staged in theaters across the land, and long valued by conservatives and liberals alike. For well over two centuries, Americans of all stripes--presidents and activists, writers and soldiers--have turned to Shakespeare's works to explore the nation's fault lines, including such issues as manifest destiny, race, gender, immigration, and free speech. In a narrative arching across the centuries, from Revolutionary times to the present day, leading scholar James Shapiro traces the unparalleled role of Shakespeare's four-hundred-year-old tragedies and comedies in illuminating the many concerns on which American identity has turned. Reflecting on how Shakespeare has been invoked--and at times weaponized--at pivotal moments in our past, Shapiro takes us from President John Quincy Adams's disgust with Desdemona's interracial marriage to Othello, to Abraham Lincoln's and his assassin John Wilkes Booth's competing obsessions with the plays, up through the fraught debates over marriage and same-sex love at the heart of the celebrated adaptations Kiss Me, Kate and Shakespeare in Love. His narrative culminates in the 2017 controversy over the staging of Julius Caesar in Central Park, in which a Trump-like leader is assassinated.

Deeply researched, and timely, Shakespeare in a Divided America reveals how no writer has been more closely embraced by Americans, or has shed more light on the hot-button issues in our history. Indeed, it is by better understanding Shakespeare's role in American life, Shapiro argues, that we might begin to mend our bitterly divided land.

Binding Type: Hardcover
Author: James Shapiro
Publisher: Penguin Press
Published: 03/10/2020
ISBN: 9780525522294
Pages: 320
Weight: 1.15lbs
Size: 8.90h x 6.20w x 1.20d

Review Citations: Library Journal Prepub Alert 10/01/2019 pg. 64
Library Journal 12/01/2019 pg. 88
Kirkus Reviews 01/01/2020
Publishers Weekly 01/13/2020
Booklist 02/01/2020 pg. 16
From leading scholar James Shapiro, a timely exploration of what Shakespeare's plays reveal about our divided land, from Revolutionary times to the present day

The plays of William Shakespeare are rare common ground in the United States. They are read at school by almost every student, staged in theaters across the land, and long valued by conservatives and liberals alike. For well over two centuries, Americans of all stripes--presidents and activists, writers and soldiers--have turned to Shakespeare's works to explore the nation's fault lines, including such issues as manifest destiny, race, gender, immigration, and free speech. In a narrative arching across the centuries, from Revolutionary times to the present day, leading scholar James Shapiro traces the unparalleled role of Shakespeare's four-hundred-year-old tragedies and comedies in illuminating the many concerns on which American identity has turned. Reflecting on how Shakespeare has been invoked--and at times weaponized--at pivotal moments in our past, Shapiro takes us from President John Quincy Adams's disgust with Desdemona's interracial marriage to Othello, to Abraham Lincoln's and his assassin John Wilkes Booth's competing obsessions with the plays, up through the fraught debates over marriage and same-sex love at the heart of the celebrated adaptations Kiss Me, Kate and Shakespeare in Love. His narrative culminates in the 2017 controversy over the staging of Julius Caesar in Central Park, in which a Trump-like leader is assassinated.

Deeply researched, and timely, Shakespeare in a Divided America reveals how no writer has been more closely embraced by Americans, or has shed more light on the hot-button issues in our history. Indeed, it is by better understanding Shakespeare's role in American life, Shapiro argues, that we might begin to mend our bitterly divided land.

Binding Type: Hardcover
Author: James Shapiro
Publisher: Penguin Press
Published: 03/10/2020
ISBN: 9780525522294
Pages: 320
Weight: 1.15lbs
Size: 8.90h x 6.20w x 1.20d

Review Citations: Library Journal Prepub Alert 10/01/2019 pg. 64
Library Journal 12/01/2019 pg. 88
Kirkus Reviews 01/01/2020
Publishers Weekly 01/13/2020
Booklist 02/01/2020 pg. 16