Arthur Miller's classic parable of mass hysteria draws a chilling parallel between the Salem witch-hunt of 1692 - 'one of the strangest and most awful chapters in human history' - and the American anti-communist purges led by Senator McCarthy in the 1950s. The story of how the small community of Salem is stirred into madness by superstition, paranoia and malice, culminating in a violent climax, is a savage attack on the evils of mindless persecution and the terrifying power of false accusations. A depiction of innocent men and women destroyed by malicious rumour, The Crucible is also a powerful indictment of McCarthyism and the 'frontier mentality' of Cold War America.
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(198mm x 129mm x 8mm)
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
Miller's chilling classic of collective paranoia and retribution, widely interpreted as a critique of Hoover's hysterical hunt for Communists in post-war America. In 1692, the forces of revenge and superstition envelop the town of Salem, Massachusetts, and eventually even the most upstanding and innocent of townspeople are forced to confess to witchcraft and denounce one another to save their own lives, as the hysterical fantasies of a group of young girls run wildly out of control. (Kirkus UK)
US Kirkus Review » This is more than merely the text of the drama now playing on Broadway. The playwright has inserted, as main characters are introduced, brief biographical bits; he has an introduction on the historical accuracy of the play, and considerable descriptive matter on Salem and the villagers and the customs of the times. All of this adds considerably to the understanding of the play itself- sets the key and the mood. With this additional material the play makes particularly good reading. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Arthur Miller
American dramatist Arthur Miller was born in New York City in 1915. In 1938 Miller won awards for his comedy The Grass Still Grows. His major achievement was Death of a Salesman, which won the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for drama and the 1949 New York Drama Critics' Circle Award. The Crucible was aimed at the widespread congressional investigation of subversive activities in the US; the drama won the 1953 Tony Award. Miller's autobiography, Timebends: A Life was published in 1987.