Keen to boost his flagging career, fading Hollywood action hero Jefferson Steele arrives in England to play King Lear in Stratford - only to find that this is not the birthplace of the Bard, but a sleepy Suffolk village. And instead of Kenneth Branagh and Dame Judi Dench, the cast are a bunch of amateurs trying to save their theatre from developers. Jefferson's monstrous ego, vanity and insecurity are tested to the limit by the enthusiastic am-dram thespians. As acting worlds collide and Jefferson's career implodes, he discovers some truths about himself - along with his inner Lear! "terrific comedy packed with killer comic dialogue... plenty of twists and turns" ***** Whatsonstage "Deliciously stuffed with Shakespeare...a laugh-a-minute" **** Mail on Sunday
WHAT IS IT THAT DRIVES THE SUCCESS OF AMERICA AND THE IDENTITY OF ITS PEOPLE? ACCLAIMED WRITER AND CONTRIBUTING EDITOR TO THIS AMERICAN LIFE JACK HITT THINKS IT’S BECAUSE WE’RE ALL A BUNCH OF AMATEURS. America’s self-invented tinkerers are back at it in their metaphorical garages—fiddling with everything from solar-powered cars to space elevators. In Bunch of Amateurs, Jack Hitt visits a number of different garages and has written a fascinating book that looks at America’s current batch of amateurs and their pursuits. From a tattooed young woman in the Bay Area trying to splice a fish’s glow-in-the-dark gene into common yogurt (all done in her kitchen using salad spinners) to a space fanatic on the brink of developing the next generation of telescopes from his mobile home, Hitt not only tells the stories of people in the grip of a passion but argues that America’s history is bound up in a cycle of amateur surges. Beginning with Ben Franklin’s kite and leading all the way to the current TV hit American Idol, Hitt argues that the nation’s love of self-invented obsessives has always driven the country to rediscover the true heart of the American dream. Amateur pursuits are typically lamented as a world that just passed until a Sergey Brin or Mark Zuckerberg steps out of his garage (or dorm room) with the rare but crucial success story. In Bunch of Amateurs, Hitt argues that America is now poised to pioneer at another frontier that will lead, one more time, to the newest version of the American dream.
A ghost has inhabited the Oval Office since 1945—the ghost of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. FDR's formidable presence has cast a large shadow on the occupants of that office in the years since his death, and an appreciation of his continuing influence remains essential to understanding the contemporary presidency. This new edition of In the Shadow of FDR has been updated to examine the presidency of George W. Bush and the first 100 days of the presidency of Barack Obama. The Obama presidency is evidence not just of the continuing relevance of FDR for assessing executive power but also of the salience of FDR's name in party politics and policy formulation.
The world of musicals is beautiful, complex, hilarious, hard-headed, and improbable. It is as hard to make a great musical as it is to fly a spaceship to the moon and there are at least as many moving parts. Why is a great musical as significant a theatrical achievement as, say, King Lear?In this entertaining new title in Oberon Masters Series, Ruth Leon tells all about the composers, the lyricists, the directors and the pioneers of the stage musical on both sides of the Atlantic while trying to reveal the truth behind the eternal question - what are musicals and why do we love them? ‘A whirlwind tour through musical theatre history... This book may be small but, like all the great shows about which Leon writes, it is perfectly formed’ - Jewish Chronicle ‘A slim and succinct account of the handful of 20th century musicals which, in Leon’s very well informed and experienced opinion, have changed the genre forever... I learned a great deal. Buy it.’ – The Stage ‘Light-hearted but informative... with an air of authority... is also beautifully bound: a slim, smart, slightly old-fashioned looking hardback.’ - What’s on stage.com ‘Ruth Leon has the ability to capture the essence of each musical, which is the real strength of pocket-sized hardback... a lovely little volume that will delight any devotee of this genre’ - British Theatre Guide ‘A must for any performing arts or drama student.’ - Ink Pellet
Hailed as a classic of speculative fiction, Marge Piercy’s landmark novel is a transformative vision of two futures—and what it takes to will one or the other into reality. Harrowing and prescient, Woman on the Edge of Time speaks to a new generation on whom these choices weigh more heavily than ever before. Connie Ramos is a Mexican American woman living on the streets of New York. Once ambitious and proud, she has lost her child, her husband, her dignity—and now they want to take her sanity. After being unjustly committed to a mental institution, Connie is contacted by an envoy from the year 2137, who shows her a time of sexual and racial equality, environmental purity, and unprecedented self-actualization. But Connie also bears witness to another potential outcome: a society of grotesque exploitation in which the barrier between person and commodity has finally been eroded. One will become our world. And Connie herself may strike the decisive blow. Praise for Woman on the Edge of Time “This is one of those rare novels that leave us different people at the end than we were at the beginning. Whether you are reading Marge Piercy’s great work again or for the first time, it will remind you that we are creating the future with every choice we make.”—Gloria Steinem “An ambitious, unusual novel about the possibilities for moral courage in contemporary society.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer “A stunning, even astonishing novel . . . marvelous and compelling.”—Publishers Weekly “Connie Ramos’s world is cuttingly real.”—Newsweek “Absorbing and exciting.”—The New York Times Book Review From the Trade Paperback edition.
The 9/11 tragedy is foreseen by a former Viet Nam era prisoner of war, working in the Twin Towers for a prestigious Wall Street firm. He struggles to save his friends and himself from a coming disaster he doesnt understandand to simply keep a job that is becoming more and more ethically challenging. His struggle becomes infinitely more complicated as beings from his distant, forgotten past re-emerge in his life some requesting help, some to help, and some to confound and destroy. Ultimately, modern conceptions of time, reality, human feeling and economics also find themselves under attack.
Gripping and entertaining, George V. Higgins delivers a compelling and uncomfortably realistic account of the way society and the law really function. It’s been a decade since the turbulent 60s and policeman John Richards still has to deal with a handful of leftover student radicals who continue to terrorize the Boston streets. In an effort to convict them once and for all, he liaises with ambitious lawyer Terry Gleason. Matters culminate one crisp Sunday morning when the students decide to rob the Friary, a pub in downtown Boston well-established as a site of drug-trafficking. Seven civilians are left dead in what comes to be called the Friary massacre. The trial proves nightmarish and unpredictable, not unlike the decade it took Richards and Gleason to apprehend the culprits in the first place. In a heart-stopping rendition of cops and robbers, Outlaws proves that in the Boston demimonde nothing is as it seems.
America's Culture of Professionalism proves an emerging culture of interdependence is possible if and when enough professionals and laypersons refashion their roles and relationships having both something to contribute and something to learn from each other.
An epic story of science and technology at the very limits of human understanding: the monumental race to build the first atomic weapons. Rich in personality, action, confrontation, and deception, The First War of Physics is the first fully realized popular account of the race to build humankind's most destructive weapon. The book draws on declassified material, such as MI6's Farm Hall transcripts, coded soviet messages cracked by American cryptographers in the Venona project, and interpretations by Russian scholars of documents from the soviet archives. Jim Baggott weaves these threads into a dramatic narrative that spans ten historic years, from the discovery of nuclear fission in 1939 to the aftermath of 'Joe-1,’ August 1949's first Soviet atomic bomb test. Why did physicists persist in developing the atomic bomb, despite the devastation that it could bring? Why, despite having a clear head start, did Hitler's physicists fail? Could the soviets have developed the bomb without spies like Klaus Fuchs or Donald Maclean? Did the allies really plot to assassinate a key member of the German bomb program? Did the physicists knowingly inspire the arms race? The First War of Physics is a grand and frightening story of scientific ambition, intrigue, and genius: a tale barely believable as fiction, which just happens to be historical fact.