Miller, Kazan and Naming Names

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Sep 5 08:50:23 MDT 2003


>
> speaking of which, i just noticed there is a play opened last nite
> "Trumbo" starring Nathan Lane, who will perform thru Sept 21. i'd like
> to go see this, if other NYC area folks are interested, let me know.
>
>   http://www.nytimes.com/2003/09/05/arts/theater/05TRUM.html?8hpib


I may be up on this. Back in 1959 or so when I was a naive
anti-Communist existentialist back in high school, I read an exchange of
letters in Esquire magazine that I can still remember today. Thanks to
the miracles of Lexis-Nexis, I have something of the details. All I can
say is that despite identifying with Allen politically and being a big
fan of his late night TV show (the grandaddy of Carson, Letterman et
al), Trumbo struck me as much more principled and much funnier. Will try
and track down the exchange, even though the book is not in the Columbia
library. It is priceless.

Buffalo News (New York)
February 16, 1997, Sunday, FINAL EDITION

HEADLINE: STEVE ALLEN SHARES HIS TRIVIAL PURSUITS

BYLINE: KENNETH YOUNG; News Book Reviewer

BUT SERIOUSLY . . . :

Steve Allen Speaks His Mind
By Steve Allen
Prometheus Books
392 pages, $ 24.95

This might better be titled "Steverino Rants and Raves," as the author
pontificates on a truly astonishing array of subjects, taking the moral
high ground in excerpts from various speeches, book introductions,
published articles, letters and other items not currently justifying
their shelf space, recycled here potluck and with no apparent raison
d'etre other than to make a buck.

Despite the questionable literary motivation in this dog's breakfast,
there are a few tasty tidbits culled from Allen's prolific output. (He
has written more than 45 books.) Chief among these are "The Happy Jack
Fish Hatchery Papers" -- a hilarious exchange of letters between Allen
and Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo in a teapot tempest over
Allen's questioning the propriety of Trumbo's hosting a political
fund-raiser in his home for Los Angeles mayoral candidate Tom Bradley.
Allen felt that Bradley's conservative opponents might capitalize on
Trumbo's reputation as a communist.

(clip)

--

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