Under the direction of a five-foot redheaded firecracker, Hallie
Flanagan, the Federal Theater Project managed to turn a WPA relief
program into a platform for some of the most inventive and cutting-edge
theater of its time. This daring experiment by the U.S. government in
support of the arts electrified audiences with exciting, controversial
productions. Plays like Voodoo Macbeth and The Cradle Will Rock
stirred up politicians by defying segregation and putting the spotlight
on social injustice, and the FT P starred some of the greatest figures
in twentieth-century American arts-including Orson Welles, John
Houseman, and Sinclair Lewis. Susan Quinn brings to life the politics of
this desperate era when FDR, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the chain-smoking
idealist Harry Hopkins furiously improvised programs to get millions of
hungry, unemployed people back to work. Quinn's compelling story of
politics and idealism reaches a dramatic climax with the rise of Martin
Dies and the House Un-American Activities Committee, which turned the
FTP into the first victim of a Red scare that would roil the nation for
the next twenty years.
About Susan Quinn
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Published February 1, 2011
by Walker Books.
History, Arts & Photography, Political & Social Sciences, Humor & Entertainment.