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Eugene O'Neill's America – Desire Under Democracy - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Eugene O'Neill's America: Desire Under Democracy

John Diggins


In the face of seemingly relentless American optimism, Eugene O'Neill's plays reveal an America many would like to ignore, a place of seething resentments, aching desires, and family tragedy, where failure and disappointment are the norm and the American dream a chimera. Though derided by critics during his lifetime, his works resonated with audiences, won him the Nobel Prize and four Pulitzer, and continue to grip theatergoers today. This biography both traces O'Neill's tumultuous life and explains the forceful ideas that form the heart of his unflinching works. The book paints a richly detai ... More

Keywords: American optimism, Eugene O'Neill, failure, disappointment, American dream, Nobel Prize, Pulitzer, Greenwich Village, radical, autodictat

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2007 Print ISBN-13: 9780226148809
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226148823.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

John Diggins, author