Arthur Miller voiced the hopes and fears of ordinary Americans

The celebrated playwright was born 100 years ago today in Harlem, New York

Anyone fortunate enough to have met dramatist Arthur Miller, who was born 100 years ago today in Harlem, New York, Playwright Arthur Miller with wife Marilyn Monroe. File photograph: Keystone/Getty Imagesinvariably agrees he was a warm, regular guy: no airs and graces, possessed of a sense of humour, a handshake that could inspire confidence and a profound understanding of the problems facing his country, a diverse multicultural society at war with itself.

In common with Nobel Literature laureate Saul Bellow, who, born in June 1915, was a few months older and died some six weeks after him in 2005, Miller was the son of immigrants.

Whereas being Jewish was central to Bellow’s work, which took as its prevailing theme the Jew attempting to assimilate in the United States, Jewishness did not dominate Miller’s art – although he was very Jewish in speech and manner despite having lived in Connecticut for more than 50 years.

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By Eileen Battersby | October 17, 2015


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