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Free Barron's Booknotes-Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller-Free Book Notes
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Death of a Salesman has frequently been written about. In the list below are two collections of essays about this play alone. All of the books should be readily available in school and community libraries.

Bentley, Eric. In Search of Theatre. New York: Knopf, 1953, pp. 84-87.

Bentley, a controversial critic and theorist, stands out among the writers critical of the play.

Clurman, Harold, ed. The Portable Arthur Miller. New York: Viking 1971.

Clurman, a noted director and an exceptional critic, knew Arthur Miller well and directed several of his plays. The Biographical Notes and Editor's Introduction are, therefore, a particularly sound source.

Corrigan, Robert W., ed. Arthur Miller: A Collection of Critical Essays. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1969.

Ten essays give a picture of the whole of Miller's theater work to the date of publication. This book is one source for Brian Parker's "Point of View in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman."

Gassner, John. "Death of a Salesman: First Impressions, 1949," in The Theatre in Our Times. New York: Crown, 1954, pp. 364-73.

One of the most distinguished American critics includes in this book two reviews of Death of a Salesman, one published just after the production opened on Broadway and the second six months later.

Hogan, Robert. Arthur Miller. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1964, Pamphlets on American Writers, No. 40.

A thoughtful, easy-to-read 45 pages that give a biographical background and discuss all of Miller's work through After the Fall.

Kazan, Elia. "Excerpts from the notebook kept in preparation for directing Death of a Salesman," Kenneth Thorpe Rowe, in A Theater in Your Head. New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1960, pp. 44-59.

These notes by the brilliant director of the original production are an exciting glimpse of the play before it became a classic.

Koon, Helene Wickham, ed. Twentieth Century Interpretations of Death of a Salesman: A Collection of Critical Essays. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1983. Eleven appreciative essays on every aspect of the play. Koon's "Introduction," Brian Parker's "Point of View in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman," and Lois Gordon's "Death of a Salesman: An Appreciation" are the most helpful.

Krutch, Joseph Wood. The American Drama Since 1918, rev. ed. New York. Random House, 1957, pp. 325-329.

A literate and humanistic American critic considers Miller and Death of a Salesman in relation to the other new plays of the time, Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire and the last plays of Eugene O'Neill.

Miller, Arthur, The Theater Essays of Arthur Miller, ed. Robert A. Martin. New York: Viking, 1978.

Miller has written extensively about the theater and his work. He is always stimulating and sometimes contradictory. Of special importance for Death of a Salesman are "Tragedy and the Common Man," "The Salesman Has a Birthday," "Introduction to the Collected Plays," and "Arthur Miller: An Interview."

Moss, Leonard. Arthur Miller, rev. ed. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1980. An exhaustive examination of Miller's work and themes, play by play, the book also includes a lengthy "Conversation with Arthur Miller."

Tynan, Kenneth, "American Blues: The Plays of Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams," in Curtains, New York: Atheneum, 1961, pp. 257-66.

An outstanding British critic views the work of the two American playwrights, with several perceptive paragraphs on Death of a Salesman.

Weales, Gerald, ed. Arthur Miller. Death of a Salesman, Text and Criticism. New York: Viking, 1967.

A rich resource book, this volume contains the text of the play and all of Miller's related essays, as well as an instructive article by Jo Mielziner, the designer of the original production, about how his ideas contributed to the final form of the play. Harold Clurman's review of the first Broadway production, "The Success Dream on the American Stage," is here, as well as psychoanalyst Daniel E. Schneider's article "Play of Dreams," an excerpt from his book, The Psychoanalyst and the Artist. Articles critical of Death of a Salesman include those by Eleanor Clark and John Gassner.

Welland, Dennis. Arthur Miller. New York: Grove Press, 1961.

A balanced and scholarly review of Miller's work, both plays and fiction, through A View from the Bridge. The chapter on Death of a Salesman fairly summarizes criticism of the play and answers the major arguments.


Situation Normal (reportage), 1944
The Man Who Had All the Luck (play), 1944
Focus (novel), 1945
All My Sons (play), 1947
An Enemy of the People (adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's play), 1951
The Crucible (play), 1953
A Memory of Two Mondays (one-act play), 1955
A View from the Bridge (one-act play), 1955
A View from the Bridge, (full length version), 1957
Arthur Miller's Collected Plays, 1957
The Misfits (screenplay), 1961
Jane's Blanket (children's story), 1963
After the Fall (play), 1964
Incident at Vichy (play), 1965
I Don't Need You Any More (short stories), 1967
The Price (play), 1968 In Russia (reportage), 1969
The Creation of the World and Other Business (play), 1973
In the Country (reportage), 1977
The Theater Essays of Arthur Miller, 1978
Chinese Encounters (reportage), 1979
Playing for Time (television play), 1980
The American Clock (play), 1980
Two by A.M. (one-act plays), 1983
Salesman in Beijing (reportage), 1984

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