Summer 1940 • Vol. II No. 3 Book ReviewsJuly 1, 1940 |

The Modern Temper in an Aisle Seat

THE AMERICAN DRAMA SINCE 1918: An Informal History. By Joseph Wood Krutch. Random House. $2.50 This book tells the story of the New York theater, from the Washington Square Players and the early Provincetown to the present group of better Broadway playwrights, Mr. O’Neill, Mr. Anderson, Mr. Behrman and the rest. Mr. Krutch has seen nearly all the plays he describes during their first runs. He has been identified with this theater from the beginning. His taste, apparently, was formed by it; and he shows little interest either in other theaters, the French for instance, or in contemporary poetry, fiction, or criticism. He intends, he says, to offer "some critical evaluation" as well as a history; but he lacks, I think, the necessary perspective, and his book is interesting chiefly as a rationalization of the taste of highbrow Broadway. In his introductory chapter, "The New American Drama and the European Tradition," Mr. Krutch traces the genealogy of our contemporary playwrigh

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