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Lillian Hellman and August Wilson

Dramatizing a New American Identity

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Margaret Booker

This book critically discusses the works of two seemingly different and unconnected playwrights, Lillian Hellman and August Wilson. By analyzing the black presence in Hellman and its counterpart white presence in Wilson, it exposes interracial boundaries and illuminates the architecture of the new American citizen through the examination of stereotypes, the revelation of sources of ongoing racial tension, and suggested solutions. Their dramas rewrite history to reflect their political activism and espouse a shared value system that demands responsible action, equitable reward, and recognition of women and African Americans as equally valuable citizens of American society.