The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America

The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America


The oral history of Angels in America, told by artists who created it and audiences forever changed by it-a moving account of the AIDS era, essential queer history, and an exuberant backstage tale

When Tony Kushner's Angels in America hit Broadway in 1993, it won the Pulitzer Prize, swept the Tonys, and changed the way gay lives were represented in popular culture. Mike Nichols' 2003 HBO adaptation starring Meryl Streep, Mary-Louise Parker, and Al Pacino was itself a tour de force, winning 11 Emmys and introducing the play to an even wider public. This generation-defining classic continues to shock, move, and inspire viewers worldwide.

Now, on the 25th anniversary of that Broadway premiere, Isaac Butler and Dan Kois offer the definitive account of Angels in America in the most fitting way possible: through oral history, nearly 200 voices in vibrant conversation and debate. The intimate storytelling of actors (including Streep, Parker, Jeffrey Wright, and Nathan Lane), directors, producers, and Kushner himself reveals the turmoil of the play's birth-a hard-won miracle in the face of artistic roadblocks, technical disasters, and disputes both legal and creative. And historians and critics help to situate the play in the arc of American culture, from the staunch activism of the AIDS crisis through civil-rights triumphs to our current era, whose politics are a dark echo of the Reagan '80s. The World Only Spins Forward is both a rollicking theater saga and an uplifting testament to one of the great works of American art of the past century, from its gritty San Francisco premiere to the starry revival that electrified London in 2017.

Read & Download Book Online
Title:The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America
Edition Language:English
Format Type:PDF | Epub | Mobi | iBook
4.2 of 5 stars (Votes: 1174)

The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America Related Books

    The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America Reviews

  • Doug

    4.5, rounded up. Considering I read this over 400 page book in less than 24 hours, it would be disingenuous of me to give it anything less than 5 stars. There are definite problems with both the book ...

  • Jill Meyer

    There are very few theatrical productions that both recount the change of history and make that recount a change in itself. "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes" by Tony Kushner is on...

  • Jeff

    Oral histories are eminently bingeable. Like binge-until-you're-queasyworthy. But most of the oral histories I've read have been about subjects like Saturday Night Live, full of gossip and anecdots ab...

  • Lorri Steinbacher

    Compelling oral history that highlights just how strongly this play affected the people involved in the various productions of it, the audiences, and the world at large. Its continuing impact cannot b...

  • Jeff Santilli

    I absolutely loved this book and could reread it immediately. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in theatre and its creation. The interviews revealed new layers of meaning and ways of t...

  • Monica

    A brilliant, sprawling, entertaining oral history of a brilliant, sprawling, entertaining play phenomenon. And I say this not just because I’m quoted in it....

  • Kari

    My first book of the year, and it was a great one. It was so fascinating to read about the birth and ascent of my all-time favorite play. ...

  • Alyssa Lentz

    Wow, I enjoyed this SO MUCH. It really opened up elements of the play for me that I didn't fully understand before and communicated how much of an impact it had. I loved the oral history format and I ...

  • CarolineFromConcord

    The authors of this history of "Angels in America" (a seven-hour play now 25 years old) and the world from which it grew interviewed scores of people and organized their often powerful words in script...

  • Kevin

    Theater director Isaac Butler and writer/editor Dan Kois have created a compelling, surprising and inspiring oral history of Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, "Angels in America." They weave...