Robert Emmet Sherwood

Robert Emmet Sherwood, 1896–1955, American dramatist, b. New Rochelle, N.Y., grad. Harvard, 1918. After serving in World War I, he wrote for Vanity Fair and Life, serving as editor of the latter from 1924 to 1928. His first play, the historical comedy The Road to Rome (1927), was an immediate success. It was followed by The Love Nest (1927), Waterloo Bridge (1930), and Reunion in Vienna (1931), a nostalgic comedy of the exiled Hapsburgs. His next plays—The Petrified Forest (1935), a melodrama set in the Arizona desert; Idiot's Delight (1936; Pulitzer Prize), an antiwar drama; and There Shall Be No Night (1940; Pulitzer Prize), about the Russian invasion of Finland—depict a civilization on the brink of disaster. Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1938; Pulitzer Prize), one of his most notable efforts, concerns Lincoln's early years. During World War II, Sherwood was director of overseas operations in the Office of War Information and a speech writer for President Franklin D. Roosevelt. On the basis of the papers of Harry Hopkins he wrote a memoir, Roosevelt and Hopkins (1948; Pulitzer Prize), one of the most important documents on World War II. Sherwood also adapted Jacques Deval's comedy Tovarich (1936); wrote film scripts, including The Best Years of Our Lives (1946); and completed Philip Barry's last play, Second Threshold (1951).

See biographical studies by J. M. Brown (1965; ed. by N. Cousins, 1970), and W. J. Meserve (1970).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Abe Lincoln in Illinois: A Play in Twelve Scenes
Robert Emmet Sherwood.
Charles Scribner's Sons, 1939
There Shall Be No Night
Robert E. Sherwood.
Scribner, 1940
Idiot's Delight
Robert Emmet Sherwood.
Scribner, 1936
The Petrified Forest
Robert Emmet Sherwood.
Scribner, 1936
The Queen's Husband
Robert Emmet Sherwood.
C. Scribner's Sons, 1928
The Writer Observed
Harvey Breit.
World Publishing, 1956
Librarian’s tip: "Robert E. Sherwood" begins on p. 39
The Theatre Guild Anthology
The Board Of Directors Of The Theatre Guild.
Random House, 1936
Librarian’s tip: "Reunion in Vienna" by Robert Emmet Sherwood begins on p. 755
105 Greatest Living Authors Present the World's Best Stories, Humor, Drama, Biography, History, Essays, Poetry
Whit Burnett.
Dial Press, 1950
Librarian’s tip: "Robert Sherwood" begins on p. 204
Cyclopedia of World Authors
Frank N. Magill; Dayton Kohler.
Harper & Row, 1958
Librarian’s tip: "Robert E. Sherwood" begins on p. 976
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