Dramatist in America: Letters of Maxwell Anderson, 1912-1958

By Laurence G. Avery; Maxwell Anderson | Go to book overview

My trip to England and No. Africa was full of sights and sounds--too numerous to mention. I learned a lot--so much that I may not be able to write a play. A playwright shouldn't know what's really going on. He's palsied by reality.

We're all well. I'm twice a grandfather. 2 Terry's in New Mexico in an air corps ground crew. Al's a top sergeant in This Is the Army Co. and going shortly to England or Africa. 3 Quentin is teaching in Columbia. Hesper's almost nine--started a diary today.

As ever Max

1.
Anderson's brother, who lived in Des Moines, Iowa.
2.
Quentin's daughter, Martha Haskett, was born February 22, 1942; and Alan's son, Alan, Jr., was born February 22, 1943.
3.
This Is The Army, a musical review assembled by Irving Berlin and produced by the government for the Emergency War Relief Fund, had opened in New York on July 4, 1942.

128. TO THE PLAYWRIGHTS' COMPANY

[New City]
October 21, 1943

An Open Letter to THE PLAYWRIGHTS' COMPANY: 1

The greatest need of The Playwrights' Company at present is a vigorous and vehement opposition to President S. N. (synonym mad) Behrman, recently re-elected for a third term and obviously campaigning for a fourth. In his mad reach for power, we can be certain that he will let nothing stand in his way. This may be our last opportunity to speak freely. At the last Playwrights' session, President B. remarked to me that if I dared lift a voice against his candidacy, my words would be torn from their context and twisted in such a way as to destroy me. "I rely," said the power-swollen President, "on your inexperience in political chicane, your noble nature and your innate decency. I shall destroy you." Gentlemen, this is our President. I tremble for our democratic principles. Every argument used by Behrman in favor of a third term is equally applicable to a fourth, a fifth, a sixth! Is there to be a Behrman dynasty?

-182-

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