Book Club Bonus Round: Shakespeare in a Divided America (James Shapiro) (2020)

Book Club Bonus Round: Shakespeare in a Divided America (James Shapiro) (2020)

Sep 9, 2020

Book Club Bonus Round: Shakespeare in a Divided America (James Shapiro) (2020)

The Colorado Shakespeare Festival is delighted to announce a bonus round to our nearly sold out summer edition of The Bard's Book Club. On Wednesday September 9, noted Shakespeare scholar and author James Shapiro will join us on Zoom to discuss his latest book, "Shakespeare in a Divided America: What His Plays Tell Us About Our Past and Future."

We have limited space for this special event. Limit 4 tickets per person. Not eligible for package or other discounts.

Purchase the book at: Boulder Bookstore | Trident Booksellers | Tattered Cover | | Amazon | Direct from Penguin Random House

About the Book (from author's website)

Read at school by almost every student, staged in theaters across the land, and long valued highly by both conservatives and liberals alike, Shakespeare's plays are rare common ground in the United States. For well over two centuries now, Americans of all stripes—presidents and activists, writers and soldiers—have turned to Shakespeare's works to address the nation's political fault lines, such as manifest destiny, race, gender, immigration, and free speech.

In a narrative arching across the centuries, James Shapiro traces the unparalleled role of Shakespeare's 400-year-old tragedies and comedies in making sense of so many of these issues on which the American identity has turned. Reflecting on how Shakespeare has been invoked—and at times weaponized—at pivotal moments in our past, Shapiro takes us from President John Quincy Adams's disgust with Desdemona's interracial marriage to Othello, to Abraham Lincoln's and his assassin John Wilkes Booth's competing obsessions with the plays, up through the fraught debates over marriage and same-sex love at the heart of the celebrated adaptations "Kiss Me, Kate" and "Shakespeare in Love." His narrative culminates in the 2017 controversy over the staging of "Julius Caesar" in Central Park, in which a Trump-like leader is assassinated.

"Shakespeare in a Divided America" shows that no writer has been more closely embraced by Americans, or has shed more light on the hot-button issues in our history. Indeed, it is by better understanding Shakespeare's role in American life, Shapiro argues, that we might begin to mend our bitterly divided land.

Questions? Email us.