George Bernard Shaw, In His Own Words

On July 5, 1880, a 23 year old George Bernard Shaw quit his day job at the telephone company to become a full time writer.  The result is a body of work that includes novels, short stories, and (most notably) plays that address a variety of serious social issues, though always with a comical slant. Before we meet the man himself, you can watch this discussion of the man’s life and work on Theater Talk:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ws-oNJaCxes[/youtube]

 

Now, take a look at the Bernard Shaw himself, as he appeared in news reel footage from his first visit to the United States:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40VegR6uaTI[/youtube]

 

On a later visit, he didn’t hesitate to share his feelings about how we Americans should have taken his advice:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0Pk0NUiw2o[/youtube]

 

Bernard Shaw’s political views were not always easy for others to accept, like this time when he defended Hitler’s actions in Germany:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mW-iy-9m9SU[/youtube]

 

Or this time, when he discussed his views on capital punishment:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-Ljkoh_vmE[/youtube]

 

But he had a manner about him, a certain wit, that came through in his work and made it very appealing to a world-wide audience.  The man always knew how to get a laugh. Just watch this toast he makes in Albert Einstein’s honor:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TIt0ITM_RM[/youtube]

 

If you’re interested in seeing Bernard Shaw’s work performed (drama is meant to be performed more than read, after all), then check out these full-length films.

Caesar and Cleopatra (1948)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9ELYjU7qvI[/youtube]

 

Pygmalion (1938)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfZRWi7aLm4[/youtube]

Ever heard the story of how Andrew Carnegie transformed the American public library system? Have a listen to the latest episode of Annotated:
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