- Brooks Atkinson
Justin Brooks Atkinson (
November 28, 1894– January 14, 1984) was an American theatre critic. He worked for " The New York Times" from 1925 to 1960. In his obituary, the "Times" called him "the most important reviewer of his time."
Atkinson was born in
Melrose, Massachusetts, where as a boy he printed his own newspaper (using movable type), and planned a career in journalism. He graduated from Harvard Universityin 1917, and worked at " The Springfield Daily News" and the " Boston Evening Transcript", where he was assistant to the drama critic. In 1922, he became the editor of the "New York Times Book Review", and in 1925 the drama critic.
Atkinson quickly became known for his commitment to new kinds of theatre—he was one of the first critical admirers of
Eugene O'Neill—for his interest in all kinds of drama, including off-Broadwayproductions, and for his wit. In 1928, he said of the new play " The Front Page", "No one who has ground his heels in the grime of a police headquarters press room will complain that this argot misrepresents the gentlemen of the press." Atkinson had covered the police beat for the "Evening Transcript".
His reviews were reputed to have the power to make or break a new stage production: for example, his panning in 1940 of
Lawrence Riley's "Return Engagement" led to that comedy's closure after only eight performances, this despite the fact that Riley's previous comedy, "Personal Appearance", had lasted for over 500 performances on Broadway.
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941, Atkinson attempted to enlist in the Navy, but was refused. He requested a reassignment to war coverage, and the "New York Times" sent him to the front lines as a war correspondent in
China, where he covered the war with Japanuntil 1945. While in China, he visited Mao Tse-Tungin Yenanand was captivated by Mao, writing favorably on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) movement, and against the Nationalist government of Chiang Kai-Shek, which he saw as reactionary and corrupt. After visiting Yenan, he wrote that the CCP political system was best described as an "agrarian or peasant democracy, or as a farm labor party." [Knightley, Phillip, "The First Casualty: The War Correspondent as Hero and Myth-Maker from the Crimea to Iraq", JHU Press (2004), ISBN 0801880300, 9780801880308, p. 303] [Shewmaker, Kenneth E., "Americans and Chinese Communists, 1927-1945: A Persuading Encounter", Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press (1971) ISBN: 080140617X] Atkinson viewed the Chinese Communist Party as Communist in name only and more democratic than totalitarian; the Times effusively titled his article "Yenan, a Chinese Wonderland City". [Knightley, Phillip, "The First Casualty: The War Correspondent as Hero and Myth-Maker from the Crimea to Iraq", JHU Press (2004), ISBN 0801880300, 9780801880308, p. 303] [Shewmaker, Kenneth E., "Americans and Chinese Communists, 1927-1945: A Persuading Encounter", Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press (1971) ISBN: 080140617X]
After the end of the war, Atkinson stayed only briefly in New York before being sent to
Moscowas a press corespondent; his work as the Moscow correspondent for the Times earned him a Pulitzer Prizein 1947.
After returning from the
Soviet Union, Atkinson was reassigned to the drama desk, where he remained until his retirement in 1960. He is given much credit for the growth of Off-Broadway into a major theatrical force in the 1950s, and has been cited by many influential people in the theatre as crucial to their careers. David Merrick's infamous spoof ad for " Subways Are For Sleeping"—in which he hired seven ordinary New Yorkers who had the same names as prominent drama critics to praise his musical—had to wait for Atkinson's retirement, because Merrick could not find anyone with the right name. There was only one Brooks Atkinson in New York City.
Atkinson came briefly out of retirement in 1965 to write a favorable review of "
Man of La Mancha"; his review was printed on the first page of the show's original souvenir program.
In 1960, the Mansfield Theatre in New York was renamed
Brooks Atkinson Theatrein his honor.
*"Brooks Atkinson, 89, Dead; Key Voice in Drama 31 Years." "The New York Times",
January 15, 1984.
* [http://www.brooks-atkinson.com Brooks Atkinson Theatre] Broadway, New York, NYThe Brooks Atkinson Papers are held by the Billy Rose Theatre Division of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.
* [http://www.nypl.org/research/manuscripts/the/atkinson.xml Guide to the Brooks Atkinson Papers, 1904-1980.]
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Brooks Atkinson — Justin Brooks Atkinson (* 28. November 1894 in Melrose, Massachusetts; † 14. Januar 1984 in Huntsville, Alabama) war ein US amerikanischer Theaterkritiker der New York Times zwischen 1925 und 1960. Da die „first line critics“ in Manhattan… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Brooks Atkinson Theatre — showing A Moon for the Misbegotten, 2007 The Brooks Atkinson Theatre is a Broadway theater located at 256 West 47th Street in Manhattan. Designed by architect Herbert J. Krapp, it was constructed as the Mansfield Theatre by the Chanin brothers in … Wikipedia
Atkinson (surname) — Atkinson is a surname, and may refer to:* Al Atkinson, American football player * Alan Atkinson, Australian Rules footballer * Alfred Atkinson, British soldier * Anthony Barnes Atkinson, British economist * Arthur Atkinson, Fictional character… … Wikipedia
Atkinson — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Al Atkinson (* 1943), US amerikanischer Footballspieler Alia Atkinson (* 1988), jamaikanische Schwimmerin Anthony Atkinson (* 1944), britischer Ökonom Archibald Atkinson (1792–1872), US amerikanischer… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Atkinson, Brooks — (1894 1984) Born in Melrose, Massachusetts, the son of a journalist, Justin Brooks Atkinson was educated at Harvard University, then worked as a reporter for the Springfield Daily News and taught English at Dartmouth College. Atkinson served… … The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater
Atkinson — [at′kin sən] (Justin) Brooks [brooks] 1894 1984; U.S. journalist & drama critic … English World dictionary
Atkinson County — Verwaltung US Bundesstaat: Georgia Verwaltungssitz: Pearson Adresse des Verwaltungssitzes: Atkinson County P. O. Box 518 Pearson, Georgia 31642 0518 Gründung: 15. August 1917 … Deutsch Wikipedia
Brooks County (Georgia) — Verwaltung US Bundesstaat: Georgia Verwaltungssitz: Quitman Adresse des Verwaltungssitzes: Brooks County Administration P.O. Box 272 Quitman, Georgia 31643 0272 Gründung: 11. Dezember … Deutsch Wikipedia
Atkinson — /at kin seuhn/, n. 1. Sir Harry Albert, 1831 92, New Zealand statesman, born in England: prime minister 1876 77, 1883 84, 1887 91. 2. (Justin) Brooks, 1894 1984, U.S. drama critic, journalist, and author. 3. Theodore Francis (Ted), born 1916, U.S … Universalium
Atkinson — /at kin seuhn/, n. 1. Sir Harry Albert, 1831 92, New Zealand statesman, born in England: prime minister 1876 77, 1883 84, 1887 91. 2. (Justin) Brooks, 1894 1984, U.S. drama critic, journalist, and author. 3. Theodore Francis (Ted), born 1916, U.S … Useful english dictionary