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Machinal Reading List

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Machinal Reading List

Immerse yourself in the world of Machinal with our cast and creative teams' recommended reading list.

For Her Own Good by Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English
About the book: A provocative new perspective on female history, the history of American medicine and psychology, and the history of child-rearing unlike any other.

Excerpt: "If you would get up and do something you would feel better," said my mother. I rose drearily, and essayed to brush up the floor a little, with a dustpan and small whiskbroom, but soon dropped those implements exhausted, and wept again in helpless shame.

I, the ceaselessly industrious, could do no work of any kind. I was so weak that the knife and fork sank from my hands-too tired to eat. I could not read nor write nor paint nor sew nor talk nor listen to talking, nor anything. I lay on the lounge and wept all day. The tears ran down into my ears on either side. I went to bed crying, woke in the night crying, sat on the edge of the bed in the morning and cried-from sheer continuous pain. Not physical, the doctors examined me and found nothing the matter. Read more.

Setting a Course: American Women in the 1920s by Dorothy M Brown
About the book: A synthesis of recent work and primary sources concerning the role women played in creating the changes in American society of the 1920s.

Daily Life in the United States by David E Kyvig
About the book: The twenties and thirties witnessed dramatic changes in American life: increasing urbanization, technological innovation, cultural upheaval, and economic disaster. In this fascinating book, the prize-winning historian David E. Kyvig describes everyday life in these decades, when automobiles and home electricity became commonplace, when radio and the movies became broadly popular. Find out more.

The Dollar Decade by Gary Dean Best
About the book: This book examines the underlying causes of the tumult of the 1920s in America that has since captivated writers, readers, moviegoers, and television viewers. During the 1920s, Americans were aware of the momentous changes taking place in their lives. It was an introspective decade. Magazines and newspaper articles, books and anthologies explored the causes, nature, and implications of those changes. The impact of radio, and to a lesser extent motion pictures, rivaled the effects that the invention of printing had had on human society hundreds of years earlier. Add to these developments the effects of World War I and the popularization of Freud and Darwin, and the result was an America cast adrift on a sea of normlessness, treading water between two worlds: one of stability and tradition before the war, and one as yet dimly perceived in the mists of the future. Find out more.

Sophie Treadwell's expressionist masterpiece, Machinal plays through March 2 at the American Airlines Theatre. For more information and tickets please visit our website.

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Roundabout Theatre Company Roundabout Theatre Company is a not-for-profit theatre dedicated to providing a nurturing artistic home for theatre artists at all stages of their careers where the widest possible audience can experience their work at affordable prices. Roundabout fulfills its mission each season through the revival of classic plays and musicals; development and production of new works by established playwrights and emerging writers; educational initiatives that enrich the lives of children and adults; and a subscription model and audience outreach programs that cultivate loyal audiences.