Author, essayist, playwright, and screenwriter, David Mamet is often referred to as the quintessential American writer. His works are known for their clever and terse dialogue and have earned him a Pulitzer Prize for Glengarry Glen Ross and Oscar nominations for House of Games as well as The Spanish Prisoner, Wag the Dog, and The Verdict. This comprehensive biography uses extensive theater and film archives to reveal in detail his ideas on writing--including the genesis for many of his plays--acting, and directing. Beginning with his Chicago origins, the work goes on to cover his relationship to Judaism, his reputation for machismo, as well as discussions of and excerpts from early plays and stories that have never before been referenced in print. Also included are interviews with key actors and directors such as William H. Macy, Mike Nussbaum, Robert Brustein, and Neil Pepe.