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Reginald Rose (Author)

David Mamet (Introduction)

Twelve Angry Men (Penguin Classics)

Twelve Angry Men (Penguin Classics)

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A landmark American drama that inspired a classic film and a Broadway revival—featuring an introduction by David Mamet

A blistering character study and an examination of the American melting pot and the judicial system that keeps it in check, 
Twelve Angry Men holds at its core a deeply patriotic faith in the U.S. legal system. The play centers on Juror Eight, who is at first the sole holdout in an 11-1 guilty vote. Eight sets his sights not on proving the other jurors wrong but rather on getting them to look at the situation in a clear-eyed way not affected by their personal prejudices or biases. Reginald Rose deliberately and carefully peels away the layers of artifice from the men and allows a fuller picture to form of them—and of America, at its best and worst.
After the critically acclaimed teleplay aired in 1954, this landmark American drama went on to become a cinematic masterpiece in 1957 starring Henry Fonda, for which Rose wrote the adaptation. More recently,
Twelve Angry Men had a successful, and award-winning, run on Broadway.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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Editorial Reviews

"Twelve Angry Men" stands as a cornerstone of American drama, leaving an indelible mark that transcends generations. Reginald Rose's masterpiece, both a scorching character study and a probing examination of the American judicial system, pulsates with a profound faith in the nation's legal framework. This edition, introduced by David Mamet, reaffirms the enduring relevance and impact of this iconic play.

At its heart, the narrative revolves around Juror Eight, the lone dissenter in an initial 11-1 guilty vote. Rather than aiming to prove his fellow jurors wrong, Eight seeks to strip away the veils of personal prejudices and biases, urging them to view the situation with unclouded eyes. Rose meticulously unveils the layers of artifice, offering a compelling portrait not only of the jurors but also of America at its zenith and nadir.

Originally aired as a critically acclaimed teleplay in 1954, "Twelve Angry Men" subsequently achieved cinematic greatness in the 1957 film adaptation starring Henry Fonda. Rose's adept adaptation earned accolades and later found success on Broadway, garnering awards and accolades. This enduring drama remains a testament to the complexities of justice, inviting audiences to confront the intricacies of human nature and the legal system that seeks to maintain equilibrium in the American melting pot. -- Starry Ferry Books

About the Author

Reginald Rose (1920–2002) won three Emmy awards for television writing as well as an Oscar for the movie adaptation of Twelve Angry Men.

David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1984. Mamet is also the author ofWriting in Restaurants and On Directing Film, both available from Penguin.

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