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Brooks Atkinson

  • American critic
  • Born November 28, 1894
  • Died January 14, 1984

Justin Brooks Atkinson (November 28, 1894 – January 14, 1984) was an American theatre critic. He worked for The New York Times from 1922 to 1960. In his obituary, the Times called him "the theater's most influential reviewer of his time." Atkinson became a Times theater critic in the 1920s and his reviews became very influential. He insisted on leaving the drama desk during World War II to report on the war, he received the Pulitzer Prize in 1947 for his work as the Moscow correspondent for the Times.


After each war there is a little less democracy to save.




In every age 'the good old days' were a myth. No one ever thought they were good at the time. For every age has consisted of crises that seemed intolerable to the people who lived through them.




It seems not to have been written. It is the quintessence of life. It is the basic truth.




The most fatal illusion is the narrow point of view. Since life is growth and motion, a fixed point of view kills anybody who has one.




There is no joy so great as that of reporting that a good play has come to town.




Don't be condescending to unskilled labor. Try it for a half a day first.




People everywhere enjoy believing things that they know are not true. It spares them the ordeal of thinking for themselves and taking responsibility for what they know.




It takes most men five years to recover from a college education, and to learn that poetry is as vital to thinking as knowledge.




Good plays drive bad playgoers crazy.




Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past. Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go.



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