David Mamet has been described as the greatest living American playwright of his generation and the quintessential American writer for his work as author, essayist, playwright and screenwriter. 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 represents a landmark study of one of the great writers and directors of our time. Detailing Mamet's ideas on writing, acting and directing, Nadel provides an insightful and authoritative guide to the genesis, text and productions of many of his plays and screenplays. Beginning with his Chicago origins, the work goes on to cover Mamet's 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.