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State of the Union Summary
Howard Lindsay

Everything you need to understand or teach State of the Union by Howard Lindsay.

  • State of the Union Summary & Study Guide

State of the Union Summary

Introduction

Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse first staged their Pulitzer Prize—winning play State of the Union in 1945 and published it a year later. The play was inspired by events of the time. Following World War II, which ended in 1945, global politics became a concern of many American citizens, as the play indicates. Issues of declining relations with the Soviet Union, atomic weapons, and America's inclusion in the newly formed United Nations are mentioned at various points in the play, which explores the various underhanded and dubious political methods that candidates use to get elected president of the United States. The two playwrights wrote the work after a friend, Helen Hayes, suggested they write a play about a presidential candidate.

In the play, that candidate is Grant Matthews, a self-made businessman who is very popular with the public for his strong and controversial views—and who at least one...

(read more from the Study Guide)

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