The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America

The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America

The oral history of Angels in America, told by artists who created it and audiences forever changed by it-a moving account of the AIDS era, essential queer history, and an exuberant backstage tale When Tony Kushner's Angels in America hit Broadway in 1993, it won the Pulitzer Prize, swept the Tonys, and changed the way gay lives were represented in popular culture. Mike Nic The oral history of Angels in America, told by artists who created it and audiences forever changed by it-a moving ac...

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Title:The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America
Author:Isaac Butler
Rating:
Genres:Nonfiction
ISBN:The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America
ISBN
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:448 pages pages

The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America Reviews

  • Simon
    May 09, 2018

    4.5, rounded up. Considering I read this over 400 page book in less than 24 hours, it would be disingenuous of me to give it anything less than 5 stars. There are definite problems with both the book AND its subject, but structuring over 250 oral interviews into a consistently informat...

    I got through >400 pages in 26ish hours, so this gets 5 stars. The World Only Spins Forward is an oral history of the context, inception, premiere, and legacy of Tony Kushner's Angels in America, with the contributions of many people who have been involved with and touched by thi...

    The book is an absolutely essential aid to reading the play. On a personal note (I live in the area, and was doing theatre at the time), it also included a section about the notorious Charlotte Rep production in the mid-90s. People interviewed include Perry Tannenbaum, longtime drama c...

  • Don
    Jul 17, 2018

    4.5, rounded up. Considering I read this over 400 page book in less than 24 hours, it would be disingenuous of me to give it anything less than 5 stars. There are definite problems with both the book AND its subject, but structuring over 250 oral interviews into a consistently informat...

    I got through >400 pages in 26ish hours, so this gets 5 stars. The World Only Spins Forward is an oral history of the context, inception, premiere, and legacy of Tony Kushner's Angels in America, with the contributions of many people who have been involved with and touched by thi...

    The book is an absolutely essential aid to reading the play. On a personal note (I live in the area, and was doing theatre at the time), it also included a section about the notorious Charlotte Rep production in the mid-90s. People interviewed include Perry Tannenbaum, longtime drama c...

    Oral histories are eminently bingeable. Like binge-until-you're-queasyworthy. But most of the oral histories I've read have been about subjects like Saturday Night Live, full of gossip and anecdots about a subject I know a lot about. Angels in America, on the other hand, I'm only s...

    The authors of this history of "Angels in America" (a seven-hour play now 25 years old) and the world from which it grew interviewed scores of people and organized their often powerful words in script form. It was challenging to keep track of who the speakers were, and I kept flipping ...

    There are very few theatrical productions that both recount the change of history and make that recount a change in itself. "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes" by Tony Kushner is one such production. Appearing in the mid-1980's and continuing to this day, Kushner's p...

    Compelling oral history that highlights just how strongly this play affected the people involved in the various productions of it, the audiences, and the world at large. Its continuing impact cannot be overstated. The structure of the book is excellent: interviews with the actors, dire...

    If you are reading, working on a production, or planning to see "Angels in America" this book will be helpful. I did gain some insight into some of the themes and the structure of the plays. But the structure of the BOOK was a bit chaotic. It was like being in a large room with a bunch...

    I absolutely loved this book and could reread it immediately. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in theatre and its creation. The interviews revealed new layers of meaning and ways of thinking about the play, and made me even more excited to see it again. ...

    This was honestly one of the most pleasurable reading experiences of my life, like eavesdropping on a conversation at a dinner party. Or randomly sitting next to someone you've long-admired on a plane. This book made me want to go out and create. ...

    I flew through this book. For anyone who is interested in theatre and the creative process - writing, directing, acting - it's all here in a riveting oral history. It's something I'm sure I'll come back to again. ...

    I loved the wide range of voices and themes in this oral history, a beautiful and moving tribute to the greatest American play of all time. It?s impossible for me to be objective about something I love so much, but this is a fascinating dive into the complexities of the play?s evol...

    A brilliant, sprawling, entertaining oral history of a brilliant, sprawling, entertaining play phenomenon. And I say this not just because I?m quoted in it. ...

    My first book of the year, and it was a great one. It was so fascinating to read about the birth and ascent of my all-time favorite play. ...

    A sweeping portrait, impeccably assembled and endlessly moving & inspiring. ...

    Wow, I enjoyed this SO MUCH. It really opened up elements of the play for me that I didn't fully understand before and communicated how much of an impact it had. I loved the oral history format and I think it really benefitted from the different perspectives throughout. I also thought ...

    I literally highlighted half of this book on my Kindle. And I have a paper copy. It's fine. ...

    " hate America, Louis. I hate this country. It?s just big ideas, and stories, and people dying, and people like you. The white cracker who wrote the national anthem knew what he was doing. He set the word 'free' to a note so high nobody can reach it. That was deliberate. Nothing on E...

    Theater director Isaac Butler and writer/editor Dan Kois have created a compelling, surprising and inspiring oral history of Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, "Angels in America." They weave together the recollections of more than 240 actors, playwrights, critics, theater ins...

    Like the Angel crashing through the ceiling at the end of Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, heralding that "the great work begins," so too could Angels in America be said to have arrived on the scene of contemporary American theatre, forever coloring and changing what could be ...

    Having seen the Broadway revival of the 2-part play this winter, it was an especially great time to read this book. When I first saw the plays on tour in the 90s it was the most theatrical play I'd ever seen, and it still holds that title. This book takes a deep dive into the play, fro...

  • Ellen
    Jul 01, 2018

    4.5, rounded up. Considering I read this over 400 page book in less than 24 hours, it would be disingenuous of me to give it anything less than 5 stars. There are definite problems with both the book AND its subject, but structuring over 250 oral interviews into a consistently informat...

    I got through >400 pages in 26ish hours, so this gets 5 stars. The World Only Spins Forward is an oral history of the context, inception, premiere, and legacy of Tony Kushner's Angels in America, with the contributions of many people who have been involved with and touched by thi...

    The book is an absolutely essential aid to reading the play. On a personal note (I live in the area, and was doing theatre at the time), it also included a section about the notorious Charlotte Rep production in the mid-90s. People interviewed include Perry Tannenbaum, longtime drama c...

    Oral histories are eminently bingeable. Like binge-until-you're-queasyworthy. But most of the oral histories I've read have been about subjects like Saturday Night Live, full of gossip and anecdots about a subject I know a lot about. Angels in America, on the other hand, I'm only s...

    The authors of this history of "Angels in America" (a seven-hour play now 25 years old) and the world from which it grew interviewed scores of people and organized their often powerful words in script form. It was challenging to keep track of who the speakers were, and I kept flipping ...

    There are very few theatrical productions that both recount the change of history and make that recount a change in itself. "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes" by Tony Kushner is one such production. Appearing in the mid-1980's and continuing to this day, Kushner's p...

    Compelling oral history that highlights just how strongly this play affected the people involved in the various productions of it, the audiences, and the world at large. Its continuing impact cannot be overstated. The structure of the book is excellent: interviews with the actors, dire...

    If you are reading, working on a production, or planning to see "Angels in America" this book will be helpful. I did gain some insight into some of the themes and the structure of the plays. But the structure of the BOOK was a bit chaotic. It was like being in a large room with a bunch...

    I absolutely loved this book and could reread it immediately. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in theatre and its creation. The interviews revealed new layers of meaning and ways of thinking about the play, and made me even more excited to see it again. ...

    This was honestly one of the most pleasurable reading experiences of my life, like eavesdropping on a conversation at a dinner party. Or randomly sitting next to someone you've long-admired on a plane. This book made me want to go out and create. ...

    I flew through this book. For anyone who is interested in theatre and the creative process - writing, directing, acting - it's all here in a riveting oral history. It's something I'm sure I'll come back to again. ...

    I loved the wide range of voices and themes in this oral history, a beautiful and moving tribute to the greatest American play of all time. It?s impossible for me to be objective about something I love so much, but this is a fascinating dive into the complexities of the play?s evol...

    A brilliant, sprawling, entertaining oral history of a brilliant, sprawling, entertaining play phenomenon. And I say this not just because I?m quoted in it. ...

    My first book of the year, and it was a great one. It was so fascinating to read about the birth and ascent of my all-time favorite play. ...

    A sweeping portrait, impeccably assembled and endlessly moving & inspiring. ...

    Wow, I enjoyed this SO MUCH. It really opened up elements of the play for me that I didn't fully understand before and communicated how much of an impact it had. I loved the oral history format and I think it really benefitted from the different perspectives throughout. I also thought ...

    I literally highlighted half of this book on my Kindle. And I have a paper copy. It's fine. ...

    " hate America, Louis. I hate this country. It?s just big ideas, and stories, and people dying, and people like you. The white cracker who wrote the national anthem knew what he was doing. He set the word 'free' to a note so high nobody can reach it. That was deliberate. Nothing on E...

    Theater director Isaac Butler and writer/editor Dan Kois have created a compelling, surprising and inspiring oral history of Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, "Angels in America." They weave together the recollections of more than 240 actors, playwrights, critics, theater ins...

    Like the Angel crashing through the ceiling at the end of Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, heralding that "the great work begins," so too could Angels in America be said to have arrived on the scene of contemporary American theatre, forever coloring and changing what could be ...

    Having seen the Broadway revival of the 2-part play this winter, it was an especially great time to read this book. When I first saw the plays on tour in the 90s it was the most theatrical play I'd ever seen, and it still holds that title. This book takes a deep dive into the play, fro...

    I was first exposed to Angels in America in high school. A classmate told me about the mini-series which I watched on the lowest possible volume because it was about gay people and that wasn't a topic spoken about in my house. I fell in love with it, read the play, and even used Harper...

    A gorgeous, expansive, and enlightening tome on this ever-relevant play. I powered through it in anticipation of seeing the New York production this week, and I'm so glad I did. It illuminates so many wonderful intersections of true history and the history immortalized in the play -- h...

    For those of us who lived through the crisis of the crisis; for those of us who get the dramaturgical significance of the play; for those of us who sat in an audience or saw the HBO miniseries (with Streep/Pacino/etc) and were stunned and changed-- The World Only Spins Forward is the j...

    This is a fantastic oral history of Tony Kushner's Angels in America. I stumbled upon it in the New section at my local library just a few weeks before a planned trip to NYC to the National Theatre version that currently on Broadway. I though "well, I'll thumb through this and see what...

    Probably a little too specific for a general readership but Butler and Kois' masterful oral history provides a unique look at the conception and continuing evolution of one of the 20th century's greatest and most important works of theater. Cast and crew interviews take us through ea...

    I read The World Only Spins Forward in anticipation of seeing the revival of "Angels in America" on Broadway (which was phenomenal, just in case you're wondering). Not only did this enhance my knowledge of the history and context of Tony Kushner's work, it fleshed out the experiences o...

    Um, amazing. I never felt like I was in the mood to read this book (I had just finished the Daily Show oral history book, so I was fatigued on that style) but it always managed to suck me in. It must just be my love of this show, but getting any new grain of information about such a ep...

    The history of "Angels in America," told by Tony Kushner and many of the key principals in bringing THE play of the late 20th century to life. I've never seen it performed live, only the HBO version which has stayed in my mind for the past 15 years, and I regret not getting tickets for...

  • Danny
    Apr 29, 2018

    4.5, rounded up. Considering I read this over 400 page book in less than 24 hours, it would be disingenuous of me to give it anything less than 5 stars. There are definite problems with both the book AND its subject, but structuring over 250 oral interviews into a consistently informat...

    I got through >400 pages in 26ish hours, so this gets 5 stars. The World Only Spins Forward is an oral history of the context, inception, premiere, and legacy of Tony Kushner's Angels in America, with the contributions of many people who have been involved with and touched by thi...

    The book is an absolutely essential aid to reading the play. On a personal note (I live in the area, and was doing theatre at the time), it also included a section about the notorious Charlotte Rep production in the mid-90s. People interviewed include Perry Tannenbaum, longtime drama c...

    Oral histories are eminently bingeable. Like binge-until-you're-queasyworthy. But most of the oral histories I've read have been about subjects like Saturday Night Live, full of gossip and anecdots about a subject I know a lot about. Angels in America, on the other hand, I'm only s...

    The authors of this history of "Angels in America" (a seven-hour play now 25 years old) and the world from which it grew interviewed scores of people and organized their often powerful words in script form. It was challenging to keep track of who the speakers were, and I kept flipping ...

    There are very few theatrical productions that both recount the change of history and make that recount a change in itself. "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes" by Tony Kushner is one such production. Appearing in the mid-1980's and continuing to this day, Kushner's p...

    Compelling oral history that highlights just how strongly this play affected the people involved in the various productions of it, the audiences, and the world at large. Its continuing impact cannot be overstated. The structure of the book is excellent: interviews with the actors, dire...

    If you are reading, working on a production, or planning to see "Angels in America" this book will be helpful. I did gain some insight into some of the themes and the structure of the plays. But the structure of the BOOK was a bit chaotic. It was like being in a large room with a bunch...

    I absolutely loved this book and could reread it immediately. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in theatre and its creation. The interviews revealed new layers of meaning and ways of thinking about the play, and made me even more excited to see it again. ...

    This was honestly one of the most pleasurable reading experiences of my life, like eavesdropping on a conversation at a dinner party. Or randomly sitting next to someone you've long-admired on a plane. This book made me want to go out and create. ...

    I flew through this book. For anyone who is interested in theatre and the creative process - writing, directing, acting - it's all here in a riveting oral history. It's something I'm sure I'll come back to again. ...

    I loved the wide range of voices and themes in this oral history, a beautiful and moving tribute to the greatest American play of all time. It?s impossible for me to be objective about something I love so much, but this is a fascinating dive into the complexities of the play?s evol...

    A brilliant, sprawling, entertaining oral history of a brilliant, sprawling, entertaining play phenomenon. And I say this not just because I?m quoted in it. ...

    My first book of the year, and it was a great one. It was so fascinating to read about the birth and ascent of my all-time favorite play. ...

    A sweeping portrait, impeccably assembled and endlessly moving & inspiring. ...

  • Lorri Steinbacher
    Feb 20, 2018

    4.5, rounded up. Considering I read this over 400 page book in less than 24 hours, it would be disingenuous of me to give it anything less than 5 stars. There are definite problems with both the book AND its subject, but structuring over 250 oral interviews into a consistently informat...

    I got through >400 pages in 26ish hours, so this gets 5 stars. The World Only Spins Forward is an oral history of the context, inception, premiere, and legacy of Tony Kushner's Angels in America, with the contributions of many people who have been involved with and touched by thi...

    The book is an absolutely essential aid to reading the play. On a personal note (I live in the area, and was doing theatre at the time), it also included a section about the notorious Charlotte Rep production in the mid-90s. People interviewed include Perry Tannenbaum, longtime drama c...

    Oral histories are eminently bingeable. Like binge-until-you're-queasyworthy. But most of the oral histories I've read have been about subjects like Saturday Night Live, full of gossip and anecdots about a subject I know a lot about. Angels in America, on the other hand, I'm only s...

    The authors of this history of "Angels in America" (a seven-hour play now 25 years old) and the world from which it grew interviewed scores of people and organized their often powerful words in script form. It was challenging to keep track of who the speakers were, and I kept flipping ...

    There are very few theatrical productions that both recount the change of history and make that recount a change in itself. "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes" by Tony Kushner is one such production. Appearing in the mid-1980's and continuing to this day, Kushner's p...

    Compelling oral history that highlights just how strongly this play affected the people involved in the various productions of it, the audiences, and the world at large. Its continuing impact cannot be overstated. The structure of the book is excellent: interviews with the actors, dire...

  • Jackie
    May 26, 2018

    4.5, rounded up. Considering I read this over 400 page book in less than 24 hours, it would be disingenuous of me to give it anything less than 5 stars. There are definite problems with both the book AND its subject, but structuring over 250 oral interviews into a consistently informat...

    I got through >400 pages in 26ish hours, so this gets 5 stars. The World Only Spins Forward is an oral history of the context, inception, premiere, and legacy of Tony Kushner's Angels in America, with the contributions of many people who have been involved with and touched by thi...

    The book is an absolutely essential aid to reading the play. On a personal note (I live in the area, and was doing theatre at the time), it also included a section about the notorious Charlotte Rep production in the mid-90s. People interviewed include Perry Tannenbaum, longtime drama c...

    Oral histories are eminently bingeable. Like binge-until-you're-queasyworthy. But most of the oral histories I've read have been about subjects like Saturday Night Live, full of gossip and anecdots about a subject I know a lot about. Angels in America, on the other hand, I'm only s...

    The authors of this history of "Angels in America" (a seven-hour play now 25 years old) and the world from which it grew interviewed scores of people and organized their often powerful words in script form. It was challenging to keep track of who the speakers were, and I kept flipping ...

    There are very few theatrical productions that both recount the change of history and make that recount a change in itself. "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes" by Tony Kushner is one such production. Appearing in the mid-1980's and continuing to this day, Kushner's p...

    Compelling oral history that highlights just how strongly this play affected the people involved in the various productions of it, the audiences, and the world at large. Its continuing impact cannot be overstated. The structure of the book is excellent: interviews with the actors, dire...

    If you are reading, working on a production, or planning to see "Angels in America" this book will be helpful. I did gain some insight into some of the themes and the structure of the plays. But the structure of the BOOK was a bit chaotic. It was like being in a large room with a bunch...

    I absolutely loved this book and could reread it immediately. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in theatre and its creation. The interviews revealed new layers of meaning and ways of thinking about the play, and made me even more excited to see it again. ...

    This was honestly one of the most pleasurable reading experiences of my life, like eavesdropping on a conversation at a dinner party. Or randomly sitting next to someone you've long-admired on a plane. This book made me want to go out and create. ...

  • CarolineFromConcord
    Mar 21, 2018

    4.5, rounded up. Considering I read this over 400 page book in less than 24 hours, it would be disingenuous of me to give it anything less than 5 stars. There are definite problems with both the book AND its subject, but structuring over 250 oral interviews into a consistently informat...

    I got through >400 pages in 26ish hours, so this gets 5 stars. The World Only Spins Forward is an oral history of the context, inception, premiere, and legacy of Tony Kushner's Angels in America, with the contributions of many people who have been involved with and touched by thi...

    The book is an absolutely essential aid to reading the play. On a personal note (I live in the area, and was doing theatre at the time), it also included a section about the notorious Charlotte Rep production in the mid-90s. People interviewed include Perry Tannenbaum, longtime drama c...

    Oral histories are eminently bingeable. Like binge-until-you're-queasyworthy. But most of the oral histories I've read have been about subjects like Saturday Night Live, full of gossip and anecdots about a subject I know a lot about. Angels in America, on the other hand, I'm only s...

    The authors of this history of "Angels in America" (a seven-hour play now 25 years old) and the world from which it grew interviewed scores of people and organized their often powerful words in script form. It was challenging to keep track of who the speakers were, and I kept flipping ...

  • Monica
    Feb 23, 2018

    4.5, rounded up. Considering I read this over 400 page book in less than 24 hours, it would be disingenuous of me to give it anything less than 5 stars. There are definite problems with both the book AND its subject, but structuring over 250 oral interviews into a consistently informat...

    I got through >400 pages in 26ish hours, so this gets 5 stars. The World Only Spins Forward is an oral history of the context, inception, premiere, and legacy of Tony Kushner's Angels in America, with the contributions of many people who have been involved with and touched by thi...

    The book is an absolutely essential aid to reading the play. On a personal note (I live in the area, and was doing theatre at the time), it also included a section about the notorious Charlotte Rep production in the mid-90s. People interviewed include Perry Tannenbaum, longtime drama c...

    Oral histories are eminently bingeable. Like binge-until-you're-queasyworthy. But most of the oral histories I've read have been about subjects like Saturday Night Live, full of gossip and anecdots about a subject I know a lot about. Angels in America, on the other hand, I'm only s...

    The authors of this history of "Angels in America" (a seven-hour play now 25 years old) and the world from which it grew interviewed scores of people and organized their often powerful words in script form. It was challenging to keep track of who the speakers were, and I kept flipping ...

    There are very few theatrical productions that both recount the change of history and make that recount a change in itself. "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes" by Tony Kushner is one such production. Appearing in the mid-1980's and continuing to this day, Kushner's p...

    Compelling oral history that highlights just how strongly this play affected the people involved in the various productions of it, the audiences, and the world at large. Its continuing impact cannot be overstated. The structure of the book is excellent: interviews with the actors, dire...

    If you are reading, working on a production, or planning to see "Angels in America" this book will be helpful. I did gain some insight into some of the themes and the structure of the plays. But the structure of the BOOK was a bit chaotic. It was like being in a large room with a bunch...

    I absolutely loved this book and could reread it immediately. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in theatre and its creation. The interviews revealed new layers of meaning and ways of thinking about the play, and made me even more excited to see it again. ...

    This was honestly one of the most pleasurable reading experiences of my life, like eavesdropping on a conversation at a dinner party. Or randomly sitting next to someone you've long-admired on a plane. This book made me want to go out and create. ...

    I flew through this book. For anyone who is interested in theatre and the creative process - writing, directing, acting - it's all here in a riveting oral history. It's something I'm sure I'll come back to again. ...

    I loved the wide range of voices and themes in this oral history, a beautiful and moving tribute to the greatest American play of all time. It?s impossible for me to be objective about something I love so much, but this is a fascinating dive into the complexities of the play?s evol...

    A brilliant, sprawling, entertaining oral history of a brilliant, sprawling, entertaining play phenomenon. And I say this not just because I?m quoted in it. ...

  • Carmen
    Apr 11, 2018

    4.5, rounded up. Considering I read this over 400 page book in less than 24 hours, it would be disingenuous of me to give it anything less than 5 stars. There are definite problems with both the book AND its subject, but structuring over 250 oral interviews into a consistently informat...

    I got through >400 pages in 26ish hours, so this gets 5 stars. The World Only Spins Forward is an oral history of the context, inception, premiere, and legacy of Tony Kushner's Angels in America, with the contributions of many people who have been involved with and touched by thi...

    The book is an absolutely essential aid to reading the play. On a personal note (I live in the area, and was doing theatre at the time), it also included a section about the notorious Charlotte Rep production in the mid-90s. People interviewed include Perry Tannenbaum, longtime drama c...

    Oral histories are eminently bingeable. Like binge-until-you're-queasyworthy. But most of the oral histories I've read have been about subjects like Saturday Night Live, full of gossip and anecdots about a subject I know a lot about. Angels in America, on the other hand, I'm only s...

    The authors of this history of "Angels in America" (a seven-hour play now 25 years old) and the world from which it grew interviewed scores of people and organized their often powerful words in script form. It was challenging to keep track of who the speakers were, and I kept flipping ...

    There are very few theatrical productions that both recount the change of history and make that recount a change in itself. "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes" by Tony Kushner is one such production. Appearing in the mid-1980's and continuing to this day, Kushner's p...

    Compelling oral history that highlights just how strongly this play affected the people involved in the various productions of it, the audiences, and the world at large. Its continuing impact cannot be overstated. The structure of the book is excellent: interviews with the actors, dire...

    If you are reading, working on a production, or planning to see "Angels in America" this book will be helpful. I did gain some insight into some of the themes and the structure of the plays. But the structure of the BOOK was a bit chaotic. It was like being in a large room with a bunch...

    I absolutely loved this book and could reread it immediately. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in theatre and its creation. The interviews revealed new layers of meaning and ways of thinking about the play, and made me even more excited to see it again. ...

    This was honestly one of the most pleasurable reading experiences of my life, like eavesdropping on a conversation at a dinner party. Or randomly sitting next to someone you've long-admired on a plane. This book made me want to go out and create. ...

    I flew through this book. For anyone who is interested in theatre and the creative process - writing, directing, acting - it's all here in a riveting oral history. It's something I'm sure I'll come back to again. ...

    I loved the wide range of voices and themes in this oral history, a beautiful and moving tribute to the greatest American play of all time. It?s impossible for me to be objective about something I love so much, but this is a fascinating dive into the complexities of the play?s evol...

    A brilliant, sprawling, entertaining oral history of a brilliant, sprawling, entertaining play phenomenon. And I say this not just because I?m quoted in it. ...

    My first book of the year, and it was a great one. It was so fascinating to read about the birth and ascent of my all-time favorite play. ...

    A sweeping portrait, impeccably assembled and endlessly moving & inspiring. ...

    Wow, I enjoyed this SO MUCH. It really opened up elements of the play for me that I didn't fully understand before and communicated how much of an impact it had. I loved the oral history format and I think it really benefitted from the different perspectives throughout. I also thought ...

    I literally highlighted half of this book on my Kindle. And I have a paper copy. It's fine. ...

    " hate America, Louis. I hate this country. It?s just big ideas, and stories, and people dying, and people like you. The white cracker who wrote the national anthem knew what he was doing. He set the word 'free' to a note so high nobody can reach it. That was deliberate. Nothing on E...

    Theater director Isaac Butler and writer/editor Dan Kois have created a compelling, surprising and inspiring oral history of Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, "Angels in America." They weave together the recollections of more than 240 actors, playwrights, critics, theater ins...

    Like the Angel crashing through the ceiling at the end of Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, heralding that "the great work begins," so too could Angels in America be said to have arrived on the scene of contemporary American theatre, forever coloring and changing what could be ...

    Having seen the Broadway revival of the 2-part play this winter, it was an especially great time to read this book. When I first saw the plays on tour in the 90s it was the most theatrical play I'd ever seen, and it still holds that title. This book takes a deep dive into the play, fro...

    I was first exposed to Angels in America in high school. A classmate told me about the mini-series which I watched on the lowest possible volume because it was about gay people and that wasn't a topic spoken about in my house. I fell in love with it, read the play, and even used Harper...

  • Greg Talbot
    May 28, 2018

    4.5, rounded up. Considering I read this over 400 page book in less than 24 hours, it would be disingenuous of me to give it anything less than 5 stars. There are definite problems with both the book AND its subject, but structuring over 250 oral interviews into a consistently informat...

    I got through >400 pages in 26ish hours, so this gets 5 stars. The World Only Spins Forward is an oral history of the context, inception, premiere, and legacy of Tony Kushner's Angels in America, with the contributions of many people who have been involved with and touched by thi...

    The book is an absolutely essential aid to reading the play. On a personal note (I live in the area, and was doing theatre at the time), it also included a section about the notorious Charlotte Rep production in the mid-90s. People interviewed include Perry Tannenbaum, longtime drama c...

    Oral histories are eminently bingeable. Like binge-until-you're-queasyworthy. But most of the oral histories I've read have been about subjects like Saturday Night Live, full of gossip and anecdots about a subject I know a lot about. Angels in America, on the other hand, I'm only s...

    The authors of this history of "Angels in America" (a seven-hour play now 25 years old) and the world from which it grew interviewed scores of people and organized their often powerful words in script form. It was challenging to keep track of who the speakers were, and I kept flipping ...

    There are very few theatrical productions that both recount the change of history and make that recount a change in itself. "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes" by Tony Kushner is one such production. Appearing in the mid-1980's and continuing to this day, Kushner's p...

    Compelling oral history that highlights just how strongly this play affected the people involved in the various productions of it, the audiences, and the world at large. Its continuing impact cannot be overstated. The structure of the book is excellent: interviews with the actors, dire...

    If you are reading, working on a production, or planning to see "Angels in America" this book will be helpful. I did gain some insight into some of the themes and the structure of the plays. But the structure of the BOOK was a bit chaotic. It was like being in a large room with a bunch...

    I absolutely loved this book and could reread it immediately. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in theatre and its creation. The interviews revealed new layers of meaning and ways of thinking about the play, and made me even more excited to see it again. ...

    This was honestly one of the most pleasurable reading experiences of my life, like eavesdropping on a conversation at a dinner party. Or randomly sitting next to someone you've long-admired on a plane. This book made me want to go out and create. ...

    I flew through this book. For anyone who is interested in theatre and the creative process - writing, directing, acting - it's all here in a riveting oral history. It's something I'm sure I'll come back to again. ...

    I loved the wide range of voices and themes in this oral history, a beautiful and moving tribute to the greatest American play of all time. It?s impossible for me to be objective about something I love so much, but this is a fascinating dive into the complexities of the play?s evol...

    A brilliant, sprawling, entertaining oral history of a brilliant, sprawling, entertaining play phenomenon. And I say this not just because I?m quoted in it. ...

    My first book of the year, and it was a great one. It was so fascinating to read about the birth and ascent of my all-time favorite play. ...

    A sweeping portrait, impeccably assembled and endlessly moving & inspiring. ...

    Wow, I enjoyed this SO MUCH. It really opened up elements of the play for me that I didn't fully understand before and communicated how much of an impact it had. I loved the oral history format and I think it really benefitted from the different perspectives throughout. I also thought ...

    I literally highlighted half of this book on my Kindle. And I have a paper copy. It's fine. ...

    " hate America, Louis. I hate this country. It?s just big ideas, and stories, and people dying, and people like you. The white cracker who wrote the national anthem knew what he was doing. He set the word 'free' to a note so high nobody can reach it. That was deliberate. Nothing on E...

  • Erica Eisdorfer
    Feb 28, 2018

    4.5, rounded up. Considering I read this over 400 page book in less than 24 hours, it would be disingenuous of me to give it anything less than 5 stars. There are definite problems with both the book AND its subject, but structuring over 250 oral interviews into a consistently informat...

    I got through >400 pages in 26ish hours, so this gets 5 stars. The World Only Spins Forward is an oral history of the context, inception, premiere, and legacy of Tony Kushner's Angels in America, with the contributions of many people who have been involved with and touched by thi...

    The book is an absolutely essential aid to reading the play. On a personal note (I live in the area, and was doing theatre at the time), it also included a section about the notorious Charlotte Rep production in the mid-90s. People interviewed include Perry Tannenbaum, longtime drama c...

    Oral histories are eminently bingeable. Like binge-until-you're-queasyworthy. But most of the oral histories I've read have been about subjects like Saturday Night Live, full of gossip and anecdots about a subject I know a lot about. Angels in America, on the other hand, I'm only s...

    The authors of this history of "Angels in America" (a seven-hour play now 25 years old) and the world from which it grew interviewed scores of people and organized their often powerful words in script form. It was challenging to keep track of who the speakers were, and I kept flipping ...

    There are very few theatrical productions that both recount the change of history and make that recount a change in itself. "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes" by Tony Kushner is one such production. Appearing in the mid-1980's and continuing to this day, Kushner's p...

    Compelling oral history that highlights just how strongly this play affected the people involved in the various productions of it, the audiences, and the world at large. Its continuing impact cannot be overstated. The structure of the book is excellent: interviews with the actors, dire...

    If you are reading, working on a production, or planning to see "Angels in America" this book will be helpful. I did gain some insight into some of the themes and the structure of the plays. But the structure of the BOOK was a bit chaotic. It was like being in a large room with a bunch...

    I absolutely loved this book and could reread it immediately. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in theatre and its creation. The interviews revealed new layers of meaning and ways of thinking about the play, and made me even more excited to see it again. ...

    This was honestly one of the most pleasurable reading experiences of my life, like eavesdropping on a conversation at a dinner party. Or randomly sitting next to someone you've long-admired on a plane. This book made me want to go out and create. ...

    I flew through this book. For anyone who is interested in theatre and the creative process - writing, directing, acting - it's all here in a riveting oral history. It's something I'm sure I'll come back to again. ...

    I loved the wide range of voices and themes in this oral history, a beautiful and moving tribute to the greatest American play of all time. It?s impossible for me to be objective about something I love so much, but this is a fascinating dive into the complexities of the play?s evol...

    A brilliant, sprawling, entertaining oral history of a brilliant, sprawling, entertaining play phenomenon. And I say this not just because I?m quoted in it. ...

    My first book of the year, and it was a great one. It was so fascinating to read about the birth and ascent of my all-time favorite play. ...

    A sweeping portrait, impeccably assembled and endlessly moving & inspiring. ...

    Wow, I enjoyed this SO MUCH. It really opened up elements of the play for me that I didn't fully understand before and communicated how much of an impact it had. I loved the oral history format and I think it really benefitted from the different perspectives throughout. I also thought ...

    I literally highlighted half of this book on my Kindle. And I have a paper copy. It's fine. ...

    " hate America, Louis. I hate this country. It?s just big ideas, and stories, and people dying, and people like you. The white cracker who wrote the national anthem knew what he was doing. He set the word 'free' to a note so high nobody can reach it. That was deliberate. Nothing on E...

    Theater director Isaac Butler and writer/editor Dan Kois have created a compelling, surprising and inspiring oral history of Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, "Angels in America." They weave together the recollections of more than 240 actors, playwrights, critics, theater ins...

    Like the Angel crashing through the ceiling at the end of Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, heralding that "the great work begins," so too could Angels in America be said to have arrived on the scene of contemporary American theatre, forever coloring and changing what could be ...

    Having seen the Broadway revival of the 2-part play this winter, it was an especially great time to read this book. When I first saw the plays on tour in the 90s it was the most theatrical play I'd ever seen, and it still holds that title. This book takes a deep dive into the play, fro...

    I was first exposed to Angels in America in high school. A classmate told me about the mini-series which I watched on the lowest possible volume because it was about gay people and that wasn't a topic spoken about in my house. I fell in love with it, read the play, and even used Harper...

    A gorgeous, expansive, and enlightening tome on this ever-relevant play. I powered through it in anticipation of seeing the New York production this week, and I'm so glad I did. It illuminates so many wonderful intersections of true history and the history immortalized in the play -- h...

    For those of us who lived through the crisis of the crisis; for those of us who get the dramaturgical significance of the play; for those of us who sat in an audience or saw the HBO miniseries (with Streep/Pacino/etc) and were stunned and changed-- The World Only Spins Forward is the j...

  • Dara
    Apr 22, 2018

    4.5, rounded up. Considering I read this over 400 page book in less than 24 hours, it would be disingenuous of me to give it anything less than 5 stars. There are definite problems with both the book AND its subject, but structuring over 250 oral interviews into a consistently informat...

    I got through >400 pages in 26ish hours, so this gets 5 stars. The World Only Spins Forward is an oral history of the context, inception, premiere, and legacy of Tony Kushner's Angels in America, with the contributions of many people who have been involved with and touched by thi...

    The book is an absolutely essential aid to reading the play. On a personal note (I live in the area, and was doing theatre at the time), it also included a section about the notorious Charlotte Rep production in the mid-90s. People interviewed include Perry Tannenbaum, longtime drama c...

    Oral histories are eminently bingeable. Like binge-until-you're-queasyworthy. But most of the oral histories I've read have been about subjects like Saturday Night Live, full of gossip and anecdots about a subject I know a lot about. Angels in America, on the other hand, I'm only s...

    The authors of this history of "Angels in America" (a seven-hour play now 25 years old) and the world from which it grew interviewed scores of people and organized their often powerful words in script form. It was challenging to keep track of who the speakers were, and I kept flipping ...

    There are very few theatrical productions that both recount the change of history and make that recount a change in itself. "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes" by Tony Kushner is one such production. Appearing in the mid-1980's and continuing to this day, Kushner's p...

    Compelling oral history that highlights just how strongly this play affected the people involved in the various productions of it, the audiences, and the world at large. Its continuing impact cannot be overstated. The structure of the book is excellent: interviews with the actors, dire...

    If you are reading, working on a production, or planning to see "Angels in America" this book will be helpful. I did gain some insight into some of the themes and the structure of the plays. But the structure of the BOOK was a bit chaotic. It was like being in a large room with a bunch...

    I absolutely loved this book and could reread it immediately. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in theatre and its creation. The interviews revealed new layers of meaning and ways of thinking about the play, and made me even more excited to see it again. ...

    This was honestly one of the most pleasurable reading experiences of my life, like eavesdropping on a conversation at a dinner party. Or randomly sitting next to someone you've long-admired on a plane. This book made me want to go out and create. ...

    I flew through this book. For anyone who is interested in theatre and the creative process - writing, directing, acting - it's all here in a riveting oral history. It's something I'm sure I'll come back to again. ...

    I loved the wide range of voices and themes in this oral history, a beautiful and moving tribute to the greatest American play of all time. It?s impossible for me to be objective about something I love so much, but this is a fascinating dive into the complexities of the play?s evol...

    A brilliant, sprawling, entertaining oral history of a brilliant, sprawling, entertaining play phenomenon. And I say this not just because I?m quoted in it. ...

    My first book of the year, and it was a great one. It was so fascinating to read about the birth and ascent of my all-time favorite play. ...

    A sweeping portrait, impeccably assembled and endlessly moving & inspiring. ...

    Wow, I enjoyed this SO MUCH. It really opened up elements of the play for me that I didn't fully understand before and communicated how much of an impact it had. I loved the oral history format and I think it really benefitted from the different perspectives throughout. I also thought ...

    I literally highlighted half of this book on my Kindle. And I have a paper copy. It's fine. ...

  • Heather
    Jul 16, 2018

    4.5, rounded up. Considering I read this over 400 page book in less than 24 hours, it would be disingenuous of me to give it anything less than 5 stars. There are definite problems with both the book AND its subject, but structuring over 250 oral interviews into a consistently informat...

    I got through >400 pages in 26ish hours, so this gets 5 stars. The World Only Spins Forward is an oral history of the context, inception, premiere, and legacy of Tony Kushner's Angels in America, with the contributions of many people who have been involved with and touched by thi...

    The book is an absolutely essential aid to reading the play. On a personal note (I live in the area, and was doing theatre at the time), it also included a section about the notorious Charlotte Rep production in the mid-90s. People interviewed include Perry Tannenbaum, longtime drama c...

    Oral histories are eminently bingeable. Like binge-until-you're-queasyworthy. But most of the oral histories I've read have been about subjects like Saturday Night Live, full of gossip and anecdots about a subject I know a lot about. Angels in America, on the other hand, I'm only s...

    The authors of this history of "Angels in America" (a seven-hour play now 25 years old) and the world from which it grew interviewed scores of people and organized their often powerful words in script form. It was challenging to keep track of who the speakers were, and I kept flipping ...

    There are very few theatrical productions that both recount the change of history and make that recount a change in itself. "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes" by Tony Kushner is one such production. Appearing in the mid-1980's and continuing to this day, Kushner's p...

    Compelling oral history that highlights just how strongly this play affected the people involved in the various productions of it, the audiences, and the world at large. Its continuing impact cannot be overstated. The structure of the book is excellent: interviews with the actors, dire...

    If you are reading, working on a production, or planning to see "Angels in America" this book will be helpful. I did gain some insight into some of the themes and the structure of the plays. But the structure of the BOOK was a bit chaotic. It was like being in a large room with a bunch...

    I absolutely loved this book and could reread it immediately. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in theatre and its creation. The interviews revealed new layers of meaning and ways of thinking about the play, and made me even more excited to see it again. ...

    This was honestly one of the most pleasurable reading experiences of my life, like eavesdropping on a conversation at a dinner party. Or randomly sitting next to someone you've long-admired on a plane. This book made me want to go out and create. ...

    I flew through this book. For anyone who is interested in theatre and the creative process - writing, directing, acting - it's all here in a riveting oral history. It's something I'm sure I'll come back to again. ...

    I loved the wide range of voices and themes in this oral history, a beautiful and moving tribute to the greatest American play of all time. It?s impossible for me to be objective about something I love so much, but this is a fascinating dive into the complexities of the play?s evol...

    A brilliant, sprawling, entertaining oral history of a brilliant, sprawling, entertaining play phenomenon. And I say this not just because I?m quoted in it. ...

    My first book of the year, and it was a great one. It was so fascinating to read about the birth and ascent of my all-time favorite play. ...

    A sweeping portrait, impeccably assembled and endlessly moving & inspiring. ...

    Wow, I enjoyed this SO MUCH. It really opened up elements of the play for me that I didn't fully understand before and communicated how much of an impact it had. I loved the oral history format and I think it really benefitted from the different perspectives throughout. I also thought ...

    I literally highlighted half of this book on my Kindle. And I have a paper copy. It's fine. ...

    " hate America, Louis. I hate this country. It?s just big ideas, and stories, and people dying, and people like you. The white cracker who wrote the national anthem knew what he was doing. He set the word 'free' to a note so high nobody can reach it. That was deliberate. Nothing on E...

    Theater director Isaac Butler and writer/editor Dan Kois have created a compelling, surprising and inspiring oral history of Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, "Angels in America." They weave together the recollections of more than 240 actors, playwrights, critics, theater ins...

    Like the Angel crashing through the ceiling at the end of Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, heralding that "the great work begins," so too could Angels in America be said to have arrived on the scene of contemporary American theatre, forever coloring and changing what could be ...

    Having seen the Broadway revival of the 2-part play this winter, it was an especially great time to read this book. When I first saw the plays on tour in the 90s it was the most theatrical play I'd ever seen, and it still holds that title. This book takes a deep dive into the play, fro...

    I was first exposed to Angels in America in high school. A classmate told me about the mini-series which I watched on the lowest possible volume because it was about gay people and that wasn't a topic spoken about in my house. I fell in love with it, read the play, and even used Harper...

    A gorgeous, expansive, and enlightening tome on this ever-relevant play. I powered through it in anticipation of seeing the New York production this week, and I'm so glad I did. It illuminates so many wonderful intersections of true history and the history immortalized in the play -- h...

    For those of us who lived through the crisis of the crisis; for those of us who get the dramaturgical significance of the play; for those of us who sat in an audience or saw the HBO miniseries (with Streep/Pacino/etc) and were stunned and changed-- The World Only Spins Forward is the j...

    This is a fantastic oral history of Tony Kushner's Angels in America. I stumbled upon it in the New section at my local library just a few weeks before a planned trip to NYC to the National Theatre version that currently on Broadway. I though "well, I'll thumb through this and see what...

    Probably a little too specific for a general readership but Butler and Kois' masterful oral history provides a unique look at the conception and continuing evolution of one of the 20th century's greatest and most important works of theater. Cast and crew interviews take us through ea...

    I read The World Only Spins Forward in anticipation of seeing the revival of "Angels in America" on Broadway (which was phenomenal, just in case you're wondering). Not only did this enhance my knowledge of the history and context of Tony Kushner's work, it fleshed out the experiences o...

    Um, amazing. I never felt like I was in the mood to read this book (I had just finished the Daily Show oral history book, so I was fatigued on that style) but it always managed to suck me in. It must just be my love of this show, but getting any new grain of information about such a ep...

    The history of "Angels in America," told by Tony Kushner and many of the key principals in bringing THE play of the late 20th century to life. I've never seen it performed live, only the HBO version which has stayed in my mind for the past 15 years, and I regret not getting tickets for...

    Five months ago, having read ?Angels...? for classes and having seen the HBO version, I would have said I was respectful and bewildered by the play. Then I saw the National Theater (Marianne Elliot) production on Broadway on a ?marathon day? and I became obsessed with this geni...

  • Tim Pinckney
    Apr 30, 2018

    4.5, rounded up. Considering I read this over 400 page book in less than 24 hours, it would be disingenuous of me to give it anything less than 5 stars. There are definite problems with both the book AND its subject, but structuring over 250 oral interviews into a consistently informat...

    I got through >400 pages in 26ish hours, so this gets 5 stars. The World Only Spins Forward is an oral history of the context, inception, premiere, and legacy of Tony Kushner's Angels in America, with the contributions of many people who have been involved with and touched by thi...

    The book is an absolutely essential aid to reading the play. On a personal note (I live in the area, and was doing theatre at the time), it also included a section about the notorious Charlotte Rep production in the mid-90s. People interviewed include Perry Tannenbaum, longtime drama c...

    Oral histories are eminently bingeable. Like binge-until-you're-queasyworthy. But most of the oral histories I've read have been about subjects like Saturday Night Live, full of gossip and anecdots about a subject I know a lot about. Angels in America, on the other hand, I'm only s...

    The authors of this history of "Angels in America" (a seven-hour play now 25 years old) and the world from which it grew interviewed scores of people and organized their often powerful words in script form. It was challenging to keep track of who the speakers were, and I kept flipping ...

    There are very few theatrical productions that both recount the change of history and make that recount a change in itself. "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes" by Tony Kushner is one such production. Appearing in the mid-1980's and continuing to this day, Kushner's p...

    Compelling oral history that highlights just how strongly this play affected the people involved in the various productions of it, the audiences, and the world at large. Its continuing impact cannot be overstated. The structure of the book is excellent: interviews with the actors, dire...

    If you are reading, working on a production, or planning to see "Angels in America" this book will be helpful. I did gain some insight into some of the themes and the structure of the plays. But the structure of the BOOK was a bit chaotic. It was like being in a large room with a bunch...

    I absolutely loved this book and could reread it immediately. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in theatre and its creation. The interviews revealed new layers of meaning and ways of thinking about the play, and made me even more excited to see it again. ...

    This was honestly one of the most pleasurable reading experiences of my life, like eavesdropping on a conversation at a dinner party. Or randomly sitting next to someone you've long-admired on a plane. This book made me want to go out and create. ...

    I flew through this book. For anyone who is interested in theatre and the creative process - writing, directing, acting - it's all here in a riveting oral history. It's something I'm sure I'll come back to again. ...

  • Kevin
    Mar 02, 2018

    4.5, rounded up. Considering I read this over 400 page book in less than 24 hours, it would be disingenuous of me to give it anything less than 5 stars. There are definite problems with both the book AND its subject, but structuring over 250 oral interviews into a consistently informat...

    I got through >400 pages in 26ish hours, so this gets 5 stars. The World Only Spins Forward is an oral history of the context, inception, premiere, and legacy of Tony Kushner's Angels in America, with the contributions of many people who have been involved with and touched by thi...

    The book is an absolutely essential aid to reading the play. On a personal note (I live in the area, and was doing theatre at the time), it also included a section about the notorious Charlotte Rep production in the mid-90s. People interviewed include Perry Tannenbaum, longtime drama c...

    Oral histories are eminently bingeable. Like binge-until-you're-queasyworthy. But most of the oral histories I've read have been about subjects like Saturday Night Live, full of gossip and anecdots about a subject I know a lot about. Angels in America, on the other hand, I'm only s...

    The authors of this history of "Angels in America" (a seven-hour play now 25 years old) and the world from which it grew interviewed scores of people and organized their often powerful words in script form. It was challenging to keep track of who the speakers were, and I kept flipping ...

    There are very few theatrical productions that both recount the change of history and make that recount a change in itself. "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes" by Tony Kushner is one such production. Appearing in the mid-1980's and continuing to this day, Kushner's p...

    Compelling oral history that highlights just how strongly this play affected the people involved in the various productions of it, the audiences, and the world at large. Its continuing impact cannot be overstated. The structure of the book is excellent: interviews with the actors, dire...

    If you are reading, working on a production, or planning to see "Angels in America" this book will be helpful. I did gain some insight into some of the themes and the structure of the plays. But the structure of the BOOK was a bit chaotic. It was like being in a large room with a bunch...

    I absolutely loved this book and could reread it immediately. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in theatre and its creation. The interviews revealed new layers of meaning and ways of thinking about the play, and made me even more excited to see it again. ...

    This was honestly one of the most pleasurable reading experiences of my life, like eavesdropping on a conversation at a dinner party. Or randomly sitting next to someone you've long-admired on a plane. This book made me want to go out and create. ...

    I flew through this book. For anyone who is interested in theatre and the creative process - writing, directing, acting - it's all here in a riveting oral history. It's something I'm sure I'll come back to again. ...

    I loved the wide range of voices and themes in this oral history, a beautiful and moving tribute to the greatest American play of all time. It?s impossible for me to be objective about something I love so much, but this is a fascinating dive into the complexities of the play?s evol...

    A brilliant, sprawling, entertaining oral history of a brilliant, sprawling, entertaining play phenomenon. And I say this not just because I?m quoted in it. ...

    My first book of the year, and it was a great one. It was so fascinating to read about the birth and ascent of my all-time favorite play. ...

    A sweeping portrait, impeccably assembled and endlessly moving & inspiring. ...

    Wow, I enjoyed this SO MUCH. It really opened up elements of the play for me that I didn't fully understand before and communicated how much of an impact it had. I loved the oral history format and I think it really benefitted from the different perspectives throughout. I also thought ...

    I literally highlighted half of this book on my Kindle. And I have a paper copy. It's fine. ...

    " hate America, Louis. I hate this country. It?s just big ideas, and stories, and people dying, and people like you. The white cracker who wrote the national anthem knew what he was doing. He set the word 'free' to a note so high nobody can reach it. That was deliberate. Nothing on E...

    Theater director Isaac Butler and writer/editor Dan Kois have created a compelling, surprising and inspiring oral history of Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, "Angels in America." They weave together the recollections of more than 240 actors, playwrights, critics, theater ins...

  • Jeremy
    Apr 06, 2018

    4.5, rounded up. Considering I read this over 400 page book in less than 24 hours, it would be disingenuous of me to give it anything less than 5 stars. There are definite problems with both the book AND its subject, but structuring over 250 oral interviews into a consistently informat...

    I got through >400 pages in 26ish hours, so this gets 5 stars. The World Only Spins Forward is an oral history of the context, inception, premiere, and legacy of Tony Kushner's Angels in America, with the contributions of many people who have been involved with and touched by thi...

    The book is an absolutely essential aid to reading the play. On a personal note (I live in the area, and was doing theatre at the time), it also included a section about the notorious Charlotte Rep production in the mid-90s. People interviewed include Perry Tannenbaum, longtime drama c...

    Oral histories are eminently bingeable. Like binge-until-you're-queasyworthy. But most of the oral histories I've read have been about subjects like Saturday Night Live, full of gossip and anecdots about a subject I know a lot about. Angels in America, on the other hand, I'm only s...

    The authors of this history of "Angels in America" (a seven-hour play now 25 years old) and the world from which it grew interviewed scores of people and organized their often powerful words in script form. It was challenging to keep track of who the speakers were, and I kept flipping ...

    There are very few theatrical productions that both recount the change of history and make that recount a change in itself. "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes" by Tony Kushner is one such production. Appearing in the mid-1980's and continuing to this day, Kushner's p...

    Compelling oral history that highlights just how strongly this play affected the people involved in the various productions of it, the audiences, and the world at large. Its continuing impact cannot be overstated. The structure of the book is excellent: interviews with the actors, dire...

    If you are reading, working on a production, or planning to see "Angels in America" this book will be helpful. I did gain some insight into some of the themes and the structure of the plays. But the structure of the BOOK was a bit chaotic. It was like being in a large room with a bunch...

    I absolutely loved this book and could reread it immediately. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in theatre and its creation. The interviews revealed new layers of meaning and ways of thinking about the play, and made me even more excited to see it again. ...

    This was honestly one of the most pleasurable reading experiences of my life, like eavesdropping on a conversation at a dinner party. Or randomly sitting next to someone you've long-admired on a plane. This book made me want to go out and create. ...

    I flew through this book. For anyone who is interested in theatre and the creative process - writing, directing, acting - it's all here in a riveting oral history. It's something I'm sure I'll come back to again. ...

    I loved the wide range of voices and themes in this oral history, a beautiful and moving tribute to the greatest American play of all time. It?s impossible for me to be objective about something I love so much, but this is a fascinating dive into the complexities of the play?s evol...

    A brilliant, sprawling, entertaining oral history of a brilliant, sprawling, entertaining play phenomenon. And I say this not just because I?m quoted in it. ...

    My first book of the year, and it was a great one. It was so fascinating to read about the birth and ascent of my all-time favorite play. ...

    A sweeping portrait, impeccably assembled and endlessly moving & inspiring. ...

    Wow, I enjoyed this SO MUCH. It really opened up elements of the play for me that I didn't fully understand before and communicated how much of an impact it had. I loved the oral history format and I think it really benefitted from the different perspectives throughout. I also thought ...

    I literally highlighted half of this book on my Kindle. And I have a paper copy. It's fine. ...

    " hate America, Louis. I hate this country. It?s just big ideas, and stories, and people dying, and people like you. The white cracker who wrote the national anthem knew what he was doing. He set the word 'free' to a note so high nobody can reach it. That was deliberate. Nothing on E...

    Theater director Isaac Butler and writer/editor Dan Kois have created a compelling, surprising and inspiring oral history of Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, "Angels in America." They weave together the recollections of more than 240 actors, playwrights, critics, theater ins...

    Like the Angel crashing through the ceiling at the end of Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, heralding that "the great work begins," so too could Angels in America be said to have arrived on the scene of contemporary American theatre, forever coloring and changing what could be ...

  • Anjum
    Jun 06, 2018

    4.5, rounded up. Considering I read this over 400 page book in less than 24 hours, it would be disingenuous of me to give it anything less than 5 stars. There are definite problems with both the book AND its subject, but structuring over 250 oral interviews into a consistently informat...

    I got through >400 pages in 26ish hours, so this gets 5 stars. The World Only Spins Forward is an oral history of the context, inception, premiere, and legacy of Tony Kushner's Angels in America, with the contributions of many people who have been involved with and touched by thi...

    The book is an absolutely essential aid to reading the play. On a personal note (I live in the area, and was doing theatre at the time), it also included a section about the notorious Charlotte Rep production in the mid-90s. People interviewed include Perry Tannenbaum, longtime drama c...

    Oral histories are eminently bingeable. Like binge-until-you're-queasyworthy. But most of the oral histories I've read have been about subjects like Saturday Night Live, full of gossip and anecdots about a subject I know a lot about. Angels in America, on the other hand, I'm only s...

    The authors of this history of "Angels in America" (a seven-hour play now 25 years old) and the world from which it grew interviewed scores of people and organized their often powerful words in script form. It was challenging to keep track of who the speakers were, and I kept flipping ...

    There are very few theatrical productions that both recount the change of history and make that recount a change in itself. "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes" by Tony Kushner is one such production. Appearing in the mid-1980's and continuing to this day, Kushner's p...

    Compelling oral history that highlights just how strongly this play affected the people involved in the various productions of it, the audiences, and the world at large. Its continuing impact cannot be overstated. The structure of the book is excellent: interviews with the actors, dire...

    If you are reading, working on a production, or planning to see "Angels in America" this book will be helpful. I did gain some insight into some of the themes and the structure of the plays. But the structure of the BOOK was a bit chaotic. It was like being in a large room with a bunch...

    I absolutely loved this book and could reread it immediately. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in theatre and its creation. The interviews revealed new layers of meaning and ways of thinking about the play, and made me even more excited to see it again. ...

    This was honestly one of the most pleasurable reading experiences of my life, like eavesdropping on a conversation at a dinner party. Or randomly sitting next to someone you've long-admired on a plane. This book made me want to go out and create. ...

    I flew through this book. For anyone who is interested in theatre and the creative process - writing, directing, acting - it's all here in a riveting oral history. It's something I'm sure I'll come back to again. ...

    I loved the wide range of voices and themes in this oral history, a beautiful and moving tribute to the greatest American play of all time. It?s impossible for me to be objective about something I love so much, but this is a fascinating dive into the complexities of the play?s evol...

    A brilliant, sprawling, entertaining oral history of a brilliant, sprawling, entertaining play phenomenon. And I say this not just because I?m quoted in it. ...

    My first book of the year, and it was a great one. It was so fascinating to read about the birth and ascent of my all-time favorite play. ...

    A sweeping portrait, impeccably assembled and endlessly moving & inspiring. ...

    Wow, I enjoyed this SO MUCH. It really opened up elements of the play for me that I didn't fully understand before and communicated how much of an impact it had. I loved the oral history format and I think it really benefitted from the different perspectives throughout. I also thought ...

    I literally highlighted half of this book on my Kindle. And I have a paper copy. It's fine. ...

    " hate America, Louis. I hate this country. It?s just big ideas, and stories, and people dying, and people like you. The white cracker who wrote the national anthem knew what he was doing. He set the word 'free' to a note so high nobody can reach it. That was deliberate. Nothing on E...

    Theater director Isaac Butler and writer/editor Dan Kois have created a compelling, surprising and inspiring oral history of Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, "Angels in America." They weave together the recollections of more than 240 actors, playwrights, critics, theater ins...

    Like the Angel crashing through the ceiling at the end of Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, heralding that "the great work begins," so too could Angels in America be said to have arrived on the scene of contemporary American theatre, forever coloring and changing what could be ...

    Having seen the Broadway revival of the 2-part play this winter, it was an especially great time to read this book. When I first saw the plays on tour in the 90s it was the most theatrical play I'd ever seen, and it still holds that title. This book takes a deep dive into the play, fro...

    I was first exposed to Angels in America in high school. A classmate told me about the mini-series which I watched on the lowest possible volume because it was about gay people and that wasn't a topic spoken about in my house. I fell in love with it, read the play, and even used Harper...

    A gorgeous, expansive, and enlightening tome on this ever-relevant play. I powered through it in anticipation of seeing the New York production this week, and I'm so glad I did. It illuminates so many wonderful intersections of true history and the history immortalized in the play -- h...

    For those of us who lived through the crisis of the crisis; for those of us who get the dramaturgical significance of the play; for those of us who sat in an audience or saw the HBO miniseries (with Streep/Pacino/etc) and were stunned and changed-- The World Only Spins Forward is the j...

    This is a fantastic oral history of Tony Kushner's Angels in America. I stumbled upon it in the New section at my local library just a few weeks before a planned trip to NYC to the National Theatre version that currently on Broadway. I though "well, I'll thumb through this and see what...

    Probably a little too specific for a general readership but Butler and Kois' masterful oral history provides a unique look at the conception and continuing evolution of one of the 20th century's greatest and most important works of theater. Cast and crew interviews take us through ea...

    I read The World Only Spins Forward in anticipation of seeing the revival of "Angels in America" on Broadway (which was phenomenal, just in case you're wondering). Not only did this enhance my knowledge of the history and context of Tony Kushner's work, it fleshed out the experiences o...

    Um, amazing. I never felt like I was in the mood to read this book (I had just finished the Daily Show oral history book, so I was fatigued on that style) but it always managed to suck me in. It must just be my love of this show, but getting any new grain of information about such a ep...

  • Katy
    Mar 22, 2018

    4.5, rounded up. Considering I read this over 400 page book in less than 24 hours, it would be disingenuous of me to give it anything less than 5 stars. There are definite problems with both the book AND its subject, but structuring over 250 oral interviews into a consistently informat...

    I got through >400 pages in 26ish hours, so this gets 5 stars. The World Only Spins Forward is an oral history of the context, inception, premiere, and legacy of Tony Kushner's Angels in America, with the contributions of many people who have been involved with and touched by thi...

    The book is an absolutely essential aid to reading the play. On a personal note (I live in the area, and was doing theatre at the time), it also included a section about the notorious Charlotte Rep production in the mid-90s. People interviewed include Perry Tannenbaum, longtime drama c...

    Oral histories are eminently bingeable. Like binge-until-you're-queasyworthy. But most of the oral histories I've read have been about subjects like Saturday Night Live, full of gossip and anecdots about a subject I know a lot about. Angels in America, on the other hand, I'm only s...

    The authors of this history of "Angels in America" (a seven-hour play now 25 years old) and the world from which it grew interviewed scores of people and organized their often powerful words in script form. It was challenging to keep track of who the speakers were, and I kept flipping ...

    There are very few theatrical productions that both recount the change of history and make that recount a change in itself. "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes" by Tony Kushner is one such production. Appearing in the mid-1980's and continuing to this day, Kushner's p...

    Compelling oral history that highlights just how strongly this play affected the people involved in the various productions of it, the audiences, and the world at large. Its continuing impact cannot be overstated. The structure of the book is excellent: interviews with the actors, dire...

    If you are reading, working on a production, or planning to see "Angels in America" this book will be helpful. I did gain some insight into some of the themes and the structure of the plays. But the structure of the BOOK was a bit chaotic. It was like being in a large room with a bunch...

    I absolutely loved this book and could reread it immediately. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in theatre and its creation. The interviews revealed new layers of meaning and ways of thinking about the play, and made me even more excited to see it again. ...

    This was honestly one of the most pleasurable reading experiences of my life, like eavesdropping on a conversation at a dinner party. Or randomly sitting next to someone you've long-admired on a plane. This book made me want to go out and create. ...

    I flew through this book. For anyone who is interested in theatre and the creative process - writing, directing, acting - it's all here in a riveting oral history. It's something I'm sure I'll come back to again. ...

    I loved the wide range of voices and themes in this oral history, a beautiful and moving tribute to the greatest American play of all time. It?s impossible for me to be objective about something I love so much, but this is a fascinating dive into the complexities of the play?s evol...

  • Jeff
    Feb 19, 2018

    4.5, rounded up. Considering I read this over 400 page book in less than 24 hours, it would be disingenuous of me to give it anything less than 5 stars. There are definite problems with both the book AND its subject, but structuring over 250 oral interviews into a consistently informat...

    I got through >400 pages in 26ish hours, so this gets 5 stars. The World Only Spins Forward is an oral history of the context, inception, premiere, and legacy of Tony Kushner's Angels in America, with the contributions of many people who have been involved with and touched by thi...

    The book is an absolutely essential aid to reading the play. On a personal note (I live in the area, and was doing theatre at the time), it also included a section about the notorious Charlotte Rep production in the mid-90s. People interviewed include Perry Tannenbaum, longtime drama c...

    Oral histories are eminently bingeable. Like binge-until-you're-queasyworthy. But most of the oral histories I've read have been about subjects like Saturday Night Live, full of gossip and anecdots about a subject I know a lot about. Angels in America, on the other hand, I'm only s...

  • Alyssa Lentz
    Feb 28, 2018

    4.5, rounded up. Considering I read this over 400 page book in less than 24 hours, it would be disingenuous of me to give it anything less than 5 stars. There are definite problems with both the book AND its subject, but structuring over 250 oral interviews into a consistently informat...

    I got through >400 pages in 26ish hours, so this gets 5 stars. The World Only Spins Forward is an oral history of the context, inception, premiere, and legacy of Tony Kushner's Angels in America, with the contributions of many people who have been involved with and touched by thi...

    The book is an absolutely essential aid to reading the play. On a personal note (I live in the area, and was doing theatre at the time), it also included a section about the notorious Charlotte Rep production in the mid-90s. People interviewed include Perry Tannenbaum, longtime drama c...

    Oral histories are eminently bingeable. Like binge-until-you're-queasyworthy. But most of the oral histories I've read have been about subjects like Saturday Night Live, full of gossip and anecdots about a subject I know a lot about. Angels in America, on the other hand, I'm only s...

    The authors of this history of "Angels in America" (a seven-hour play now 25 years old) and the world from which it grew interviewed scores of people and organized their often powerful words in script form. It was challenging to keep track of who the speakers were, and I kept flipping ...

    There are very few theatrical productions that both recount the change of history and make that recount a change in itself. "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes" by Tony Kushner is one such production. Appearing in the mid-1980's and continuing to this day, Kushner's p...

    Compelling oral history that highlights just how strongly this play affected the people involved in the various productions of it, the audiences, and the world at large. Its continuing impact cannot be overstated. The structure of the book is excellent: interviews with the actors, dire...

    If you are reading, working on a production, or planning to see "Angels in America" this book will be helpful. I did gain some insight into some of the themes and the structure of the plays. But the structure of the BOOK was a bit chaotic. It was like being in a large room with a bunch...

    I absolutely loved this book and could reread it immediately. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in theatre and its creation. The interviews revealed new layers of meaning and ways of thinking about the play, and made me even more excited to see it again. ...

    This was honestly one of the most pleasurable reading experiences of my life, like eavesdropping on a conversation at a dinner party. Or randomly sitting next to someone you've long-admired on a plane. This book made me want to go out and create. ...

    I flew through this book. For anyone who is interested in theatre and the creative process - writing, directing, acting - it's all here in a riveting oral history. It's something I'm sure I'll come back to again. ...

    I loved the wide range of voices and themes in this oral history, a beautiful and moving tribute to the greatest American play of all time. It?s impossible for me to be objective about something I love so much, but this is a fascinating dive into the complexities of the play?s evol...

    A brilliant, sprawling, entertaining oral history of a brilliant, sprawling, entertaining play phenomenon. And I say this not just because I?m quoted in it. ...

    My first book of the year, and it was a great one. It was so fascinating to read about the birth and ascent of my all-time favorite play. ...

    A sweeping portrait, impeccably assembled and endlessly moving & inspiring. ...

    Wow, I enjoyed this SO MUCH. It really opened up elements of the play for me that I didn't fully understand before and communicated how much of an impact it had. I loved the oral history format and I think it really benefitted from the different perspectives throughout. I also thought ...

  • Denise St Pierre
    Mar 22, 2018

    4.5, rounded up. Considering I read this over 400 page book in less than 24 hours, it would be disingenuous of me to give it anything less than 5 stars. There are definite problems with both the book AND its subject, but structuring over 250 oral interviews into a consistently informat...

    I got through >400 pages in 26ish hours, so this gets 5 stars. The World Only Spins Forward is an oral history of the context, inception, premiere, and legacy of Tony Kushner's Angels in America, with the contributions of many people who have been involved with and touched by thi...

    The book is an absolutely essential aid to reading the play. On a personal note (I live in the area, and was doing theatre at the time), it also included a section about the notorious Charlotte Rep production in the mid-90s. People interviewed include Perry Tannenbaum, longtime drama c...

    Oral histories are eminently bingeable. Like binge-until-you're-queasyworthy. But most of the oral histories I've read have been about subjects like Saturday Night Live, full of gossip and anecdots about a subject I know a lot about. Angels in America, on the other hand, I'm only s...

    The authors of this history of "Angels in America" (a seven-hour play now 25 years old) and the world from which it grew interviewed scores of people and organized their often powerful words in script form. It was challenging to keep track of who the speakers were, and I kept flipping ...

    There are very few theatrical productions that both recount the change of history and make that recount a change in itself. "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes" by Tony Kushner is one such production. Appearing in the mid-1980's and continuing to this day, Kushner's p...

    Compelling oral history that highlights just how strongly this play affected the people involved in the various productions of it, the audiences, and the world at large. Its continuing impact cannot be overstated. The structure of the book is excellent: interviews with the actors, dire...

    If you are reading, working on a production, or planning to see "Angels in America" this book will be helpful. I did gain some insight into some of the themes and the structure of the plays. But the structure of the BOOK was a bit chaotic. It was like being in a large room with a bunch...

    I absolutely loved this book and could reread it immediately. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in theatre and its creation. The interviews revealed new layers of meaning and ways of thinking about the play, and made me even more excited to see it again. ...

    This was honestly one of the most pleasurable reading experiences of my life, like eavesdropping on a conversation at a dinner party. Or randomly sitting next to someone you've long-admired on a plane. This book made me want to go out and create. ...

    I flew through this book. For anyone who is interested in theatre and the creative process - writing, directing, acting - it's all here in a riveting oral history. It's something I'm sure I'll come back to again. ...

    I loved the wide range of voices and themes in this oral history, a beautiful and moving tribute to the greatest American play of all time. It?s impossible for me to be objective about something I love so much, but this is a fascinating dive into the complexities of the play?s evol...

    A brilliant, sprawling, entertaining oral history of a brilliant, sprawling, entertaining play phenomenon. And I say this not just because I?m quoted in it. ...

    My first book of the year, and it was a great one. It was so fascinating to read about the birth and ascent of my all-time favorite play. ...

    A sweeping portrait, impeccably assembled and endlessly moving & inspiring. ...

    Wow, I enjoyed this SO MUCH. It really opened up elements of the play for me that I didn't fully understand before and communicated how much of an impact it had. I loved the oral history format and I think it really benefitted from the different perspectives throughout. I also thought ...

    I literally highlighted half of this book on my Kindle. And I have a paper copy. It's fine. ...

    " hate America, Louis. I hate this country. It?s just big ideas, and stories, and people dying, and people like you. The white cracker who wrote the national anthem knew what he was doing. He set the word 'free' to a note so high nobody can reach it. That was deliberate. Nothing on E...

    Theater director Isaac Butler and writer/editor Dan Kois have created a compelling, surprising and inspiring oral history of Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, "Angels in America." They weave together the recollections of more than 240 actors, playwrights, critics, theater ins...

    Like the Angel crashing through the ceiling at the end of Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, heralding that "the great work begins," so too could Angels in America be said to have arrived on the scene of contemporary American theatre, forever coloring and changing what could be ...

    Having seen the Broadway revival of the 2-part play this winter, it was an especially great time to read this book. When I first saw the plays on tour in the 90s it was the most theatrical play I'd ever seen, and it still holds that title. This book takes a deep dive into the play, fro...

    I was first exposed to Angels in America in high school. A classmate told me about the mini-series which I watched on the lowest possible volume because it was about gay people and that wasn't a topic spoken about in my house. I fell in love with it, read the play, and even used Harper...

    A gorgeous, expansive, and enlightening tome on this ever-relevant play. I powered through it in anticipation of seeing the New York production this week, and I'm so glad I did. It illuminates so many wonderful intersections of true history and the history immortalized in the play -- h...

  • Jill Meyer
    Feb 15, 2018

    4.5, rounded up. Considering I read this over 400 page book in less than 24 hours, it would be disingenuous of me to give it anything less than 5 stars. There are definite problems with both the book AND its subject, but structuring over 250 oral interviews into a consistently informat...

    I got through >400 pages in 26ish hours, so this gets 5 stars. The World Only Spins Forward is an oral history of the context, inception, premiere, and legacy of Tony Kushner's Angels in America, with the contributions of many people who have been involved with and touched by thi...

    The book is an absolutely essential aid to reading the play. On a personal note (I live in the area, and was doing theatre at the time), it also included a section about the notorious Charlotte Rep production in the mid-90s. People interviewed include Perry Tannenbaum, longtime drama c...

    Oral histories are eminently bingeable. Like binge-until-you're-queasyworthy. But most of the oral histories I've read have been about subjects like Saturday Night Live, full of gossip and anecdots about a subject I know a lot about. Angels in America, on the other hand, I'm only s...

    The authors of this history of "Angels in America" (a seven-hour play now 25 years old) and the world from which it grew interviewed scores of people and organized their often powerful words in script form. It was challenging to keep track of who the speakers were, and I kept flipping ...

    There are very few theatrical productions that both recount the change of history and make that recount a change in itself. "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes" by Tony Kushner is one such production. Appearing in the mid-1980's and continuing to this day, Kushner's p...

  • Jeff Santilli
    Mar 19, 2018

    4.5, rounded up. Considering I read this over 400 page book in less than 24 hours, it would be disingenuous of me to give it anything less than 5 stars. There are definite problems with both the book AND its subject, but structuring over 250 oral interviews into a consistently informat...

    I got through >400 pages in 26ish hours, so this gets 5 stars. The World Only Spins Forward is an oral history of the context, inception, premiere, and legacy of Tony Kushner's Angels in America, with the contributions of many people who have been involved with and touched by thi...

    The book is an absolutely essential aid to reading the play. On a personal note (I live in the area, and was doing theatre at the time), it also included a section about the notorious Charlotte Rep production in the mid-90s. People interviewed include Perry Tannenbaum, longtime drama c...

    Oral histories are eminently bingeable. Like binge-until-you're-queasyworthy. But most of the oral histories I've read have been about subjects like Saturday Night Live, full of gossip and anecdots about a subject I know a lot about. Angels in America, on the other hand, I'm only s...

    The authors of this history of "Angels in America" (a seven-hour play now 25 years old) and the world from which it grew interviewed scores of people and organized their often powerful words in script form. It was challenging to keep track of who the speakers were, and I kept flipping ...

    There are very few theatrical productions that both recount the change of history and make that recount a change in itself. "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes" by Tony Kushner is one such production. Appearing in the mid-1980's and continuing to this day, Kushner's p...

    Compelling oral history that highlights just how strongly this play affected the people involved in the various productions of it, the audiences, and the world at large. Its continuing impact cannot be overstated. The structure of the book is excellent: interviews with the actors, dire...

    If you are reading, working on a production, or planning to see "Angels in America" this book will be helpful. I did gain some insight into some of the themes and the structure of the plays. But the structure of the BOOK was a bit chaotic. It was like being in a large room with a bunch...

    I absolutely loved this book and could reread it immediately. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in theatre and its creation. The interviews revealed new layers of meaning and ways of thinking about the play, and made me even more excited to see it again. ...

  • Lisa Guevara
    Apr 29, 2018

    4.5, rounded up. Considering I read this over 400 page book in less than 24 hours, it would be disingenuous of me to give it anything less than 5 stars. There are definite problems with both the book AND its subject, but structuring over 250 oral interviews into a consistently informat...

    I got through >400 pages in 26ish hours, so this gets 5 stars. The World Only Spins Forward is an oral history of the context, inception, premiere, and legacy of Tony Kushner's Angels in America, with the contributions of many people who have been involved with and touched by thi...

    The book is an absolutely essential aid to reading the play. On a personal note (I live in the area, and was doing theatre at the time), it also included a section about the notorious Charlotte Rep production in the mid-90s. People interviewed include Perry Tannenbaum, longtime drama c...

    Oral histories are eminently bingeable. Like binge-until-you're-queasyworthy. But most of the oral histories I've read have been about subjects like Saturday Night Live, full of gossip and anecdots about a subject I know a lot about. Angels in America, on the other hand, I'm only s...

    The authors of this history of "Angels in America" (a seven-hour play now 25 years old) and the world from which it grew interviewed scores of people and organized their often powerful words in script form. It was challenging to keep track of who the speakers were, and I kept flipping ...

    There are very few theatrical productions that both recount the change of history and make that recount a change in itself. "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes" by Tony Kushner is one such production. Appearing in the mid-1980's and continuing to this day, Kushner's p...

    Compelling oral history that highlights just how strongly this play affected the people involved in the various productions of it, the audiences, and the world at large. Its continuing impact cannot be overstated. The structure of the book is excellent: interviews with the actors, dire...

    If you are reading, working on a production, or planning to see "Angels in America" this book will be helpful. I did gain some insight into some of the themes and the structure of the plays. But the structure of the BOOK was a bit chaotic. It was like being in a large room with a bunch...

    I absolutely loved this book and could reread it immediately. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in theatre and its creation. The interviews revealed new layers of meaning and ways of thinking about the play, and made me even more excited to see it again. ...

    This was honestly one of the most pleasurable reading experiences of my life, like eavesdropping on a conversation at a dinner party. Or randomly sitting next to someone you've long-admired on a plane. This book made me want to go out and create. ...

    I flew through this book. For anyone who is interested in theatre and the creative process - writing, directing, acting - it's all here in a riveting oral history. It's something I'm sure I'll come back to again. ...

    I loved the wide range of voices and themes in this oral history, a beautiful and moving tribute to the greatest American play of all time. It?s impossible for me to be objective about something I love so much, but this is a fascinating dive into the complexities of the play?s evol...

    A brilliant, sprawling, entertaining oral history of a brilliant, sprawling, entertaining play phenomenon. And I say this not just because I?m quoted in it. ...

    My first book of the year, and it was a great one. It was so fascinating to read about the birth and ascent of my all-time favorite play. ...

    A sweeping portrait, impeccably assembled and endlessly moving & inspiring. ...

    Wow, I enjoyed this SO MUCH. It really opened up elements of the play for me that I didn't fully understand before and communicated how much of an impact it had. I loved the oral history format and I think it really benefitted from the different perspectives throughout. I also thought ...

    I literally highlighted half of this book on my Kindle. And I have a paper copy. It's fine. ...

    " hate America, Louis. I hate this country. It?s just big ideas, and stories, and people dying, and people like you. The white cracker who wrote the national anthem knew what he was doing. He set the word 'free' to a note so high nobody can reach it. That was deliberate. Nothing on E...

    Theater director Isaac Butler and writer/editor Dan Kois have created a compelling, surprising and inspiring oral history of Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, "Angels in America." They weave together the recollections of more than 240 actors, playwrights, critics, theater ins...

    Like the Angel crashing through the ceiling at the end of Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, heralding that "the great work begins," so too could Angels in America be said to have arrived on the scene of contemporary American theatre, forever coloring and changing what could be ...

    Having seen the Broadway revival of the 2-part play this winter, it was an especially great time to read this book. When I first saw the plays on tour in the 90s it was the most theatrical play I'd ever seen, and it still holds that title. This book takes a deep dive into the play, fro...

    I was first exposed to Angels in America in high school. A classmate told me about the mini-series which I watched on the lowest possible volume because it was about gay people and that wasn't a topic spoken about in my house. I fell in love with it, read the play, and even used Harper...

    A gorgeous, expansive, and enlightening tome on this ever-relevant play. I powered through it in anticipation of seeing the New York production this week, and I'm so glad I did. It illuminates so many wonderful intersections of true history and the history immortalized in the play -- h...

    For those of us who lived through the crisis of the crisis; for those of us who get the dramaturgical significance of the play; for those of us who sat in an audience or saw the HBO miniseries (with Streep/Pacino/etc) and were stunned and changed-- The World Only Spins Forward is the j...

    This is a fantastic oral history of Tony Kushner's Angels in America. I stumbled upon it in the New section at my local library just a few weeks before a planned trip to NYC to the National Theatre version that currently on Broadway. I though "well, I'll thumb through this and see what...

  • Kari
    Mar 07, 2018

    4.5, rounded up. Considering I read this over 400 page book in less than 24 hours, it would be disingenuous of me to give it anything less than 5 stars. There are definite problems with both the book AND its subject, but structuring over 250 oral interviews into a consistently informat...

    I got through >400 pages in 26ish hours, so this gets 5 stars. The World Only Spins Forward is an oral history of the context, inception, premiere, and legacy of Tony Kushner's Angels in America, with the contributions of many people who have been involved with and touched by thi...

    The book is an absolutely essential aid to reading the play. On a personal note (I live in the area, and was doing theatre at the time), it also included a section about the notorious Charlotte Rep production in the mid-90s. People interviewed include Perry Tannenbaum, longtime drama c...

    Oral histories are eminently bingeable. Like binge-until-you're-queasyworthy. But most of the oral histories I've read have been about subjects like Saturday Night Live, full of gossip and anecdots about a subject I know a lot about. Angels in America, on the other hand, I'm only s...

    The authors of this history of "Angels in America" (a seven-hour play now 25 years old) and the world from which it grew interviewed scores of people and organized their often powerful words in script form. It was challenging to keep track of who the speakers were, and I kept flipping ...

    There are very few theatrical productions that both recount the change of history and make that recount a change in itself. "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes" by Tony Kushner is one such production. Appearing in the mid-1980's and continuing to this day, Kushner's p...

    Compelling oral history that highlights just how strongly this play affected the people involved in the various productions of it, the audiences, and the world at large. Its continuing impact cannot be overstated. The structure of the book is excellent: interviews with the actors, dire...

    If you are reading, working on a production, or planning to see "Angels in America" this book will be helpful. I did gain some insight into some of the themes and the structure of the plays. But the structure of the BOOK was a bit chaotic. It was like being in a large room with a bunch...

    I absolutely loved this book and could reread it immediately. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in theatre and its creation. The interviews revealed new layers of meaning and ways of thinking about the play, and made me even more excited to see it again. ...

    This was honestly one of the most pleasurable reading experiences of my life, like eavesdropping on a conversation at a dinner party. Or randomly sitting next to someone you've long-admired on a plane. This book made me want to go out and create. ...

    I flew through this book. For anyone who is interested in theatre and the creative process - writing, directing, acting - it's all here in a riveting oral history. It's something I'm sure I'll come back to again. ...

    I loved the wide range of voices and themes in this oral history, a beautiful and moving tribute to the greatest American play of all time. It?s impossible for me to be objective about something I love so much, but this is a fascinating dive into the complexities of the play?s evol...

    A brilliant, sprawling, entertaining oral history of a brilliant, sprawling, entertaining play phenomenon. And I say this not just because I?m quoted in it. ...

    My first book of the year, and it was a great one. It was so fascinating to read about the birth and ascent of my all-time favorite play. ...

  • Dave Cotton
    May 27, 2018

    4.5, rounded up. Considering I read this over 400 page book in less than 24 hours, it would be disingenuous of me to give it anything less than 5 stars. There are definite problems with both the book AND its subject, but structuring over 250 oral interviews into a consistently informat...

    I got through >400 pages in 26ish hours, so this gets 5 stars. The World Only Spins Forward is an oral history of the context, inception, premiere, and legacy of Tony Kushner's Angels in America, with the contributions of many people who have been involved with and touched by thi...

    The book is an absolutely essential aid to reading the play. On a personal note (I live in the area, and was doing theatre at the time), it also included a section about the notorious Charlotte Rep production in the mid-90s. People interviewed include Perry Tannenbaum, longtime drama c...

    Oral histories are eminently bingeable. Like binge-until-you're-queasyworthy. But most of the oral histories I've read have been about subjects like Saturday Night Live, full of gossip and anecdots about a subject I know a lot about. Angels in America, on the other hand, I'm only s...

    The authors of this history of "Angels in America" (a seven-hour play now 25 years old) and the world from which it grew interviewed scores of people and organized their often powerful words in script form. It was challenging to keep track of who the speakers were, and I kept flipping ...

    There are very few theatrical productions that both recount the change of history and make that recount a change in itself. "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes" by Tony Kushner is one such production. Appearing in the mid-1980's and continuing to this day, Kushner's p...

    Compelling oral history that highlights just how strongly this play affected the people involved in the various productions of it, the audiences, and the world at large. Its continuing impact cannot be overstated. The structure of the book is excellent: interviews with the actors, dire...

    If you are reading, working on a production, or planning to see "Angels in America" this book will be helpful. I did gain some insight into some of the themes and the structure of the plays. But the structure of the BOOK was a bit chaotic. It was like being in a large room with a bunch...

  • Doug
    Feb 27, 2018

    4.5, rounded up. Considering I read this over 400 page book in less than 24 hours, it would be disingenuous of me to give it anything less than 5 stars. There are definite problems with both the book AND its subject, but structuring over 250 oral interviews into a consistently informat...

  • Harry McDonald
    Jun 01, 2018

    4.5, rounded up. Considering I read this over 400 page book in less than 24 hours, it would be disingenuous of me to give it anything less than 5 stars. There are definite problems with both the book AND its subject, but structuring over 250 oral interviews into a consistently informat...

    I got through >400 pages in 26ish hours, so this gets 5 stars. The World Only Spins Forward is an oral history of the context, inception, premiere, and legacy of Tony Kushner's Angels in America, with the contributions of many people who have been involved with and touched by thi...

  • Richard Noggle
    Mar 27, 2018

    4.5, rounded up. Considering I read this over 400 page book in less than 24 hours, it would be disingenuous of me to give it anything less than 5 stars. There are definite problems with both the book AND its subject, but structuring over 250 oral interviews into a consistently informat...

    I got through >400 pages in 26ish hours, so this gets 5 stars. The World Only Spins Forward is an oral history of the context, inception, premiere, and legacy of Tony Kushner's Angels in America, with the contributions of many people who have been involved with and touched by thi...

    The book is an absolutely essential aid to reading the play. On a personal note (I live in the area, and was doing theatre at the time), it also included a section about the notorious Charlotte Rep production in the mid-90s. People interviewed include Perry Tannenbaum, longtime drama c...

    Oral histories are eminently bingeable. Like binge-until-you're-queasyworthy. But most of the oral histories I've read have been about subjects like Saturday Night Live, full of gossip and anecdots about a subject I know a lot about. Angels in America, on the other hand, I'm only s...

    The authors of this history of "Angels in America" (a seven-hour play now 25 years old) and the world from which it grew interviewed scores of people and organized their often powerful words in script form. It was challenging to keep track of who the speakers were, and I kept flipping ...

    There are very few theatrical productions that both recount the change of history and make that recount a change in itself. "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes" by Tony Kushner is one such production. Appearing in the mid-1980's and continuing to this day, Kushner's p...

    Compelling oral history that highlights just how strongly this play affected the people involved in the various productions of it, the audiences, and the world at large. Its continuing impact cannot be overstated. The structure of the book is excellent: interviews with the actors, dire...

    If you are reading, working on a production, or planning to see "Angels in America" this book will be helpful. I did gain some insight into some of the themes and the structure of the plays. But the structure of the BOOK was a bit chaotic. It was like being in a large room with a bunch...

    I absolutely loved this book and could reread it immediately. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in theatre and its creation. The interviews revealed new layers of meaning and ways of thinking about the play, and made me even more excited to see it again. ...

    This was honestly one of the most pleasurable reading experiences of my life, like eavesdropping on a conversation at a dinner party. Or randomly sitting next to someone you've long-admired on a plane. This book made me want to go out and create. ...

    I flew through this book. For anyone who is interested in theatre and the creative process - writing, directing, acting - it's all here in a riveting oral history. It's something I'm sure I'll come back to again. ...

    I loved the wide range of voices and themes in this oral history, a beautiful and moving tribute to the greatest American play of all time. It?s impossible for me to be objective about something I love so much, but this is a fascinating dive into the complexities of the play?s evol...

    A brilliant, sprawling, entertaining oral history of a brilliant, sprawling, entertaining play phenomenon. And I say this not just because I?m quoted in it. ...

    My first book of the year, and it was a great one. It was so fascinating to read about the birth and ascent of my all-time favorite play. ...

    A sweeping portrait, impeccably assembled and endlessly moving & inspiring. ...

    Wow, I enjoyed this SO MUCH. It really opened up elements of the play for me that I didn't fully understand before and communicated how much of an impact it had. I loved the oral history format and I think it really benefitted from the different perspectives throughout. I also thought ...

    I literally highlighted half of this book on my Kindle. And I have a paper copy. It's fine. ...

    " hate America, Louis. I hate this country. It?s just big ideas, and stories, and people dying, and people like you. The white cracker who wrote the national anthem knew what he was doing. He set the word 'free' to a note so high nobody can reach it. That was deliberate. Nothing on E...

    Theater director Isaac Butler and writer/editor Dan Kois have created a compelling, surprising and inspiring oral history of Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, "Angels in America." They weave together the recollections of more than 240 actors, playwrights, critics, theater ins...

    Like the Angel crashing through the ceiling at the end of Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, heralding that "the great work begins," so too could Angels in America be said to have arrived on the scene of contemporary American theatre, forever coloring and changing what could be ...

    Having seen the Broadway revival of the 2-part play this winter, it was an especially great time to read this book. When I first saw the plays on tour in the 90s it was the most theatrical play I'd ever seen, and it still holds that title. This book takes a deep dive into the play, fro...

    I was first exposed to Angels in America in high school. A classmate told me about the mini-series which I watched on the lowest possible volume because it was about gay people and that wasn't a topic spoken about in my house. I fell in love with it, read the play, and even used Harper...

    A gorgeous, expansive, and enlightening tome on this ever-relevant play. I powered through it in anticipation of seeing the New York production this week, and I'm so glad I did. It illuminates so many wonderful intersections of true history and the history immortalized in the play -- h...

    For those of us who lived through the crisis of the crisis; for those of us who get the dramaturgical significance of the play; for those of us who sat in an audience or saw the HBO miniseries (with Streep/Pacino/etc) and were stunned and changed-- The World Only Spins Forward is the j...

    This is a fantastic oral history of Tony Kushner's Angels in America. I stumbled upon it in the New section at my local library just a few weeks before a planned trip to NYC to the National Theatre version that currently on Broadway. I though "well, I'll thumb through this and see what...

    Probably a little too specific for a general readership but Butler and Kois' masterful oral history provides a unique look at the conception and continuing evolution of one of the 20th century's greatest and most important works of theater. Cast and crew interviews take us through ea...

  • Erin Bomboy
    May 17, 2018

    4.5, rounded up. Considering I read this over 400 page book in less than 24 hours, it would be disingenuous of me to give it anything less than 5 stars. There are definite problems with both the book AND its subject, but structuring over 250 oral interviews into a consistently informat...

    I got through >400 pages in 26ish hours, so this gets 5 stars. The World Only Spins Forward is an oral history of the context, inception, premiere, and legacy of Tony Kushner's Angels in America, with the contributions of many people who have been involved with and touched by thi...

    The book is an absolutely essential aid to reading the play. On a personal note (I live in the area, and was doing theatre at the time), it also included a section about the notorious Charlotte Rep production in the mid-90s. People interviewed include Perry Tannenbaum, longtime drama c...

    Oral histories are eminently bingeable. Like binge-until-you're-queasyworthy. But most of the oral histories I've read have been about subjects like Saturday Night Live, full of gossip and anecdots about a subject I know a lot about. Angels in America, on the other hand, I'm only s...

    The authors of this history of "Angels in America" (a seven-hour play now 25 years old) and the world from which it grew interviewed scores of people and organized their often powerful words in script form. It was challenging to keep track of who the speakers were, and I kept flipping ...

    There are very few theatrical productions that both recount the change of history and make that recount a change in itself. "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes" by Tony Kushner is one such production. Appearing in the mid-1980's and continuing to this day, Kushner's p...

    Compelling oral history that highlights just how strongly this play affected the people involved in the various productions of it, the audiences, and the world at large. Its continuing impact cannot be overstated. The structure of the book is excellent: interviews with the actors, dire...

    If you are reading, working on a production, or planning to see "Angels in America" this book will be helpful. I did gain some insight into some of the themes and the structure of the plays. But the structure of the BOOK was a bit chaotic. It was like being in a large room with a bunch...

    I absolutely loved this book and could reread it immediately. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in theatre and its creation. The interviews revealed new layers of meaning and ways of thinking about the play, and made me even more excited to see it again. ...

    This was honestly one of the most pleasurable reading experiences of my life, like eavesdropping on a conversation at a dinner party. Or randomly sitting next to someone you've long-admired on a plane. This book made me want to go out and create. ...

    I flew through this book. For anyone who is interested in theatre and the creative process - writing, directing, acting - it's all here in a riveting oral history. It's something I'm sure I'll come back to again. ...

    I loved the wide range of voices and themes in this oral history, a beautiful and moving tribute to the greatest American play of all time. It?s impossible for me to be objective about something I love so much, but this is a fascinating dive into the complexities of the play?s evol...

    A brilliant, sprawling, entertaining oral history of a brilliant, sprawling, entertaining play phenomenon. And I say this not just because I?m quoted in it. ...

    My first book of the year, and it was a great one. It was so fascinating to read about the birth and ascent of my all-time favorite play. ...

    A sweeping portrait, impeccably assembled and endlessly moving & inspiring. ...

    Wow, I enjoyed this SO MUCH. It really opened up elements of the play for me that I didn't fully understand before and communicated how much of an impact it had. I loved the oral history format and I think it really benefitted from the different perspectives throughout. I also thought ...

    I literally highlighted half of this book on my Kindle. And I have a paper copy. It's fine. ...

    " hate America, Louis. I hate this country. It?s just big ideas, and stories, and people dying, and people like you. The white cracker who wrote the national anthem knew what he was doing. He set the word 'free' to a note so high nobody can reach it. That was deliberate. Nothing on E...

    Theater director Isaac Butler and writer/editor Dan Kois have created a compelling, surprising and inspiring oral history of Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, "Angels in America." They weave together the recollections of more than 240 actors, playwrights, critics, theater ins...

    Like the Angel crashing through the ceiling at the end of Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, heralding that "the great work begins," so too could Angels in America be said to have arrived on the scene of contemporary American theatre, forever coloring and changing what could be ...

    Having seen the Broadway revival of the 2-part play this winter, it was an especially great time to read this book. When I first saw the plays on tour in the 90s it was the most theatrical play I'd ever seen, and it still holds that title. This book takes a deep dive into the play, fro...

    I was first exposed to Angels in America in high school. A classmate told me about the mini-series which I watched on the lowest possible volume because it was about gay people and that wasn't a topic spoken about in my house. I fell in love with it, read the play, and even used Harper...

    A gorgeous, expansive, and enlightening tome on this ever-relevant play. I powered through it in anticipation of seeing the New York production this week, and I'm so glad I did. It illuminates so many wonderful intersections of true history and the history immortalized in the play -- h...

    For those of us who lived through the crisis of the crisis; for those of us who get the dramaturgical significance of the play; for those of us who sat in an audience or saw the HBO miniseries (with Streep/Pacino/etc) and were stunned and changed-- The World Only Spins Forward is the j...

    This is a fantastic oral history of Tony Kushner's Angels in America. I stumbled upon it in the New section at my local library just a few weeks before a planned trip to NYC to the National Theatre version that currently on Broadway. I though "well, I'll thumb through this and see what...

    Probably a little too specific for a general readership but Butler and Kois' masterful oral history provides a unique look at the conception and continuing evolution of one of the 20th century's greatest and most important works of theater. Cast and crew interviews take us through ea...

    I read The World Only Spins Forward in anticipation of seeing the revival of "Angels in America" on Broadway (which was phenomenal, just in case you're wondering). Not only did this enhance my knowledge of the history and context of Tony Kushner's work, it fleshed out the experiences o...