8.28.2009

George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) was a prominent Irish playwright. His works address serious social issues through satire. Though you would not be able to tell from his picture, he was pretty freakin' funny.

He was an advocate for liberalism and socialism and a critic of religion, moralism, and capitalism. He was friend and sparring partner of one of my favs, G.K Chesterton, and though they fiercely disagreed with each other's worldviews, they maintained a cordial relationship. Reading them together is very interesting as many of their debates are predecessors of today’s. Thus, while reading them, I am always surprised by how relevant they are for today, even though they were writing in the early 20th Century.

Pygmalion is one of his most celebrated plays, which earned him both a Nobel Prize and an Oscar. Eventually it would be adapted into the musical My Fair Lady. It addresses the relationships and conflicts between the classes.

Doctor's Dilemma seems every bit as relevant - and perhaps more so - than it was in 1906, given the current health care debate. It addresses the problems of health care driven by profitability and self-interest as opposed to patient care. Obviously, it makes a case for socialized health care.

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