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3.46  ·  Rating Details  ·  280 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
"Gripping. . . . Deep in its gut, Mamet's new play argues, everything in America--and this play throws in sex, rape, the law, employment and relationships--is still about race."--"Chicago Tribune"

"A dramatist celebrated for introducing expletives to the American theatre now tackles a truly taboo four-letter word. . . . Most concerned with the power and treachery of languag
ebook, 96 pages
Published January 11th 2011 by Theatre Communications Group (first published August 23rd 2010)
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I was disappointed by this play after hearing so many great things about it. Mamet's treatment of race here isn't so much candid and challenging as it is hamfisted and shallow. I can understand why some people think this play is exciting, but I think it's because our society considers it rude or racist or dispiriting to discuss racial politics. Just because characters ask "Why, because I'm BLACK?!" every five minutes or declare, "All white people are ______!" doesn't mean Mamet is bold. This is ...more
Robert Lashley
Sep 23, 2011 Robert Lashley rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
As the grievance movements of wingnut identity politics gives way to the grievance movements of the tea party, David Mamet has written a play for our times. Shrill, horatory, and filled with stock speeches where there should be dramatic tension, Race is a protest play in whiteface; less concerned with character and narrative tension than telling the truth about the black man. The right wing message play is not new to Mamet: he went after women in Oleanna, gays and "effeminent" men in The Cryptog ...more
Dec 14, 2011 Ebony rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A friend passed Race along to me. I didn’t know what to expect, but I kept checking the premier date to make sure it wasn’t a Strauss-Khan play by play. The play’s relationship to the real life events is uncanny in my imagination since we don’t really know what happened in those hotel rooms, but like Susan implies there are somethings you just know not necessarily because you are black or because you are a woman but absolutely because your race and gender color how you view the world. I didn’t q ...more
Oct 17, 2012 Kelly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I find David Mamet's view of humanity so alien from my own that I truly wonder if we live in the same universe. His is not a world that I recognize. The plot moves along nicely, even though the characters are all cyphers for Mamet's bottomless contempt. It's a good play, but good grief... the playwright needs to join the 21st century.
Connie  Kuntz
David Mamet has a way of getting and keeping my attention, and this play about race and trust is no exception. Once again, he, with very few words, captures the essence of the language of an industry, this time the industry is the legal industry.

This play is about the defending attorneys of a rich, middle-aged white dude who is accused of raping a twenty-something black woman. There is no apparent need to be polite with one another, and the lawyers discuss the best way to build a defense. As ev
Evanston Public  Library
After Charles, a rich white man, is accused of raping a young black woman, he asks a team of two lawyers (one white, one black) to represent him in court. Jack and Henry enlist the help of Susan, their recently hired younger associate who is black. In this “he said/she said” case, all have pre-conceived notions about Charles. Their mission is to win over a jury. Truth is an illusion. Prejudice, lust, guilt, shame, human frailty, ruthless competition, hidden agendas, betrayal—our celebrated playw ...more
race is a play about some lawyers defending a white man who raped a black girl. one of the lawyers is white, one black. the paralegal is a black woman. the dialogue here is sharp and oddly constructed to provide cadence and voice, lending the character's monologues the gravitas of real human speech, impassioned and full of pausy tics. give mamet some credit here for treading on difficult ground, punching in his weight class as far as social issues are concerned. mamet contends that race is an in ...more
Mar 28, 2014 Joshua rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An intriguing if not preachy look at race relations in America. At times it seems that Mamet is simply begging for controversy, which can take precedence over the story itself and turns the play more into a kind of dissertation on what the author thinks of race and less a story wherein race is a prime factor.
Aug 16, 2016 Phillip rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama
I'm not a big fan of Mamet, and this play didn't really sell me. Apart from the kind of stuttering dialogue Mamet uses--for example, Henry says, "Do you know what you can say? To a black man. On the subject of race?" (6)--I think what I found least appealing is how Mamet seemed to sacrifice a lot of the complexity of his characters. At the end of the day, Henry is an angry black man, Charles is (likely) a rich and powerful white man who raped an African American girl, Jack is an American 'libera ...more
Jun 20, 2013 Nique rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I guess I was just hoping for something more insightful, instead of the usual "White man trying to keep the Black man down"/ "Black people hate White people" and vice-versa. I just don't feel anything was accomplished or that anything new was revealed in this play. Meh.
Larry Mingione
Dec 29, 2012 Larry Mingione rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I saw this on Broadway, not with the original cast. I don't think this was written to define the confusing issues of race in our society - just illuminate the confusion.
Jalen Lyle-Holmes
Really enjoyed reading this play. I went into it having heard it's not Mamet's best stuff, so I think the low expectation helped, but I found it very hard to put down. It's interesting how dialogue can feel 'fast-paced' even when it's not being spoken fast, you're just reading it at your normal reading pace. Not the most insightful on the topic of race, but I enjoyed just seeing Mamet being his usual frank self on a topic people are often not frank about.
Timothy McNeil
May 07, 2013 Timothy McNeil rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
I would have preferred to have been less bothered by the punctuation than I was (I am wholly unsure of what point Mamet was trying to make with the sporadic interjections of periods and colons to keep sentences from being sentences). I do think it contributed to my not enjoying reading the play; it is an instance where I am positive it must play better than it reads. But I did not find any insight in the work, and it really felt like it was at least two decades behind the curve in envisioning ho ...more
Dave Logghe
David Mamet's brilliance with dialogue could rival Tarantino's. Unfortunately his writing is still tainted by sexism and (ironically in this case) racism. I want so badly to love Mamet's work, and in some ways, I do. However, this is a way in which his work has always fallen short for me. So instead of sheer brilliance, he gives some good work with sparkles of genius here and there.
Kate Arms
I really enjoyed Mamet's portrayal of the legal profession in the first half of the play. The treatment of race was too obvious for my taste, but clever in the twists in the second half. Stylistically, I'm not wild about the trajectory of the play or the staging. Mamet has written better plays.
L Alec
Jul 24, 2016 L Alec rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Remarkable. I always expect incredible work from Mamet but this one blew me away. Brilliant from start to finish.
Aug 27, 2014 Henrietta marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Judy Yecies Reco
Jan 08, 2011 Adam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first really great Mamet play in several years, perhaps since the mid 90s. It's the Mamet you've come to love, to ponder over, and to spontaneously quote to friends (sometimes forgetting to leave out the expletives). It's a short play, but lively--an energetic trip across the minefield of racial politics with a small herd of sacred cows.

And Mamet dedicated the play to... Shelby Steele? How cool! I look forward to seeing it performed some day.
Lorma Doone
Feb 08, 2011 Lorma Doone rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
Read this on a flight from Memphis to Miami. Surprisingly easy read for a Mamet play.

Any casual theatre fan knows what to expect from a David Mamet play. Profanity, politics, battle of the sexes-type intrigue....he has a very specific style. I thought the man had run out of ways to shock; I thought wrong. All Americans should read this play. I'd give it 6 stars if I could.
Jul 26, 2013 Andrea rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Either this is a play that truly needs to be seen to be understood or I've read too many commentaries on race relations to find this story interesting. It seemed like the same old racial stereotypes being displayed and examined, none of which raised any thought-provoking questions for me.
Sam Pryce
Mamet takes a fearless look at Race. Race. Race, race, race. I think it's mentioned on every page. This play is about Race. With a capital R. Three lawyers and a defendant collide when a court case causes them to think about - you guessed it - Race. What is race? Race is race. Race.
May 02, 2011 Kathy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A provocative look at race relations in contemporary American society. Playwright Mamet's uncensored and acerbic dialogue makes the reader question if there will ever be true equality between the races.
Aug 15, 2011 Damian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mamet seems to pride himself on the sparcity of his characters. This play, to me, goes too far in that direction. Yes, some interesting ideas, but there are no people in this play.
Nov 20, 2013 Paddythemic rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
love it. dialogue, dialogue, dialogue.

sometimes i wonder how intentional his topics are. pure drama based or politically motivated. i choose to continue to read them in terms of drama...
Apr 08, 2015 Randy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
Thought provoking play on the subject of racism. Mamet"s hits upon some incendiary issues that are most relevant today especially given the recent events of the last three years.
Aug 09, 2011 Non rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mamet is an exceptional writer of dialogue. He has perfect the words that come between the intent. It's wonderful to read. This particular story was relevant and aptly put.
Jan 05, 2015 Lena rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: script
Quick summary to save you any time you might have considered spending on this play: black women are liars, white men need to stick together.
Controversial and perceptive commentary on political correctness and stereotypes and how they affect our perception of events.
This play is okay I guess but the cover is racist.

i'll add all the things i hate about it later.
May 23, 2015 Aneesa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
I had a ticket to this but I was too sick to go.
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David Alan Mamet is an American author, essayist, playwright, screenwriter and film director. His works are known for their clever, terse, sometimes vulgar dialogue and arcane stylized phrasing, as well as for his exploration of masculinity.

As a playwright, he received Tony nominations for Glengarry Glen Ross (1984) and Speed-the-Plow (1988). As a screenwriter, he received Oscar nominations for Th
More about David Mamet...

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