Full episode
211: Naming Names
Act Two

One Crucible Leads To Another

We hear excerpts from two autobiographies which each describe the same moment, but in very different ways. Elia Kazan and Arthur Miller agree that they met with each other in 1952, around the time Kazan named the names of his old friends to the House Committee on Un-American Activities. But they don't agree on what the conversation was like. Kazan describes it in his memoir, A Life, as cordial, supportive. Miller describes it in his Timebends as quietly calamitous. And after this moment, each man went on to defend his position in later work—Miller with The Crucible, about the dangers of bandwagon accusation; and Kazan with On The Waterfront, containing perhaps the single greatest testimony to squealing in the history of film. (11 minutes)