When people think about Marlon Brando, they think of the film star, the hunk and the scandals. Susan L. Mizruchi finds the Brando others have missed: the man who collected four thousand books; the man who rewrote scripts, trimming his lines to make them sharper; the man who consciously used his body and employed the objects around him to create believable characters; the man who used his fame to foster American Indian and civil rights. From Brando's letters, audiotapes and antated screenplays and books-many never before available-Mizruchi gives us a complex person whose intelligence belies the school dropout. She shows how Brando's embrace of foreign cultures and outsiders led to brilliant performances in unusual roles, fostering empathy on a global scale. In portraying a fuller Brando, Mizruchi portrays a more fascinating man than the one we thought we knew.
Susan L. Mizruchi, a professor of English at Boston University, specializes in American literature, cultural history, and film.