Major Barbara
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Major Barbara

3.68 (4,647 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Notes by  , Edited by 

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Description

Andrew Undershaft, a millionaire armaments manufacturer, loves money and despises poverty. His estranged daughter Barbara, on the other hand, shows her love for the poor by throwing her energies into her work as a Major in the Salvation Army, and sees her father as another soul to be saved. But when the Army needs funds to keep going, it is Undershaft who saves the day with a large cheque - forcing Barbara to examine her moral assumptions. Are they right to accept money that has been obtained by 'Death and Destruction'? Full of lively comedy and sparkling debate, Major Barbara is one of Shaw's most forward-looking plays, brilliantly testing the tensions between religion, wealth and power, benevolence and equality, and metaphors and realities of war.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 176 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 10mm | 134g
  • PENGUIN CLASSICS
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Reissue
  • 0140437908
  • 9780140437904
  • 447,069

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Back cover copy

'The greatest of our evils and the worst of our crimes is poverty ... our first duty, to which every other consideration should be sacrificed, is not to be poor'

Andrew Undershaft, a millionaire armaments dealer, loves money and despises poverty. His energetic daughter Barbara, on the other hand, shows her love for the poor by working as a Major in the Salvation Army. She sees her father as just another soul to be saved. But when the Salvation Army needs funds to keep going, it is Undershaft who saves the day. Is the Army right to accept money that has been obtained by 'Death and Destruction'? Barbara is forced to question her philanthropic motives, and what she discovers tells her something new about the world and its ways.

Full of lively comedy and sparkling debate, Major Barbara is also one of Shaw's most powerful and forward-looking plays. As Margery Morgan says, while Shaw was responding to 'a material and cultural situation that is now part of history', his work still has relevance 'in a period when new technologies drive the globalization of trade and the migration of populations ... and ancient forms of brutality and carnage have re-appeared.'

The definitive text, under the editorial supervision of Dan H. Laurence
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About George Bernard Shaw

Dublin-born George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) was an active Socialist and a brilliant platform speaker. He was strongly critical of London theatre and closely associated with the intellectual revival of British drama. Dan H. Laurence has edited Shaw's Collected Letters and Collected Plays with their Prefaces. He was Literary Advisor to the Shaw Estate until his retirement in 1990. Margery Morgan is an Emeritus Reader in English of Lancaster University.
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Rating details

4,647 ratings
3.68 out of 5 stars
5 24% (1,097)
4 34% (1,598)
3 30% (1,413)
2 10% (453)
1 2% (86)
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