Thursday, January 05, 2012

Trumbo on Jeopardy

Dalton and Cleo Trumbo at the House Un-American Activities Committee hearings in 1947

Last night, I had the satisfaction of coming up with the correct question in Final Jeopardy. Even better, all three contestants on the show were stumped.

The category was "1930s Novels."

The clue was:

AN AUDIO VERSION OF THIS ANTI-WAR NOVEL BY A ONCE BLACKLISTED AUTHOR HAS INTRODUCTIONS FROM CINDY SHEEHAN & RON KOVIC

The contestants all incorrectly guessed All Quiet on the Western Front. The correct response was "What is Johnny Got His Gun?"

I had read Johnny Got His Gun way back in 1971, when I was in college and should have been doing course work. During those tumultuous times, reading an antiwar novel seemed more important to me.

I didn't know much about the book's author, Dalton Trumbo, until 2008, when I heard a reading of his hilarious letter to the manager of the Franklin Hotel in Rochester, Minnesota. Subsequently, I did some reading about Trumbo and how he was affected by McCarthyism. I wrote about this in the previous post "Argus," which is a much better piece than the current entry. I highly recommend clicking on the link to read it.

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