9780307267160.dWendy Smith at The Washington Post:

In his blisteringly candid but skewed 1988 autobiography, “Elia Kazan: A Life,” he claimed that he had been miserable during the years of his greatest success, “straining to be a nice guy so people would like me.” He implied that the “mask” he wore “to hide a truer feeling” kept him from working honestly with his collaborators and destroyed his pleasure in that work. It’s impossible to believe this entirely as we read his detailed letters to Tennessee Williams, firmly laying out the structural problems he sees in “Camino Real” and “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” Kazan comes across as a strong, self-confident artist, unafraid to voice opinions he knows may upset his friend.

His commitment and integrity are even more evident in correspondence with studio executives over censorship troubles with the film versions of “Streetcar,” “East of Eden” and “Baby Doll.” A leading player in the battle to make American movies more adult, Kazan urged Jack Warner in 1955, “as a matter of self preservation, to put on the screen . . . only what they cannot and will not ever see on their TV . . . we must be bold.”

more here.