People, places, plays, fragments, mementos given prominence by the graceful and mannerly writing (some will find it stuffy) of this very selective memoir. Clurman was born in New York in 1901, the son of upwardly mobile Ukrainian immigrants (his father attended Yale and took an M.D. at New York University while Clurman's mother ran the candy store). As a child Clurman was already a regular theatergoer, a love that expanded to music as well when he left Columbia to study at the Sorbonne and tagged around Paris with a relative named Aaron Copland. The names drop here as fittingly as the praising reviews Clurman was later to receive for his productions -- starting with the Group Theatre which he formed and helped keep alive from 1928 to 1941 -- of O'Neill, Odets, Inge, Hellman, Miller. There are also meetings with Camus, Malraux, Fellini, Stanislavski and Brecht (who along with Max Reinhardt, Meyerhold and Vakhtangov Clurman considers the four greatest directors of our time). A who's who of the culture met in such places as Hollywood, Tokyo, Moscow, London, Rome -- moving (a portrait of John Garfield is especially poignant), occasionally too discreet (as when Clurman remembers the bleak days of HUAC). Rather than a straight autobiography, this is what Clurman has chosen to give us, and although a reader might hope for more, what there is, is choice.