In Los Angeles, Bertolt Brecht showed the qualities of character for which left-wing intellectuals have always been known:
Most people who met Brecht during his difficult years in the United States were less than impressed. Poet W. H. Auden, who collaborated with Brecht on adapting Webster's "The Duchess of Malfi" for Broadway, thought Brecht was "an odious person," while theatre critic Eric Bentley described him as a scoundrel "without elementary decency."
Thomas Mann described Brecht as "very gifted, unfortunately," "a monster," and "a party liner."
Because of his abrasive and authoritarian personality, Brecht made no friends across the Atlantic. If anything helped him survive those difficult years, it was his unshakable and unflinching belief in his own greatness.
Brecht's relationship with the German emigration was no less tempestuous. Theodor Adorno -- sociologist, philosopher and prominent member of the Frankfurt School of neo-Marxist social theory -- wrote that "Brecht spends two hours a day pushing dirt under his fingernails to make himself look proletarian."