Princess Margaret: A Life of Contrasts


Christopher Warwick - 1983
       As a pre-war royal whose world was hugely circumscribed by the strictures of another age, Princess Margaret was admired as well as vilified for most of her adult life. She helped usher the monarchy into the modern world—which sometimes led to conflict and misunderstanding in both her private and public life. Christopher Warwick’s superbly researched biography redresses the balance. It gives the full, insider story of the Princess’s many love affairs, but also looks at her tireless work for charity and willingness to break taboos—it was she, not Diana, who first championed HIV and AIDS awareness. Princess Margaret reminds us that its subject was one of the most remarkable, if complex and contradictory, modern royal personalities.     Reissue.

Sound and Fury: Two Powerful Lives, One Fateful Friendship


Dave Kindred - 2006
    Individually interesting, together they were mesmerizing. They were profoundly different -- young and old, black and white, a Muslim and a Jew, Ali barely literate and Cosell an editor of his university's law review. Yet they had in common forces that made them unforgettable: Both were, above all, performers who covered up their deep personal insecurities by demanding -- loudly and often -- public acclaim. Theirs was an extraordinary alliance that produced drama, comedy, controversy, and a mutual respect that helped shape both men's lives. Dave Kindred -- uniquely equipped to tell the Ali-Cosell story after a decades-long intimate working relationship with both men -- re-creates their unlikely connection in ways never before attempted. From their first meeting in 1962 through Ali's controversial conversion to Islam and refusal to be inducted into the U.S. Army (the right for him to do both was publicly defended by Cosell), Kindred explores both the heroics that created the men's upward trajectories and the demons that brought them to sadness in their later lives. Kindred draws on his experiences with Ali and Cosell, fresh reporting, and interviews with scores of key personalities -- including the families of both. In the process, Kindred breaks new ground in our understanding of these two unique men. The book presents Ali not as a mythological character but as a man in whole, and it shows Cosell not in caricature but in faithful scale. With vivid scenes, poignant dialogue, and new interpretations of historical events, this is a biography that is novelistically engrossing -- a richly evocative portrait of the friendship that shaped two giants and changed sports and television forever.

Monica's Story


Andrew Morton - 1999
    This is her story.Monica Lewinsky. You know her name, you know her face, and you think you know her story: the pretty young intern who began an illicit affair with the President of the United States-- a liaison that ignited an unprecedented political scandal and found Bill Clinton as the second U.S. president to ever be impeached. But there is much more to the Monica Lewinsky story than just that. Now, Andrew Morton, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, Diana: Her True Story, takes you beyond the headlines and the sound bites to discover the real Monica Lewinsky, a woman as interesting, intelligent, and misunderstood as they come.Read Monica's Story and you'll discover:* How a difficult childhood shaped Monica's tumultuous adult romances* Her relationship with Bill Clinton: how she saw a side to him few know-- and why she sometimes still misses her "Handsome"* The betrayal by Linda Tripp-- and how Monica's trusting nature snared her in Tripp's treacherous web* The horror of Kenneth Starr's exhaustive and intrusive inquiry-- how it affected her and her family, and how it still haunts her* Where Monica will go from here: What are her career plans? Will she realize her dream of marrying and starting a family in the wake of the scandal?* And much, much moreWith sixteen pages of photos.

Marilyn: The Passion and Paradox


Lois W. Banner - 2012
    No previous biographer has recognized -- much less attempted to analyze -- most of these aspects of her personality. Lois Banner has.Since Marilyn's death in August of 1962, the appetite for information about her has been insatiable. Biographies of Marilyn abound, and whether these books are sensational or flawed, Marilyn's fans have always come out in bestselling numbers. This time, with Lois Banner's Revelations, the fans won't be disappointed. This is no retread of recycled material. As one of the founders of the field of women's history, Banner will reveal Marilyn Monroe in the way that only a top-notch historian and biographer could.In researching Revelations, Banner's credentials opened doors. She gained access to Marilyn intimates who hadn't spoken to other biographers, and to private material unseen, ignored, or misinterpreted by her predecessors. With new details about Marilyn's childhood foster homes, her sexual abuse, her multiple marriages, her affairs, and her untimely death at the age of thirty-six, Revelations is, at last, the nuanced biography Marilyn fans have been waiting for.

Audrey and Bill: A Romantic Biography of Audrey Hepburn and William Holden


Edward Z. Epstein - 2015
    In 1954, Hepburn and Holden were America’s sweethearts. Both won Oscars that year and together they filmed Sabrina, a now-iconic film that continues to inspire the worlds of film and fashion.Audrey & Bill tells the stories of both stars, from before they met to their electrifying first encounter when they began making Sabrina. The love affair that sparked on-set was relatively short-lived, but was a turning point in the lives of both stars. Audrey & Bill follows both Hepburn and Holden as their lives crisscrossed through to the end, providing an inside look at the Hollywood of the 1950s, ’60s, and beyond. Through in-depth research and interviews with former friends, co-stars, and studio workers, Audrey & Bill author Edward Z. Epstein sheds new light on the stars and the fascinating times in which they lived.

Frida in America: The Creative Awakening of a Great Artist


Celia Stahr - 2020
    In November, 1930, she was thrilled to realize her dream of traveling to the United States to live in San Francisco, Detroit, and New York. Still, leaving her family and her country for the first time was monumental.Only twenty-three and newly married to the already world-famous forty-three-year-old Diego Rivera, she was at a crossroads in her life and this new place, one filled with magnificent beauty, horrific poverty, racial tension, anti-Semitism, ethnic diversity, bland Midwestern food, and a thriving music scene, pushed Frida in unexpected directions. Shifts in her style of painting began to appear, cracks in her marriage widened, and tragedy struck, twice while she was living in Detroit.Frida in America is the first in-depth biography of these formative years spent in Gringolandia, a place Frida couldn't always understand. But it's precisely her feelings of being a stranger in a strange land that fueled her creative passions and an even stronger sense of Mexican identity. With vivid detail, Frida in America recreates the pivotal journey that made Senora Rivera the world famous Frida Kahlo.

Charles: Victim or villain?


Penny Junor - 1988
    Now available complete with an updated epilogue, it will change the way you think about Charles, his Princess and his mistress.As the Prince of Wales turned fifty at the end of 1998, the media focused on the publication of Charles: Victim or Villain?, Penny Junor’s controversial biography of the heir to England’s throne. Directing the spotlight onto ‘the three people’ in the Royal marriage, this book has turned popular understanding on its head. But although Junor’s unique insight into these endlessly intriguing relationships caused fierce speculation, even outrage, nothing has been denied. Nobody has disputed that this is the true portrait of a marriage.Sourced from those closest to the Prince, the Princess and Camilla – some of whom have never spoken before – Penny Junor explodes and explains the popular myths. The result is a provocative new portrait of the man who will be King.

Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell


Jane Dunn - 1990
    A moving and important book on the relationship between two remarkable sisters who jointly created the Bloomsbury Group 'It is almost too true and too moving to be read by a close relation' Quentin Bell

Exit Music: The Radiohead Story


Mac Randall - 1980
    and the Clash. The East Coast editor of Launch magazine, Randall is undoubtedly one of the many journalists eager to exclaim "genius!" again, but his biography of the Grammy winners is economical, restrained and unauthorized (band members "respectfully declined" Randall's requests to cooperate). After briefly reenacting the now mythic June 1997 concert at New York City's Irving Plaza, attended by rock's superstar aristocracy (Bono, Lenny Kravitz, Madonna, etc.), Randall smartly spends most of his narrative on the band's fascinating, decade-long conception in and around culturally barren Oxford, whose Radiohead landmarks he visited and lays out. Non- and neo-Anglophiles will especially appreciate Randall's definitions of British terms and background on the British music industry, music press and education system (all five musicians met at the all-male Abingdon School). As for the inevitable "record critique" chapters, Randall rarely throws in his two cents, preferring to sprinkle passages with the band's own pithy observations and recording-session anecdotes culled from magazine interviews. Exit music? Not quite, as Radiohead are pushing the boundaries of pop music (the new record is rumored to include Miles Davis and backwards singing). Because the book will be published right before the new album debuts, it will be nearly out of date by the time it hits bookstores. However, Randall's work will still serve as a reliable introduction to an ever-evolving band.

The Duchess of Windsor: A Memoir


Diana Mitford Mosley - 1980
    Written in her inimitable style Diana Mosley paints a remarkable portrait of her friend that is also realistic with regards to her flaws. What was it about her that utterly captivated the heir to the throne and made him renounce it when he became King? It is this question which Diana Mosley seeks to answer and which she is perhaps better qualified to answer than anyone else, given her marriage to Sir Oswald Mosley, Leader of the British Fascists.

Hillary Rodham Clinton: A Woman Living History


Karen Blumenthal - 2012
    . . . And, when you're knocked down, get right back up and never listen to anyone who says you can't or shouldn't go on." -Hillary Rodham ClintonAs a young girl growing up in the fifties, Hillary Diane Rodham had an unusual upbringing for the time-her parents told her, "You can do or be whatever you choose, as long as you're willing to work for it." Hillary took those words and ran. Whether it was campaigning at the age of thirteen in the 1964 presidential election, receiving a standing ovation and being featured in LIFE magazine as the first student commencement speaker at Wellesley, or graduating from Yale Law School-she was always one to stand out from the pack.And that was only the beginning. Today, we have seen Hillary in many roles. From First Lady of the United States to the first female Senator of New York and most recently as the United States Secretary of State. An activist all her life, she has been devoted to health care reform, child care, and women's rights, among others. And she's still not done.Critically acclaimed author Karen Blumenthal gives us a sharp and intimate look at the life of Hillary Rodham Clinton, American politics, and what the future holds in store. Illustrated throughout with black and white photographs, this is the must-have biography on a woman who has always known her public responsibility, who continues to push boundaries, and who isn't afraid to stand up for what she believes in.

Dancing With Cuba


Alma Guillermoprieto - 2004
    For six months, she worked in mirrorless studios (it was considered more revolutionary); her poorly trained but ardent students worked without them but dreamt of greatness. Yet in the midst of chronic shortages and revolutionary upheaval, Guillermoprieto found in Cuba a people whose sense of purpose touched her forever. In this electrifying memoir, Guillermoprieto–now an award-winning journalist and arguably one of our finest writers on Latin America– resurrects a time when dancers and revolutionaries seemed to occupy the same historical stage and even a floor exercise could be a profoundly political act. Exuberant and elegiac, tender and unsparing, Dancing with Cuba is a triumph of memory and feeling.

Man in Profile: Joseph Mitchell of The New Yorker


Thomas Kunkel - 2015
    But from the 1930s to the 1960s, he was the voice of New York City. Readers of The New Yorker cherished his intimate sketches of the people who made the city tick—from Mohawk steelworkers to Staten Island oystermen, from homeless intellectual Joe Gould to Old John McSorley, founder of the city’s most famous saloon. Mitchell’s literary sensibility combined with a journalistic eye for detail produced a writing style that would inspire New Journalism luminaries such as Gay Talese, Tom Wolfe, and Joan Didion.   Then, all of a sudden, his stories stopped appearing. For thirty years, Mitchell showed up for work at The New Yorker, but he produced . . . nothing. Did he have something new and exciting in store? Was he working on a major project? Or was he bedeviled by an epic case of writer’s block?   The first full-length biography of Joseph Mitchell, based on the thousands of archival pages he left behind and dozens of interviews, Man in Profile pieces together the life of this beloved and enigmatic literary legend and answers the question that has plagued readers and critics for decades: What was Joe Mitchell doing all those years?   By the time of his death in 1996, Mitchell was less well known for his elegant writing than for his J. D. Salinger–like retreat from the public eye. For thirty years, Mitchell had wandered the streets of New York, chronicling the lives of everyday people and publishing them in the most prestigious publication in town. But by the 1970s, crime, homelessness, and a crumbling infrastructure had transformed the city Mitchell understood so well and spoke for so articulately. He could barely recognize it. As he said to a friend late in life, “I’m living in a state of confusion.”   Fifty years after his last story appeared, and almost two decades after his death, Joseph Mitchell still has legions of fans, and his story—especially the mystery of his “disappearance”—continues to fascinate. With a colorful cast of characters that includes Harold Ross, A. J. Liebling, Tina Brown, James Thurber, and William Shawn, Man in Profile goes a long way to solving that mystery—and bringing this lion of American journalism out of the shadows that once threatened to swallow him.  Praise for Man in Profile   “[An] authoritative new biography [about] our greatest literary journalist . . . Kunkel is the ideal biographer of Joseph Mitchell: As . . . a writer and craftsman worthy of his subject.”—Blake Bailey, The New York Times Book Review (Editor’s Choice)   “A richly persuasive portrait of a man who cared about everybody and everything.”—London Review of Books“Mitchell’s life and achievements are brought vividly alive in [this] splendid book.”—Chicago Tribune“A thoughtful and sympathetic new biography.”—Ruth Franklin, The Atlantic   “Excellent . . . A first-rate Mitchell biography was very much in order.”—The Wall Street Journal

Nellie Bly: Daredevil, Reporter, Feminist


Brooke Kroeger - 1994
    "Kroeger's biography of Nellie Bly moves at almost as fast a pace as did Bly's remarkable life".--Mindy Spatt, San Francisco Chronicle. Photos & illustrations.

Stories I Tell Myself: Growing Up with Hunter S. Thompson


Juan F. Thompson - 2015
    Thompson, “smart hillbilly,” boy of the South, born and bred in Louisville, Kentucky, son of an insurance salesman and a stay-at-home mom, public school-educated, jailed at seventeen on a bogus petty robbery charge, member of the U.S. Air Force (Airmen Second Class), copy boy for Time, writer for The National Observer, et cetera. From the outset he was the Wild Man of American journalism with a journalistic appetite that touched on subjects that drove his sense of justice and intrigue, from biker gangs and 1960s counterculture to presidential campaigns and psychedelic drugs. He lived larger than life and pulled it up around him in a mad effort to make it as electric, anger-ridden, and drug-fueled as possible.  Now Juan Thompson tells the story of his father and of their getting to know each other during their forty-one fraught years together. He writes of the many dark times, of how far they ricocheted away from each other, and of how they found their way back before it was too late. He writes of growing up in an old farmhouse in a narrow mountain valley outside of Aspen—Woody Creek, Colorado, a ranching community with Hereford cattle and clover fields . . . of the presence of guns in the house, the boxes of ammo on the kitchen shelves behind the glass doors of the country cabinets, where others might have placed china and knickknacks . . . of climbing on the back of Hunter’s Bultaco Matador trail motorcycle as a young boy, and father and son roaring up the dirt road, trailing a cloud of dust . . . of being taken to bars in town as a small boy, Hunter holding court while Juan crawled around under the bar stools, picking up change and taking his found loot to Carl’s Pharmacy to buy Archie comic books . . . of going with his parents as a baby to a Ken Kesey/Hells Angels party with dozens of people wandering around the forest in various stages of undress, stoned on pot, tripping on LSD . . . He writes of his growing fear of his father; of the arguments between his parents reaching frightening levels; and of his finally fighting back, trying to protect his mother as the state troopers are called in to separate father and son. And of the inevitable—of mother and son driving west in their Datsun to make a new home, a new life, away from Hunter; of Juan’s first taste of what “normal” could feel like . . . We see Juan going to Concord Academy, a stranger in a strange land, coming from a school that was a log cabin in the middle of hay fields, Juan without manners or socialization . . . going on to college at Tufts; spending a crucial week with his father; Hunter asking for Juan’s opinion of his writing; and he writes of their dirt biking on a hilltop overlooking Woody Creek Valley, acting as if all the horrible things that had happened between them had never taken place, and of being there, together, side by side . . . And finally, movingly, he writes of their long, slow pull toward reconciliation . . . of Juan’s marriage and the birth of his own son; of watching Hunter love his grandson and Juan’s coming to understand how Hunter loved him; of Hunter’s growing illness, and Juan’s becoming both son and father to his father . . .