Empire: The Life, Legend, and Madness of Howard Hughes

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9780393000252: Empire: The Life, Legend, and Madness of Howard Hughes
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Howard Hughes lived one of the greatest, most heroic, misunderstood, mysterious, bizarre, and tragic lives in American history. Here at last, in a uniquely full and brilliantly documented biography by a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative team, the mythology that surrounded that life is disentangled from the truth. Hughes had always been different. Raised by overprotective parents, pathologically fearful of germs, in awe of his father, unable to make friends, he grew into a man ruled by madness. Certainly his riches set him apart. But he was also tough. Orphaned and a millionaire at eighteen, Hughes repudiated his relatives, seized control of the Hughes Tool Company, the linchpin of his fortune, and went on to become a flamboyant movie producer, holder of many world aviation records, principal owner of Trans World Airlines, a critically-important defense contractor, Hollywood's most pursued, and elusive, bachelor, and partner of the United States government. This is an epic biography of an epic figure, who bestrode the world like a colossus, yet could not master himself.

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Review:

Though he rose to fame after a record-setting flight around the world and the construction of an unprecedented fleet of airplanes, aerospace industry icon Howard Hughes wasted millions of dollars in production, swindled taxpayers through self-serving philanthropy projects and regularly lied to stockholders. In his spare time he worked for Joe McCarthy, was an avid supporter of segregation and nearly destroyed himself through drugs. In this biography of Hughes, authors David Barlett and James Steele reveal the dark, often unlawful, existence that can accompany an American success story.

About the Author:

Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele have worked together for more than three decades, first at the Philadelphia Inquirer, where they won two Pulitzer Prizes, and then at Time magazine, where they earned two National Magazine Awards. They have written several books together.

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