Barbara Leaming Marilyn Monroe

ISBN 13: 9780517702604

Marilyn Monroe

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9780517702604: Marilyn Monroe
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Barbara Leaming's Marilyn Monroe is a complex, sympathetic portrait that will totally change the way we view the most enduring icon of American sexuality. To those who think they have heard all there is to hear about Marilyn Monroe, think again. Leaming's book tells a brand-new tale of sexual, psychological, and political intrigue of the highest order. Told for the first time in all its complexity, this is a compelling portrait of a woman at the center of a drama with immensely high stakes, a drama in which the other players are some of the most fascinating characters from the world's of movies, theater, and politics. It is a book that shines a bright light on one of the most tumultuous, frightening, and exciting periods in American culture.
        
Basing her research on new interviews and on thousands of primary documents, including revealing letters by Arthur Miller, Elia Kazan, John Huston, Laurence Olivier, Tennessee Williams, Darryl Zanuck, Marilyn's psychiatrist Dr. Ralph Greenson, and many others, Leaming has reconstructed the tangles of betrayal in Marilyn's life. For the first time, a master storyteller has put together all of the pieces and told Marilyn's story with the intensity and drama it so richly deserves.
        
At the heart of this book is a sexual triangle and a riveting story of betrayal that has never been told before. You will come away filled with new respect for Marilyn's incredible courage, dignity, and loyalty, and an overwhelming sense of tragedy after witnessing Marilyn, powerless to overcome her demons, move inexorably to her own final, terrible betrayal of herself.
        
Marilyn Monroe is a book that will make you think--and will break your heart.

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Review:

This extraordinarily thoughtful book by Barbara Leaming, a literary star among movie-star biographers, offers the last thing you'd expect in a book on Marilyn Monroe: new information from verifiable sources. Sure, lots of the tragedy is familiar: an abused, confused girl from an orphanage with a mother in a madhouse rises from sexual party favor for homely showbiz men to the movie superstar who pushes them around, until she crashes, a victim of self-loathing and drug addiction.

The thing about a tragedy is that its heroine isn't a victim--she's responsible for her fate. Leaming does scholarly spadework, digging up hard facts from sources like UCLA's 20th Century Fox collection and the diary-like first drafts of Arthur Miller's semiautobiographical work, and she makes sense of Monroe's motives. She even apparently solves Monroe's suicide with clues from the star's psychiatrist's letters in the Anna Freud collection. Her last overdose may have happened just because her shrink went to dinner with his wife and she felt abandoned.

But until pills killed her, Monroe wasn't a candle in the wind. She burned with ambition and knew how to craft a persona and play power games--with moguls and with the commie-busters hounding her husband Miller. Leaming plausibly analyzes the Miller-Monroe-Elia Kazan love/hate triangle, sizes up the Kennedy connection, busts her acting coach Lee Strasberg as "chillingly mercenary," and deftly shows just how her life entangled her art, film by film.

This book has a woman's touch: it's a work of sharp intellect and emotional insight unclouded by lust or star worship. --Tim Appelo

From the Publisher:

She's written "bee-ographies," as Orson Welles called his, about Katharine Hepburn, Roman Polanski, and now the grippingly definitive biography of Marilyn Monroe. Barbara Leaming, a former professor of film and theater at New York's Hunter College, is an astute researcher, and her "Marilyn Monroe," published...by Crown is distinguished for her compelling documentation. Written with a page-turner flourish.
--From The Hollywood Reporter reviewed by George Christy 11/20/98

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780609805534: Marilyn Monroe

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0609805533 ISBN 13:  9780609805534
Publisher: Three Rivers Press, 2000
Softcover

9780752826929: Marilyn Monroe

Orion ..., 1999
Softcover

9780297816720: Marilyn Monroe

Trafal..., 1998
Hardcover

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