James Stewart: Behind the Scenes of a Wonderful Life

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9781557833297: James Stewart: Behind the Scenes of a Wonderful Life
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This startling, intimate biography of James Stewart frankly reveals with new facts and discoveries a fully dimensional view of this revered figure and consummate American icon. Shrewd, self-protective, financially astute, the James Stewart that Mr. Quirk uncovers was no bumbling naive Mr. Smith, but a Man of the World.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

Readers interested in finding out more about Stewart and his distinguished career, his signal roles in movies such as Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Winchester '73, Harvey, and Vertigo, should steer far wide of this stunningly inept work. This is not a biography in any conventional sense. A few facts and dates may flutter by, events come and go, but this is essentially a dull exercise in cheap and unconvincing sensationalism. Under the smarmy pretense of presenting the ``whole'' Stewart, veteran celebrity dirt-digger Quirk (Totally Uninhibited: The Life and Wild Times of Cher, 1991, etc.) unearths only a few spoonfuls of unsubstantiated innuendo. And it all comes down to this: Stewart may or may not have been bisexual and may or may not have had affairs with actors such as Henry Fonda. Not much to build a book around, especially considering that Quirk has almost no proof for any of this beyond allegation and insinuation: Stewart was roommates with Fonda; he married late, at 41; he enjoyed the masculine camaraderie of the air force during his WW II service. And these paltry imputations are Quirk's strongest evidence. Because he is so obsessed with his hypothesis, he has little time, beyond a sentence or two, for other dirt, such as Stewart's supposed cheapness. For its genre, this book is remarkably pallid, lacking even a scintilla of gabby, trashy fun. Not a wonderful account of a life. (50 b&w photos, not seen) (First printing of 50,000) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

With the recent death of actor-icon Stewart, it's not surprising that another biography has been published (three others have appeared in the last four years, including Gary Fishgall's Pieces of Time, LJ 10/1/97). This one purports to show the two sides of Stewart?his responsible, upright Ideal American side vs. his artistic, more "human" side. However, the truth is that despite rumors of bisexuality, there really wasn't much about Stewart's life that was very surprising or scandalous. He didn't marry until 41, but when he did he stayed married. He was a family man and war hero. He seemed well liked by those who knew and worked with him. Still, prolific celebrity biographer Quirk has done a good job of chronicling Stewart's life, and his discussion of Stewart's films is especially good. If your patrons like their celebrity biographies juicy and revealing, this one won't satisfy them; recommended if you didn't buy one of the other recent biographies or if demand warrants.?Rosellen Brewer, Monterey Bay Area Cooperative Lib. System, Cal.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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