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Marilyn Revealed: The Ambitious Life of an American Icon

Schwarz, Ted

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ISBN 10: 1589793420 / ISBN 13: 9781589793422
Published by Taylor Trade Publishing, 2009
Used Condition: Good Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Marilyn Revealed: The Ambitious Life of an ...

Publisher: Taylor Trade Publishing

Publication Date: 2009

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Good

About this title

Synopsis:

"What made Norma Jean special was the quality she discovered when, bored with being a teenage bride with a husband in the Merchant Marine during World War II, she took her first and most enduring lover-the camera." So posits author Ted Schwarz in the first comprehensive look at the life of Marilyn Monroe to appear in years, a biography that benefits from interviews with many of the actress's friends and acquaintances who have remained silent until now. Putting together the pieces of Marilyn's final days, spent in the company of Peter Lawford and his brother-in-law Attorney General Robert Kennedy, Schwarz also speculates on the causes of her death, which he describes as a "Hollywood version of natural causes."
An unwanted child who had been passed around among her mother, her mother's friends, foster homes, and orphanages, the long record of rejection prompted Marilyn to lie about her childhood in her autobiography and become pathologically insecure in her relationships with men. Married five times, there was often no line of distinction as she moved from one affair to another: as Schwarz notes almost matter-of-factly, for example, Marilyn celebrated her engagement to baseball great Joe DiMaggio by going to bed with film director Elia Kazan. Upon returning from her honeymoon with DiMaggio, she immediately announced to friends her intention to marry playwright Arthur Miller-much to the surprise of Miller and his wife. "Still," Schwarz writes, "it was only to the camera that she did not look ahead to the next lover...all it asked of her was to allow it to transform Norma Jean Mortenson Dougherty...into a movie star and one of the most desired women in the world."

From the Publisher:

The first comprehensive look at the life of Marilyn Monroe to appear in years, this biography benefits from interviews with many of the actress's friends and acquaintances who have remained silent until now, as well as access to the FBI files of such figures as Clark Gable, Sam Giancana, Frank Sinatra, and Monroe herself. While acknowledging the late actress's enduring appeal in the nearly half-century following her death, author Ted Schwarz also demystifies the woman whose own autobiography mythologized her childhood as one of serial abandonment and sexual abuse. Schwarz's research reveals that Monroe's childhood in the person of Norma Jean Mortenson was in fact fairly conventional and confirms that she was a virgin until her first marriage at the age of sixteen to sailor Jim Dougherty.

Still, Schwarz reveals a woman who was pathologically insecure in her relationships with men, marrying three times and often finding no line of distinction as she moved from one affair to another. As Schwarz notes matter-of-factly, for example, Marilyn celebrated her engagement to baseball great Joe DiMaggio by going to bed with film director Elia Kazan. Upon returning from her honeymoon with DiMaggio, she immediately announced to friends her intention to marry playwright Arthur Miller--much to the surprise of Miller and his wife. Her only "constant lover," Schwarz contends, was the camera, whether it was posing for a glamour still or acting out a scene from one of her twenty-nine films.

Finally, Schwarz puts together the pieces of Marilyn's final days, spent in the company of Peter Lawford and his brother-in-law Robert F. Kennedy, the guardians of her affair with President John F. Kennedy. He debunks conspiracy theories surrounding the circumstances of her death, and acknowledges a widespread Princess Diana-like sentiment that "her life was cut short before she could fully blossom." Her passing marked the end of an era, one in which "a woman could become a star because she was a publicity-created icon representing the ditzy, beautiful, funny, endearing, and intensely desirable girl next door." Perhaps, Schwarz concludes, this is why Norma Jean's creation, Marilyn Monroe, fascinates us so much.

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