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Showing 1 - 14 of 14 matches in All departments
Coco Chanel's genius for fashion may have been distilled in simplicity, but her life was an extravaganza. A brilliant array of luminaries fell under her spell - Picasso, Churchill, Cocteau; lovers included the Grand Duke Dmitri; the English roue, Boy Capel; a French poet; and, a German spy and the Duke of Westminster, who offered to leave his wife for her permanently, if she would only bear him an heir. Paradoxically, though she might have been regarded in some lights as a pioneering feminist - sacrificing marriage to a revolutionary career in couture - Chanel was utterly baffled by the idea of women's politics. Educated women? 'A woman's education consists of two lessons: never leave the house without stockings, never go out without a hat'. Chanel's rise from penniless orphan to millionaire designer - 'inventing' sportswear, the little black dress and number 5 - makes compelling reading, not least because she was inclined to design her own life as deftly as she did her fashions. Axel Madsen negotiates Chanel's smoke screens with skill, bringing this tantalizing woman to life in all her alluring complexity.
Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, and Barbara Stanwyck-to name a few-maintained their images as glamorous big-screen sex symbols complete with dashing escorts, handsome husbands, and scores of male admirers, thanks to studio publicity departments. But off the set, all three box office divas were involved in "lavender" marriages (marriages of convenience, often to gay men) or remained stoically single. They, and several other Hollywood starlets of the era, were members of a discreet women's "club" called the Sewing Circle, Hollywood's underground lesbian society. Madsen takes a candid look at the very complicated dual lives these great stars led and the impact their preference for same-sex relationships had on their movie careers.
The first major biography of the famous and controversial director John Huston, whose thirty-seven films-including The Maltese Falcon, Key Largo, and The African Queen-are considered classics and garnered him fifteen Academy Award nominations and two wins.
Sonia Delaunay, wife of painter Robert Delaunay, and co-founder of the Orphist school in 1910, was the center of a brilliant circle in Paris. Madsen offers a rich and compelling look at this fascinating and influential woman, the first living female artist to have a retrospective show at the Louvre.
A classic American success story—with a twist
Like J. P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, and Andrew Carnegie, Marshall Field was one of the overlords of triumphant capitalism in the Gilded Age of the late nineteenth century. However, his phenomenal wealth and generous philanthropy masked a disastrous personal life. Deserted by his wife and alienated from his children, the founder of the Field dynasty left a legacy of immense wealth and misery to match.
The Marshall Fields recounts the classic tale of Field’s spectacular success as well as the tragic story of a man who, while making millions by knowing what women wanted, had no inkling of his own wife’s emotional needs. This revealing account follows the next five generations of the Field family, concentrating on the most important and controversial figures in each generation. What emerges is a startling saga of money, madness, and mystery.
From the son who may have been shot by a chorus girl to the great-great grandson who used his millions to create Hollywood fantasies, Field’s descendants have caromed wildly between rebellion and folly. Their story offers a new and penetrating take on wealth, success, and the nightmare that often accompanies the American dream.
On The Deal Maker: How William C. Durant Made General Motors:
On Stanwyck: The Life and Times of Barbara Stanwyck:
On Chanel: A Woman of Her Own:
On Gloria and Joe:
A compelling portrait of one of Hollywood's most invincible women, the late Barbara Stanwyck. A most unusual movie star, Stanwyck was an actress of considerable and neglected talent who elevated every role she had, a woman whose personal life matched the rocky road of her career. Whispered to be among Hollywood's scandalous "sewing circle," a group of internationally famous actresses who hid their potentially career-ending lesbianism and bisexuality, Stanwyck kept her liaisons a secret. Despite her steely resolve and her image as a take-control kind of woman, Stanwyck suffered from turbulent marriages and relationships, including her sensational marriage to, and divorce from, the abusive Robert Taylor. Madsen provides a fresh look at this fascinating, complex screen goddess, offering provocative and shocking details from one of Hollywood's most interesting lives.
A dual biography of the two most influential socio-political moralists of the twentieth century, whose lives were intertwined personally and intellectually for more than forty-six years. Madsen provides an engrossing view of the luminously transparent relationship that was unconventional yet faithful to its ideals.
One of the greatest art theft stories of the 20th century: Andre Malraux, French novelist, art theorist, and eventually France's Minister of Cultural Affairs, and his wife, Clara, traveled to Cambodia in 1923, planning to steal and smuggle artifacts out of the country and sell them in America. The Cambodian treasure hunt promised to be a mix of cultural sleuthing for important antiquities and risk-taking on the fuzzy edge of the laws that governed historical sites. The jungle expedition ended in arrest and, for Andre, trial and conviction. But it also led to a second Asian venture: the launching of a Saigon newspaper, L'Indochine, dedicated to the aspirations of the indigenous population. Madsen follows the couple from this fateful adventure that so shaped their future to the end of their marriage, and after.
The ultimate Hollywood story revealed: the sizzling relationship between Joseph Kennedy, patriarch of America's most influential political family, and Gloria Swanson, one of the most prominent silent film stars of her day. Gloria and Joe were in love with each other and with the movies, especially Queen Kelly, which completed the real-life menage a trois. Starring along with the star of the screen and the Boston Brahman in this expose are Erich von Stroheim, Kennedy's wife Rose, Swanson's husband, and a cast of colorful hangers-on. Madsen recreates their love, scandal, and world, which in its extravagance and intrigue has never been surpassed.
One of the most influential men of the twentieth century, Jacques Cousteau was an eco-emissary whose own life of derring-do brought him fame and the means to proselytize his cause. Ecologist, adventurer, celebrity, businessman-Cousteau was a brilliant and complex individual, and Madsen's biography captures him in style. Madsen, who knew the Cousteau family for over two decades, interviewed Cousteau personally for this book.
The authorized biography of the celebrated film director William Wyler, a giant in his craft, who directed such classics as Ben-Hur, Funny Girl, and Roman Holiday.
The authorized biography of the most important man of letters in twentieth century France: Andre Malraux, French novelist, art theorist, and France's Minister of Cultural Affairs.
Alex Madsen brings to life Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel, the queen of fashion who revolutionized women's styles forever.
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