“The definitive portrait of a woman conflicted, torn between ferocious ambition, family, and feminist causes” (Gail Sheehy, author of Passages).
 
Jane Fonda emerged from a heartbreaking Hollywood family drama to become a ’60s onscreen ingénue and then an Oscar-winning actress. At the top of her game she risked it all, speaking out against the Vietnam War and shocking the world with a trip to Hanoi. One of Hollywood’s most committed feminists, she financed her husband Tom Hayden’s political career in the ’80s with a series of exercise videos that sparked a nationwide fitness craze. Even more surprising was Fonda’s next turn, as a Stepford Wife of the Gulfstream set, marrying Ted Turner and seemingly walking away from her ideals and her career.
 
Patricia Bosworth goes behind the image of an American superwoman, revealing the real Jane Fonda—more powerful and vulnerable than we ever expected—whose struggles for high achievement, love, and motherhood mirror the conflicts of an entire generation of women. In the hands of this seasoned, tenacious biographer, the evolution of one of the world’s most controversial and successful women becomes nothing less than a great, enthralling American life.
 
“A book that gets unusually close to its subject. It sees what Ms. Fonda cannot see about herself.” —The New York Times
 
“Bosworth’s thorough account of this wild, uniquely twentieth-century Hollywood life makes Jane Fonda the actress even more intriguing.” —San Francisco Chronicle
Acclaimed biographer Patricia Bosworth recalls her emotional coming of age in 1950s New York in this profound and powerful memoir, a story of family, marriage, tragedy, Broadway, and art, featuring a rich cast of well-known literary and theatrical figures from the period.

From Bosworth—acclaimed biographer of Montgomery Clift, Diane Arbus, Marlon Brando, and Jane Fonda—comes a series of vivid confessions about her remarkable journey into womanhood. This deeply-felt memoir is the story of a woman who defied repressive 1950s conventions while being shaped by the notable men in her life.

Born into privilege in San Francisco as the children of famous attorney Bartley Crum and novelist Gertrude, Patricia and her brother Bart Jr. lead charmed lives until their father’s career is ruined when he defends the Hollywood Ten. The family moves to New York, suffering greater tragedy when Bart Jr. kills himself. However, his loving spirit continues to influence Patricia as she fights to succeed as an actress and writer.

Married and divorced from an abusive husband before she’s twenty, she joins the famed Actors Studio. She takes classes with Lee Strasberg alongside Marilyn Monroe, Paul Newman, and others; she works on Broadway opposite Paul Muni, Helen Hayes, and Elaine Stritch; Gore Vidal and Elia Kazan become her mentors. Her anecdotes of theatre’s Golden Age have never been told before. At the zenith of her career, about to film The Nun’s Story with Audrey Hepburn, Patricia faces a decision that changes her forever.

The Men in My Life is about survival, achieving your goals, and learning to love. It’s also the story of America’s most culturally pivotal era, told through the lens of one insider’s extraordinary life.

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