Hope: Entertainer of the Century

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“Revelatory…fascinating” (The New York Times): The first definitive biography of Bob Hope, featuring exclusive and extensive reporting that makes the persuasive case that he was the most important entertainer of the twentieth century.

With his topical jokes and his all-American, brash-but-cowardly screen character, Bob Hope was the only entertainer to achieve top-rated success in every major mass-entertainment medium of the century, from vaudeville in the 1920s all the way to television in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. He virtually invented modern stand-up comedy. Above all, he helped redefine the very notion of what it means to be a star: a savvy businessman, an enterprising builder of his own brand, and a public-spirited entertainer whose Christmas military tours and unflagging work for charity set the standard for public service in Hollywood.

As Richard Zoglin shows in this “entertaining and important book” (The Wall Street Journal), there is still much to be learned about this most public of figures, from his secret first marriage and his stint in reform school, to his indiscriminate womanizing and his ambivalent relationships with Bing Crosby and Johnny Carson. Hope could be cold, self-centered, tight with a buck, and perhaps the least introspective man in Hollywood. But he was also a tireless worker, devoted to his fans, and generous with friends.

“Scrupulously researched, likely definitive, and as entertaining and as important (to an understanding of twentieth- and twenty-first-century pop culture) as its subject once genuinely was” (Vanity Fair), Hope is both a celebration of the entertainer and a complex portrait of a gifted but flawed man. “A wonderful biography,” says Woody Allen. “For me, it’s a feast.”
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About the author

Richard Zoglin is a contributing editor and theater critic for Time magazine. He is the author of Hope: Entertainer of the Century, Comedy at the Edge: How Stand-up in the 1970s Changed America, and Elvis in Vegas. A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Zoglin currently lives in New York City.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Nov 4, 2014
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Pages
576
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ISBN
9781439148587
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Entertainment & Performing Arts
Biography & Autobiography / General
Biography & Autobiography / Rich & Famous
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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New York Times Bestseller

The greatest Southern storyteller of our time, New York Times bestselling author Rick Bragg, tracks down the greatest rock and roller of all time, Jerry Lee Lewis—and gets his own story, from the source, for the very first time.

A monumental figure on the American landscape, Jerry Lee Lewis spent his childhood raising hell in Ferriday, Louisiana, and Natchez, Mississippi; galvanized the world with hit records like “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” and “Great Balls of Fire,” that gave rock and roll its devil’s edge; caused riots and boycotts with his incendiary performances; nearly scuttled his career by marrying his thirteen-year-old second cousin—his third wife of seven; ran a decades-long marathon of drugs, drinking, and women; nearly met his maker, twice; suffered the deaths of two sons and two wives, and the indignity of an IRS raid that left him with nothing but the broken-down piano he started with; performed with everyone from Elvis Presley to Keith Richards to Bruce Springsteen to Kid Rock—and survived it all to be hailed as “one of the most creative and important figures in American popular culture and a paradigm of the Southern experience.”

Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story is the Killer’s life as he lived it, and as he shared it over two years with our greatest bard of Southern life: Rick Bragg. Rich with Lewis’s own words, framed by Bragg’s richly atmospheric narrative, , this is the last great untold rock-and-roll story, come to life on the page.

The story of how Las Vegas saved Elvis and Elvis saved Las Vegas in the greatest musical comeback of all time.

The conventional wisdom is that Las Vegas is what destroyed Elvis Presley, launching him on a downward spiral of drugs, boredom, erratic stage behavior, and eventually his fatal overdose. But in Elvis in Vegas, Richard Zoglin takes an alternate view, arguing that Vegas is where the King of Rock and Roll resurrected his career, reinvented himself as a performer, and created the most exciting show in Vegas history.

Elvis’s 1969 opening night in Vegas was his first time back on a live stage in more than eight years. His career had gone sour—bad movies, and mediocre pop songs that no longer made the charts. He’d been dismissed by most critics as over the hill. But in Vegas he played the biggest showroom in the biggest hotel in the city, drawing more people for his four-week engagement than any other show in Vegas history. His performance got rave reviews, “Suspicious Minds” gave him his first number-one hit in seven years, and Elvis became Vegas’s biggest star. Over the next seven years, he performed more than 600 shows there, and sold out every one.

Las Vegas was changed too. The intimate night-club-style shows of the Rat Pack, who made Vegas the nation’s premier live-entertainment center in the 1950s and ‘60s, catered largely to well-heeled older gamblers. Elvis brought a new kind of experience: an over-the-top, rock-concert-like extravaganza. He set a new bar for Vegas performers, with the biggest salary, the biggest musical production, and the biggest promotion campaign the city had ever seen. In doing so, he opened the door to a new generation of pop/rock performers, and brought a new audience to Vegas—a mass audience from Middle America that Vegas depends on for its success to this day.

A classic comeback tale set against the backdrop of Las Vegas’s golden age, Richard Zoglin’s Elvis in Vegas is a feel-good story for the ages.
Rock stars and rap gods. Comedy legends and A-list actors. Supermodels and centerfolds. Moguls and mobsters. A president.

Over his unrivaled four-decade career in radio, Howard Stern has interviewed thousands of personalities—discussing sex, relationships, money, fame, spirituality, and success with the boldest of bold-faced names. But which interviews are his favorites? It’s one of the questions he gets asked most frequently. Howard Stern Comes Again delivers his answer.

This book is a feast of conversation and more, as between the lines Stern offers his definitive autobiography—a magnum opus of confession and personal exploration. Tracy Morgan opens up about his near-fatal car crash. Lady Gaga divulges her history with cocaine. Madonna reminisces on her relationship with Tupac Shakur. Bill Murray waxes philosophical on the purpose of life. Jerry Seinfeld offers a master class on comedy. Harvey Weinstein denies the existence of the so-called casting couch. An impressive array of creative visionaries weigh in on what Stern calls “the climb”—the stories of how they struggled and eventually prevailed. As he writes in the introduction, “If you’re having trouble finding motivation in life and you’re looking for that extra kick in the ass, you will find it in these pages.”

Interspersed throughout are rare selections from the Howard Stern Show archives with Donald Trump that depict his own climb: transforming from Manhattan tabloid fixture to reality TV star to president of the United States. Stern also tells of his Moby Dick-like quest to land an interview with Hillary Clinton in the run-up to the 2016 election—one of many newly written revelations from the author. He speaks with extraordinary candor about a variety of subjects, including his overwhelming insecurity early in his career, his revolutionary move from terrestrial radio to SiriusXM, and his belief in the power of psychotherapy.

As Stern insightfully notes in the introduction: “The interviews collected here represent my best work and show my personal evolution. But they don’t just show my evolution. Gathered together like this, they show the evolution of popular culture over the past quarter century.”
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