An Unauthorized Biography
By Andrew Morton
(St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9780312555610, 336pp.)
Publication Date: August 3, 2010
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"I like to collect knives," says Angelina Jolie, "but I also collect first edition books." At first glance, she might seem to be someone without any secrets, talking openly about her love life, sexual preferences, drug use, cutting, and tattoos--and why she kissed her brother on the lips in public. And yet mysteries remain: What was really going on in her brief, impulsive marriages to Jonny Lee Miller and Billy Bob Thornton, and what is going on in her partnership with Brad Pitt? What’s behind the oft-reported feud with her father, the Oscar-winning actor Jon Voight? What drove her to become a mother of six children in six years? And—perhaps most puzzling of all—what about the other side of Angelina: How did this talented but troubled young actress, barely 35 years old, become a respected Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations as well as the "most powerful celebrity in the world" (unseating Oprah Winfrey) on Forbes’ 2009 Celebrity 100 list?
The answers that Andrew Morton has uncovered are astonishing, taking us deep inside Angelina’s world to show us what shaped her as a child, as an actress, and as a woman struggling to overcome personal demons that have never before been revealed. In this spellbinding biography, Andrew Morton draws upon far-reaching original interviews and research, accompanied by exclusive private photographs, to show us the true story behind both the wild excesses of Angelina’s youth and her remarkable work with children and victims of poverty and disaster today.
Andrew Morton is one of the world's best-known biographers and a leading authority on modern celebrity. His groundbreaking biography Diana: Her True Story was a #1 New York Times bestseller, as was Monica's Story, an authorized biography of Monica Lewinsky, and Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography. The winner of numerous awards, including Author of the Year, his other New York Times bestsellers include an unauthorized biography of Madonna, as well as William & Catherine: Their Story. He lives in London.
"If there is a celebrity today who merits the spadework of an unauthorized Morton biography, it's Jolie, with a potential audience that includes just about anyone who has gone through a supermarket checkout line in the last decade, glanced at tabloid headlines about Angelina, say, open- mouth kissing her brother or swapping vials of blood with Billy Bob Thornton and wondered: "What was she thinking?"
If there's anyone to blame here, according to this book, it's the parents, since the bitter relationship between actor Jon Voight and Marcia Lynne (later Marcheline) Bertrand runs as a subplot throughout. Her father left Bertrand for another woman when Angelina was 2, and her mother/manager is portrayed as vacillating between being a laissez-faire hippie mother and a pushy sort of stage mom who, according to Morton, tried — among other things — to push her daughter into a relationship with Mick Jagger.
It's at this point [after Jolie and Brad Pitt come together] that the book seems to move into hyperdrive, with endless rounds of globe-trotting, location shooting, child-acquiring and philanthropic efforts. But the faster it seems to move, the harder it is to put down. Maybe that's because, like salt, we have a craving for explanation, for back story, and Morton's book offers a satisfying dose of both. While the healthier approach might be to limit the intake by vowing to pick it up occasionally and flip to the index for a snippet like: "Haven, James…relationship with" or "United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees," that's not likely to happen.
Chances are you won't be able to put this book down until your mouth is dry and your blood pressure is racing." —Los Angeles Times