By Barbara Leaming
(Three Rivers Press, Paperback, 9780609805534, 480pp.)
Publication Date: February 29, 2000
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Barbara Leaming's Marilyn Monroe is a complex, sympathetic portrait that will forever change the way we view the most enduring icon of America sexuality. To those who think they have heard all there is to hear about Marilyn Monroe, think again. Leaming's book tells a brand-new tale of sexual, psychological, and political intrigue of the highest order. Told for the first time in all its complexity, this is a compelling portrait of a woman at the center of a drama with immensely high stakes, a drama in which the other players are some of the most fascinating characters from the worlds of movies, theater, and politics. It is a book that shines a bright light on one of the most tumultuous, frightening, and exciting periods in American culture.
Basing her research on new interviews and on thousands of primary documents--including revealing letters by Arthur Miller, Elia Kazan, John Huston, Laurence Olivier, Tennessee Williams, Darryl Zanuck, Marilyn's psychiatrist Dr. Ralph Greenson, and many others--Leaming has reconstructed the tangle of betrayal in Marilyn's life. For the first time, a master storyteller has put together all of the pieces and told Marilyn's story with the intensity and drama it so richly deserves.
At the heart of this book is a sexual triangle and a riveting story that has never been told before. You will come away filled with new respect for Marilyn's incredible courage, dignity, and loyalty, and an overwhelming sense of tragedy after witnessing Marilyn, powerless to overcome her demons, move inexorably to her own final, terrible betrayal of herself.
Marilyn Monroe is a book that will make you think--and will break your heart.
Barbara Leaming is the author of the New York Times best-seller Katharine Hepburn, as well as the much-acclaimed Orson Welles. She was for many years professor of theater and film at Hunter College. Her articles have appeared in Vanity Fair and The New York Times Magazine. She lives in Connecticut.
"Engrossing. . . . Restores Marilyn's humanity. . . . A gripping and corrective book."
--Molly Haskell, New York Times