The Life and Times of Charles Manson
By Jeff Guinn
(Simon & Schuster, Hardcover, 9781451645163, 512pp.)
Publication Date: August 6, 2013
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The most authoritative account ever written of how an ordinary juvenile delinquent named Charles Manson became the notorious murderer whose crimes still shock and horrify us today.
Jeff Guinn is the bestselling author of several books of fiction and nonfiction, including The Last Gunfight and Go Down Together, which was a finalist for an Edgar Award in 2010. Formerly an award-winning investigative journalist and now a frequent guest on national radio and TV programs, he lives in Fort Worth, Texas.
California parolee Charles Manson arrived in San Francisco in 1967, when the city was full of young seeking a guru. In Manson, Jeff Guinn says it was the perfect spot for him to enact his cult vision. More at NPR.org
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?eoeManson is not simply a biography of a killer and a cultist. It's a history of American culture from the Great Depression to the close of the 20th century. It's the dirty boogie in four-four time, a fascinating study of greed, mind control, celebriphilia, sex, narcotics, racism, and the misuse of power. I lived in South Los Angeles when many of the events in this book took place. No one has told the story as accurately as Jeff Guinn. It's the story of Nixon and Johnson, Martin Luther King, Vietnam, the SDS, the Black Panthers, the acid culture, and a nation coming apart at the seams. From the first page to the last, I could hardly put it down. Hang on, reader. This is a rip-roaring ride you won't forget.?e
-James Lee Burke
?eoeBrilliant. Written with deep insight and in seamless, fluid prose, Guinn?e(TM)s Manson expands the story of the cult leader into something far beyond the shocking story we're used to. The best book about Manson that I?e(TM)ve read . . . and I think I?e(TM)ve read them all.?e
?eoeJeff Guinn takes the reader on a fascinating, chilling visit to a dark and decadent time in American history, all the while maintaining a laser focus on the era?e(TM)s most recognizable face of evil. A gifted writer and master researcher, Guinn explores the depths of Charles Manson?e(TM)s twisted psyche in a brilliant effort that dramatically raises the bar on the true crime genre.?e
-Carlton Stowers, two-time Edgar winner for Best Fact Crime
"A?striking, full-length portrait of one of American history?e(TM)s most notorious sociopaths. . . . Guinn takes readers on a head-spinning ride through Manson?e(TM)s deeply disturbed childhood, his criminal career and his brief tenure as satanic guru to the damaged disciples, mostly women, he held in thrall. . . . A compulsively readable account of a murderer who continues to fascinate."
?eoeRiveting. . . . The author?e(TM)s richly detailed but well-paced narrative fleshes out the demented logic behind the crimes. . . . Guinn?e(TM)s portrait is an absorbing true crime saga and a searching exploration of the anomie, broken homes, and crazed hopes that led lost souls to mistake Manson for the answer to their prayers.?e