Synopses & Reviews
“Barbra Streisand’s story may be the most triumphant case of revenge in show business history . . . Mann vividly evokes the atmosphere of Streisand’s New York.”—New York Times
In 1960, Barbra Streisand was just a seventeen-year-old Brooklyn kid with plenty of talent but no connections and certainly no money; her mother brought her soup to make sure she stayed fed as she took acting classes and scraped out a living. Just four years later, she was the top-selling female recording artist in America and the star of one of Broadway’s biggest hits. In Hello, Gorgeous, the acclaimed Hollywood biographer William Mann chronicles that dizzying ascent, telling the riveting behind-the-scenes story of how Streisand and her team transformed her from an unknown dreamer into one of the world’s most beloved superstars.
“Trying to figure out the Barbra Streisand mystique is no easy task, but author William Mann expertly captures the launch of her remarkable career in the early 1960s when a unique ‘star was born’ . . . Mann's meticulous research and insightful analysis go deeper than any previous biography: shedding light on the formative years that shaped Streisand's persona, debunking some myths . . . and providing a cultural snapshot of the wild and free-spirited era in which Streisand blossomed.”—USA Today
“In his masterful book, Mann captures one of the most fully realized pictures of the multi-hyphenate superstar to date . . . Many books have been written about Streisand but few, if any, put readers as close to the subject as Mann does."—Miami Herald
"Trying to figure out the Barbra Streisand mystique is no easy task, but Mann expertly captures the launch of her remarkable career in the early 1960s when a unique 'star was born.' Mann's meticulous research and insightful analysis go deeper than any previous biography..."--USA TODAY "[An] excellent new work...One can only put down Hello, Gorgeous with renewed appreciation for Barbras single-mindedness, and with some glimpse of her inner struggle."-Liz Smith, syndicated columnist "[A] surprisingly suspenseful and masterfully paced biography."—Kirkus (starred) "Streisand fans will come away feeling theyve had a ringside seat at her early career, and they will leave the show applauding."—Booklist "A compelling, detailed look at the rise of the multitalented Streisand from 17-year-old unknown to chart-topping singer and Broadway star. Highly recommended for fans of Streisand, biographies, and theater."--Library Journal "Combining extensive interviews (some anonymous) and exhaustive archival research, Mann balances intimate personal details with audience reactions and critical acclaim to etch an indelible portrait of the artist as a young woman."--Publishers Weekly "…[I]n his masterful Hello, Gorgeous: Becoming Barbra Streisand, he [Mann] captures one of the most fully realized pictures of the multi-hyphenate superstar to date." -Howard Cohen, The Miami Herald
andquot;How to Be a Movie Star
is more than a well-told, thoroughly researched tale about the most compelling movie star of her time. It's the captivating story of how movie-making magic actually happensandmdash;and a truly lively portrait of the greatest screen magician of them all. Mann knows his subject intimately.andquot;
andmdash;Peter Richmond, author of Fever: The Life and Music of Miss Peggy Lee
andquot;Was Elizabeth Taylor the greatest product of the Hollywood star machine or its greatest victim? Or was she, perhaps, its inventor? At a time when celebrity culture seems to be spiraling out of control, William J. Mann's smart, engaging, clear-eyed case study of Taylor's unique life in the spotlight locates the 'real' person somewhere between her private life and her public image. It's a fresh, unique and wholly successful approach to a fascinating story.andquot;
andmdash;Mark Harris, author of Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood
andquot;A dazzling and sagacious red-carpet Technicolor guide book to the lost art of Stardom . . . essential reading for aspiring love goddesses and mere mortals alike.andquot;
andmdash;Lee Server, author of the bestselling Ava Gardener: andquot;Love is Nothingandquot;
andquot;When I saw Elizabeth Taylor in person, I suddenly found myself screaming like a teen at a Beatles concert. Mann deftly describes how, with great self-assurance, Taylor shrewdly and methodically orchestrated that reaction on a global scale. This is a smart book about a surprisingly savvy superstar. It's one of the best Hollywood biographies I've ever read.andquot;
--Ed Sikov, author of Dark Victory: The Life of Bette Davis
andquot;William J. Mann's portrait is meticulous and delicious, capturing the essence of a great movie star, a woman who epitomized the old Hollywood glamour even as she was bucking the system--every system! Through shrewd and intriguing detail, this lively book brings fresh insight into why and how Elizabeth Taylor mesmerized the world she was helping to change.andquot;
--Julie Salamon, author of The Devil's Candy and Hospital
andquot;This is a juicy telling of a screen idol who always did things her own way.andquot; --San Luis Obispo Tribune
andquot;...a richly enjoyable biography...andquot; --The Sunday Times (UK)
andquot;William Mann has picked the perfect title for a biography of Taylor. She was, truly, the last great movie star.andquot; --The Oregonian
andquot;...she knew by instinct, generations before today's crop of starlets, how to interface her personal and professional lives with the public, who adored her for it. Taylor lived out loud, and the world sang along to her tune.andquot; --EDGE New York
andquot;...the sorts of details a reader craves...all are rendered with a verve and fluidity that keep the book moving along in a fleet fashion. [Mann] has clearly done his research and just as clearly adores his subject [...] Taylor was at the furious center of it all, and provides as handy and captivating a guide through [the era] as any star of the 20th century could.andquot; --The New York Times Book Review
andquot;Mann's eminently yummy entry is pretty much everything you'd want in a Hollywood biography... What does make How to Be a Movie Star distinctive is its focus on the changing nature of personal fame as embodied by a woman whose life has consisted of one superlative after another.andquot; --Salon.com
andquot;William J. Mann's ridiculously entertaining biography of Elizabeth Taylor in her Hollywood heyday is yummier than digging into a hot-fudge sundae and a stack of Us Weeklys.andquot; --USA Today
andquot;William J. Mann dissects the crafty machinations of her stardom...andquot; --Bookpage
andquot;...wickedly entertaining biography...andquot; --The Times (UK)
andquot;Mann shows what all the fuss was about.andquot; --The New York Post
andquot;Mann is carving out a niche for himself as a writer and historian capable of presenting fresh information about oft-covered subjects.andquot; --The Washington Blade
andquot;This is an entertaining work, revealing much of the machinery behind star-building and star-maintaining back in the day. The trajectory of gossip queen Hedda Hopper's relationship with Elizabeth--from adoration to loathing--is deliciously conveyed. [...] Mr. Mann does an excellent job capturing the media/public frenzy of her greatest years...andquot; --Liz Smith, for wowOwow.com
andquot;...brilliant combination of history, criticism, and biography...Mann has found the perfect figure for an exploration of the seismic changes that took place in Hollywood--and in American pop culture--between the 1940s and the 1960s. It's a terrific read.andquot; --Connecticut News
andquot;Mann's book underscores the fact that Elizabeth Taylor is--above all else--a survivor...Perhaps that is why she is so relevant and remains, even more than half a century later, one of the country's most fascinating celebrities.andquot; --Lincoln Tribune
andldquo;Fred Goodman makes this world come alive, and any fan of rock or insider tales of the music industry will be in heaven reading about this fascinating, troubling character.andrdquo;and#160;andmdash; Judd Apatow
andldquo;Writing about contracts, percentages and deals can be tedious, but Goodman makes it as exciting as reading about an artistandrsquo;s sex life. The book explodes with inside dope.andrdquo;and#160;andmdash; Jim Farber,and#160;New York Daily News
andldquo;One highly engrossing read . . .and#160;Fred Goodman is a superb writerand#160;and his account here of one of rock andrsquo;nand#160;rollandrsquo;s most polarizing figures could not be more readable.and#160;[A] triumph.andrdquo;and#160;andmdash; Yahoo! Music
andldquo;I want you to read it, so you can see how the world really works.and#160;Allen Klein reinvented the wheel.andrdquo;and#160;andmdash; Bob Lefsetzandldquo;Goodmanandrsquo;s eye-opening biography of a pivotal insider reveals the record-company machinations behind some of the biggest names from the 1960s.andrdquo;and#160;andmdash;and#160;Booklistand#160;andldquo;In this balanced, fascinating, and well-written biography, Goodman gives [Allen Klein] credit where itandrsquo;s due.andrdquo;and#160;andmdash;Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"[An] excellent new work . . . One can only put down Hello, Gorgeous with renewed appreciation for Barbras single-mindedness, and with some glimpse of her inner struggle." —Liz Smith, syndicated columnist
In 1960, Barbra Streisand was just a seventeen-year-old Brooklyn kid with plenty of talent and even more ambition. Four years later, she had conquered Broadway as the star of Funny Girl and had three platinum albums. In Hello, Gorgeous, William Mann takes us back to her formative years: her relationship with her mother, her early lovers, and her husband Elliott Gould. With access to the previously sealed private collections of Jerome Robbins, Bob Fosse, and many others, Mann lays out the first-ever accurate account of the making of Funny Girl, fills in an incomplete record of Streisands early nightclub and television appearances, and takes us behind the scenes of the canny marketing team whose strategies made her stardom seem inevitable.
A narrative account of Elizabeth Taylor's career, with particular attention paid to how the consummate movie star influenced and crafted her image over the years.
Elizabeth Taylor has never been short on star power, but in this unprecedented biography, the spotlight is entirely on herand#8212;a spirited beauty full of magic, professional daring, and wit.
Acclaimed biographer William Mann follows Elizabeth Taylor publicly as she makes her ascent at MGM, falls into (and out of) marriages, wins Oscars, fights studio feuds, and combats America's conservative values with her decidedly modern love affairs. But he also shines a light on Elizabeth's rich private life, revealing a love for her craft and a loyalty to the underdog that fueled her lifelong battle against the studio system. Swathed in mink, disposing of husbands but keeping the diamondsand#8212;this is Elizabeth Taylor as she lived and loved, breaking and making the rules in the game of supreme celebrity.
An account of the heyday of rock and roll through the lens of Allen Klein, the business manager, producer, and gadfly who andquot;broke up the Beatlesandquot; and showed the Rolling Stones how to become the preeminent dynasty in popular music.
The story of notorious manager Allen Klein, revealing new, behind-the-scenes details about some of the biggest rock bands in history
Allen Klein was like no one the music industry had seen before. The hard-nosed business manager became infamous for allegedly catalyzing the Beatlesandrsquo; breakup and robbing the Rolling Stones, but the truth is both more complex and more fascinating. As the manager of the Stones and then the Beatlesandmdash;not to mention Sam Cooke, the Who, Donovan, the Kinks, and numerous other performersandmdash;he taught young soon-to-be legends how to be businessmen as well as rock stars. In so doing, Klein made millions for his clients and changed music forever. But Klein was as merciless with his clients as he was with anyone else, earning himself an outsize reputation for villainy that has gone unchallenged until now. Through unique, unprecedented access to Kleinandrsquo;s archives, veteran music journalist Fred Goodman tells the full story of how the Beatles broke up, how the Stones achieved the greatest commercial success in rock history, and how the music business became what it is today.
About the Author
FRED GOODMAN is a former Rolling Stone editor and the author of the books Fortuneand#39;s Fool, The Secret City, and The Mansion on the Hill, which was a New York Times Notable Book and received the Ralph J. Gleason Award for Best Music Book.