Synopses & Reviews
and#8220;An irresistible biography of the accomplished, controversial actress whose roles on screen and off helped define a generation. Whether you love Jane Fonda or abhor her, Jane Fonda
is a detailed and generous exploration not only of the contradictory world Fonda grew up in but of the many people who shaped her.and#8221; and#8212;Jeannette Walls, author of The Glass Castle
Patricia Bosworth has gone beyond the image of an American superwoman to reveal a Jane Fonda more powerful and vulnerable than ever expected. Fonda emerged from a heartbreaking Hollywood family drama to become a and#8217;60s onscreen ingand#233;nue and then an Oscar-winning actress. At the top of her game she risked all, rising up against the Vietnam War and shocking the world with a trip to Hanoi. While becoming one of Hollywoodand#8217;s most committed feminists, she financed her husband Tom Haydenand#8217;s political career in the and#8217;80s with exercise videos that began a fitness craze and brought in millions of dollars. Just as interesting is Fondaand#8217;s next turn, as a Stepford Wife of the Gulfstream set, marrying Ted Turner and seemingly walking away from her ideals and her career. Fondaand#8217;s multilevel story is a blend of the deep insecurity, magnetism, bravery, and determination that has fueled her inspiring and occasionally infuriating public life.
and#8220;The definitive portrait of a woman conflicted, torn between ferocious ambition, family, and feminist causes.and#8221; and#8212;Gail Sheehy, author of Passages
and#8220;The Private Life does Jane Fonda the service of making us remember why she was relevant in the first place: the movies. Bosworthand#8217;s thorough account of this wild, uniquely twentieth-century Hollywood life makes Jane Fonda the actress even more intriguing.and#8221; and#8212;San Francisco Chronicle
"Over his 50 year career, Robert Redford has become one of the most iconic names in the celebrity landscape. Admired for his work as an actor, director, and environmental activist, Redford has filled many roles. In Callan's biography, the scope of Redford's life and career are put into perspective, from his reckless childhood in Southern California to his attempt at college, theatrical training in New York, and slow rise to success. Throughout Redford is painted as a sincere artist, thoughtful man, and stubborn individualist. Callan does a superb job making readers feel like they're getting a special glimpse inside the mind of a superstar. However, the book quickly becomes repetitive. Redford seeks artistic validation/runs up against necessary commercial compromise: he rebels/he succeeds. While this is interesting in small doses, Callan goes into detail about nearly every single picture Redford was involved with. This is great for staunch fans, but a test of patience for everyone else. Redford is an excellent subject but Callan wagers that readers will be interested in every single time Sundance nearly went bankrupt, and at almost 500 pages, that's a dangerous wager. (May)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Distinguished celebrity biographer and Vanity Fair
contributing editor Bosworth recounds the life story of an American icon in all its heady--and at times, unabashedly scandalous--glory
. With consummate skill and insight, the author follows Fonda... Bosworth's coverage of Fonda...is as epic as the life that she chronicles. Reading to savor
-Kirkus, starred "[Bosworth's] remarkable reconstruction of long-ago events has a fly-on-the-wall viewpoint, written with such intimacy that it sometimes generates the strange sensation of being present with Fonda and her friends... Bosworth has succeeded in capturing Fonda's step-by-step transformation from wide-eyed, apolitical ingenue to the poised personality of recent decades."
-Publishers Weekly, starred "Watching Jane Fonda wrestle with her many passions has been one of the most fascinating stories of the past fifty years. Brilliant, beautiful, achingly vulnerable, self-wounding and yet with a Joan of Arc sense of self-determination whenever she steps into the spotlight. Fonda is one of the greatest film stars to ever appear on the screen. Her life deserves to be re-evaluated as it is in Patricia Bosworth's Jane Fonda: The Private Life of a Public Woman."
and#8212;Alec Baldwin "Patricia Bosworth has written an irresistible biography ofand#160;the accomplished controversial actress whose roles on screen and off helped define a generation. Whether you love Jane Fonda or abhor her, the Private Life ofand#12288;a Public Woman is a detailed and generous exploration not only of the contradictory world Fonda grew up in but of the many people who shaped her."
and#8212;Jeannette Walls "Bosworthand#8217;s expedition into every corner of Fondaand#8217;s life makes for far more than a spellbinding biography. It sweeps the reader into a cultural history of the and#8217;60s, and#8217;70s, and and#8217;80s, when this female icon helped define the causes of the era. The access gained by Bosworth is impressiveand#8212;lovers, stepmothers, and ex-husbands share their secrets, adding to what will certainly become the definitive portrait of a woman conflicted, torn between ferociousand#12288;ambition, family, and feminist causes. Bosworthand#8217;s rendering of Fondaand#8217;s interior chaos becomes a revealing probe into the female psyche."
and#8212;Gail Sheehy, author of Passages
"Patricia Bosworthand#8217;s brilliant detective work has unearthed so much about Jane Fonda that I didnand#8217;t knowand#8212;so much feeling, so much courage, so much hurt. Reading this book, it occurred to me that Fonda, despite her brilliant acting, despite her activism, despite her life led in the headlines, was really the archetypal woman of her generation: a woman torn between love and work, family and accomplishment. Bosworthand#8217;s book is far from another Hollywood biography; it is a human portrait and, at the same time, a major American life. Reading this book, living Janeand#8217;s life along with her, is an adventure and a pleasure."
and#8212;William Mann, author of Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn and How to Be a Movie Star: Elizabeth Taylor in Hollywood "Jane Fonda was born with beauty and talent, which broughtand#12288;her fame and wealth. Now she's blessed with a biographer who knowsand#12288;Hollywood and understandsand#12288;the human condition. Nothing about Fonda's life (her obsession with her looks, her loversand#8212;male and femaleand#8212;her husbands, her money, and her elusive father) escapes the keen eye of Patricia Bosworth, who tells the life story ofand#12288;a cinema icon, one of the most intriguing women of our era.and#12288;You will be enthralled from start to finish."
and#8212;Kitty Kelley, author of Oprah:and#12288;A Biography
"Gracefully written and deeply researched, Patricia Bosworth's Jane Fonda is not only a first-class biography but a thoughtful,sympathetic, yet objective, study of a central figure in the preoccupying drama of American celebrity life as it has been played out over the past half century."
and#8212;Richard Schickel, author of Conversations with Scorsese "As an heiress to Hollywood royalty, survivor of childhood trauma, sexpot, movie star, fitness guru, activist, trophy wife, and serial self-reinventor, Jane Fonda has embodied every theme in modern American mythology. And I can't think of anyone better equipped to tell her story than Patricia Bosworth. Her superb reporting, combined with an equally sure understanding of what the details add up to, has produced a clear-sighted but sympathetic and compelling portrait of a woman who really is an emblem of our age."
and#8212;Amanda Vaill, author of Everybody Was so Young
The long-anticipated biography of Robert Redford.
Among the most widely admired Hollywood stars of his generation, Redford has appeared onstage and on-screen, in front of and behind the camera, earning Academy, Golden Globe, and a multitude of other awards and nominations for acting, directing, and producing, and for his contributions to the arts. His Sundance Film Festival transformed the world of filmmaking; his films defined a generation. America has come to know him as the Sundance Kid, Bob Woodward, Johnny Hooker, Jay Gatsby, and Roy Hobbs. But only now, with this revelatory biography, do we see the surprising and complex man beneath the Hollywood façade.
From Redfords personal papers—journals, script notes, correspondence—and hundreds of hours of taped interviews, Michael Feeney Callan brings the legendary star into focus. Here is his scattered family background and restless childhood, his rocky start in acting, the death of his son, his star-making relationship with director Sydney Pollack, the creation of Sundance, his political activism, his artistic successes and failures, his friendships and romances. This is a candid, surprising portrait of a man whose iconic roles on-screen (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, All the Presidents Men, The Natural) and directorial brilliance (Ordinary People, Quiz Show) have both defined and obscured one of the most celebrated, and, until now, least understood, public figures of our time.
Drawing from Robert Redford's personal papers and hundreds of hours of taped interviews, Callan offers a candid, surprising portrait of a man whose iconic roles on-screen and directorial brilliance have both defined and obscured one of the most celebrated public figures of our time.
Acclaimed biographer Patricia Bosworth goes behind the image of an American superwoman, revealing Jane Fondaand#8212;more powerful and vulnerable than ever expectedand#8212;whose struggles for high achievement, love, and successful motherhood mirror the conflicts of a generation of women.
About the Author
Michael Feeney Callan is the author of a collection of short stories, for which he won the Hennessy Literary Award, two novels, and several plays, as well as biographies of Anthony Hopkins, Richard Harris, Julie Christie, and Sean Connery. He has worked for the BBC, Ireland’s Ardmore Studios, and PBS as a writer, producer, and director of television dramas and documentaries. He lives in Dublin, Ireland.
Table of Contents
and#160; Iand#160;Daughter: 1937and#8211;1958and#8194;and#8226;and#8194;15
and#160;IIIand#160;Movie Starand#8201;/and#8201;Sex Symbol: 1963and#8211;1970and#8194;and#8226;and#8194;187
and#160;IVand#160;Political Activist: 1970and#8211;1988and#8194;and#8226;and#8194;307
and#160;Vand#160;Workout Guruand#8201;/and#8201;Tycoon Wife: 1988and#8211;2000and#8194;and#8226;and#8194;439