Synopses & Reviews
The Oprah Winfrey Show
came to an end on May 25, 2011, after 25 years on television. Arguably the most influential television personality of all time, Ms. Winfrey and her show have had an impact on American culture that cannot be overstated. This beautifully illustrated book will explore and celebrate the legacy of the show using essays and tributes from a stellar group of contributors including Maya Angelou, Bono, Ellen DeGeneres, Nelson Mandela, Toni Morrison, Julia Roberts, Maria Shriver, Gloria Steinem, John Travolta, and more. The book will feature photographs from the Harpo archive, spanning the 25 years the show has been on the air, including the farewell season.
Essays within the book will be dedicated to different themes (e.g., personal growth, social action, and literature) and will explore how the show has touched peopleand#8217;s lives and impacted the conversation around those issues. The essays will be followed by narrative text, which will guide the reader through the history of the showand#8217;s involvement with each topic and will include stories about the events, people, and organizations that have acted as touchstones or provided insights along the way. Accompanying the essays and narrative text will be images from the show, behind-the-scenes photographs, as well as signature portraits of the contributing celebrities taken by noted photographers.
The book will allow Oprah Winfrey Show fans to understand the broad cultural impact of the show, while revisiting favorite guests, episodes, and stories.
Praise for Oprah Winfrey Show:and#160;Reflections on an American Legacy:
and#8220;A lavish and loving tribute to the television personality, icon, and philanthropist makes a powerful case for Oprahand#8217;s centrality and influence on American culture. . . . The book shines when it . . . gives us, in its gorgeous photographs, behind-the-scenes glimpses of the empty studio, the primping process (with no fewer than three makeup artists), and the vast army of producers and writers behind Oprahand#8217;s magic.and#8221;and#160;
and#8220;A big, glossy paean to the queen of talk . . . A chance to relive the first twenty-five years of and#8216;ahaand#8217; moments.and#8221; and#8212;USA Today
and#8220;[A] sumptuous tribute to the talk-show icon.and#8221; and#8212;Washington Post (A Best Book of 2011)
and#8220;This is a perfect gift for any Oprah fan or anyone just looking for inspiration.and#8221; and#8212;Dallas Morning News
"A lavish and loving tribute to the television personality, icon, and philanthropist makes a powerful case for Oprah's centrality and influence on American culture. With smart essays from writers like Stanley Crouch and Maya Angelou and weaker testimonials from such stars as John Travolta and Julia Roberts, Davis (Guest of Honor) balances hagiography and celebrity worship with sober accounts of how Winfrey's show created a public space and vocabulary to discuss such previously taboo topics as rape and molestation, eating disorders, postpartum depression, debt, even obesity. Her legacy, Davis argues, can be seen in how her show underscored the importance (and expanded the definition) of wellness spiritual, financial, physical for women. So much of Winfrey's rise from her hardscrabble Mississippi childhood has passed into legend, and Angelou's small, sparkling essay is especially valuable for its ability to takes us back to Winfrey's origins and identify the source of her fortitude: how she sought sanctuary from lethal racism in the library, memorizing poems from Langston Hughes and Paul Dunbar, and learning that, in Angelou's phrase, 'Black was not only beautiful, but also exquisite.' There are a few forced attempts to brand Oprah and her best friend Gayle as a latter-day Laverne and Shirley; the book shines when it stays away from mythmaking and gives us, in its gorgeous photographs, behind-the-scenes glimpses of the empty studio, the primping process (with no fewer than three makeup artists), and the vast army of producers and writers behind Oprah's magic." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Vanity Fair magazine has a reputation as one of the preeminent showcases for portraits in the world, and this book gathers together a good chunk of them in all their glossy, artificial splendor. There's almost as much celebrity behind the lens as in front of it: Edward Steichen, Herb Ritts, Mario Testino, David LaChapelle and, of course, Annie Leibovitz are all included, and the portraits themselves amount to a who's who of culture and politics, with the quality of the images justifying the inclusion of the occasional lesser-known figures. The photographs have been arranged to supply the reader with subtle (and not so subtle) visual and cultural frisson: what are we meant to think when Joseph Goebbels is juxtaposed with Richard Perle? In a face-off between Rob Lowe and Louise Brooks, who has the most glamorous jaw line? For posing questions such as this, and for the production values and sheer scale, not to mention introductory essays by Graydon Carter, Christopher Hitchens, Terence Pepper and David Friend, this is a book that will no doubt be adorning the coffee tables of the world's culture brokers for many years to come.
About the Author
Graydon Carter is the editor of Vanity Fair. David Friend is editor of creative development at Vanity Fair and author of Watching the World Change.
Christopher Hitchens is a journalist, literary critic, and social commentator. He is the author most recently of the bestselling God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.
Terence Pepper, curator of photographs at the National Portrait Gallery, London, was awarded an OBE for services to photography and art.