Biographies & Memoirs

January 30, 2017

The Purple Diaries: Mary Astor and the Most Sensational Hollywood Scandal of the 1930s


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One of Hollywood’s first scandals was nearly its last.

1936 looked like it would be a great year for the movie industry. With the economy picking up after the Great Depression, Americans everywhere were sitting in the dark watching the stars―and few stars shined as brightly as one of America’s most enduring screen favorites, Mary Astor.

But Astor’s story wasn’t a happy one. She was born poor, and at the first sign that she could earn money, her parents grabbed the reins and the checks. Widowed at twenty-four, Mary Astor was looking for stability when she met and wed Dr. Franklyn Thorpe. But the marriage was rocky from the start; both were unfaithful, but they did not divorce until after Mary Astor gave birth to little Marylyn Thorpe.

What followed was a custody battle that pushed The Spanish Civil War and Hitler’s 1936 Olympic Games off of the front pages all over America. Astor and Thorpe were both ruthless in their fight to gain custody of their daughter, but Thorpe held a trump card: the diaries that Mary Astor had been keeping for years. In these diaries, Astor detailed her own affairs as well as the myriad dalliances of some of Hollywood’s biggest names. The studio heads, longtime controllers of public perception, were desperate to keep such juicy details from leaking.

With the complete support of the Astor family, including unlimited access to the photographs and memorabilia of Mary Astor’s estate, The Purples Diaries is a look at Hollywood’s Golden Age as it has never been seen before, as Egan spins a wildly absorbing yarn about a scandal that threatened to bring down the dream factory known as Hollywood.
$10.31
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January 23, 2017

The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965


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Spanning the years 1940 to 1965, The Last Lion: Defender of the Realm begins shortly after Winston Churchill became prime minister—when Great Britain stood alone against the overwhelming might of Nazi Germany. In brilliant prose and informed by decades of research, William Manchester and Paul Reid recount how Churchill organized his nation’s military response and defense, convinced FDR to support the cause, and personified the “never surrender” ethos that helped win the war. We witness Churchill, driven from office, warning the world of the coming Soviet menace. And after his triumphant return to 10 Downing Street, we follow him as he pursues his final policy goal: a summit with President Dwight Eisenhower and Soviet leaders. And in the end, we experience Churchill’s last years, when he faces the end of his life with the same courage he brought to every battle he ever fought.
 
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The Wall Street Journal • The Daily Beast • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • The Daytona Beach News-Journal • Kirkus Reviews • Booklist
 
“Majestic . . . This book is superb. It has tremendous pace, rich detail and immense drama.”The Washington Post
 
“Masterful . . . The collaboration completes the Churchill portrait in a seamless manner, combining the detailed research, sharp analysis and sparkling prose that readers of the first two volumes have come to expect.”—Associated Press

“Matches the outstanding quality of biographers such as Robert Caro and Edmund Morris, joining this elite bank of writers who devote their lives to one subject.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
 
“Breathtaking . . . brilliant and beautiful, evocative.”—The Boston Globe
 
“A must-read finale for those who loved Manchester’s first two books.”—USA Today
 
“The final volume is . . . majestic and inspiring.”People
 
“One of the most thorough treatments of Churchill so far produced.”Library Journal (starred review)
$14.04
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January 21, 2017

Etched in Sand: A True Story of Five Siblings Who Survived an Unspeakable Childhood on Long Island


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$12.37

Regina’s Calcaterra memoir, Etched in Sand, is an inspiring and triumphant coming-of-age story of tenacity and hope.
 
Regina Calcaterra is a successful lawyer, New York State official, and activist. Her painful early life, however, was quite different. Regina and her four siblings survived an abusive and painful childhood only to find themselves faced with the challenges of the foster-care system and intermittent homelessness in the shadows of Manhattan and the Hamptons.
 
A true-life rags-to-riches story, Etched in Sand chronicles Regina’s rising above her past, while fighting to keep her brother and three sisters together through it all.
 
Beautifully written, with heartbreaking honesty, Etched in Sand is an unforgettable reminder that regardless of social status, the American Dream is still within reach for those who have the desire and the determination to succeed.

Used Book in Good Condition
January 14, 2017

Five Presidents: My Extraordinary Journey with Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford


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$18.30
A rare and fascinating portrait of the American presidency from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Mrs. Kennedy and Me and Five Days in November.

Secret Service agent Clint Hill brings history intimately and vividly to life as he reflects on his seventeen years protecting the most powerful office in the nation. Hill walked alongside Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, and Gerald R. Ford, seeing them through a long, tumultuous era—the Cold War; the Cuban Missile Crisis; the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy; the Vietnam War; Watergate; and the resignations of Spiro Agnew and Richard M. Nixon.

Some of his stunning, never-before-revealed anecdotes include:
-Eisenhower’s reaction at Russian Prime Minister Khrushchev’s refusal to talk following the U-2 incident
-The torture of watching himself in the Zapruder film in a Secret Service training
-Johnson’s virtual imprisonment in the White House during violent anti-Vietnam protests
-His decision to place White House files under protection after a midnight phone call about Watergate
-The challenges of protecting Ford after he pardoned Nixon

With a unique insider’s perspective, Hill sheds new light on the character and personality of these five presidents, revealing their humanity in the face of grave decisions.