Goddess : The Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe

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The classic, definitive biography of Marilyn Monroe, now updated in the year of the 50th anniversary of the iconic star's death She was born Norma Jeane but the world knew and loved her as Marilyn. Her life was one of unprecedented fame and private misery, her death a tragedy surrounded by mysteries. Drawing on first-hand interviews Anthony Summers offers both a classic biography and a shockingly revealing account of the screen goddess's relations with John and Robert Kennedy. 'The definitive story of the legend ...more convincing at every page - told with all the coldness of truth and the authority of the historian, but at the end of it we still love Marilyn' Maeve Binchy, Irish Timesshow more

Product details

  • Paperback | 688 pages
  • 130 x 198 x 42mm | 358.34g
  • Orion Publishing Co
  • Orion mass market paperback
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 16 b&w photos
  • 0575403012
  • 9780575403017
  • 142,968

About Anthony Summers

Anthony Summers formerly covered wars and other world new events for the BBC. He has written a numbAnthony Summers formerly covered wars and other world new events for the BBC. He has written a number of previous books, including HONEYTRAP, THE KENNEDY CONSPIRACY, an acclaimed study of the assassination of John F. Kennedy and - with co-author Robbyn Swan - THE ARROGANCE OF POWER, on Richard Nixon, SINATRA: THE LIFE and THE ELEVENTH DAY: THE DEFINITIVE ACCOUNT OF 9/11. THE ELEVENTH DAY was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and won the Golden Dagger for crime non-fiction. The Dagger was also awarded for THE KENNEDY CONSPIRACY, and films have been based on both GODDESS and HONEYTRAP. Summers is married, has six children and lives in Ireland.show more

Review Text

A book of sordid, sensational, and ultimately sad revelations. While no principle witness steps forward, the author does freshly substantiate that Monroe was involved with both John and Robert Kennedy. His conclusion is that Monroe was not murdered, but that indeed there was a cover-up following her death by overdose August 4, 1962, to prevent disclosure of her intimate, and possibly ruinous, connection to the Kennedy White House. Summers, an investigative reporter, also uncovers a mother lode of material on the whole of Monroe's life. A new portrait emerges of Joe DiMaggio as a jealous, possessive man who slapped Monroe around and hired henchmen to break into an apartment where she was meeting another man following the breakdown of their marriage. Neither does Monroe's sex-goddess image emerge from these pages intact. Summers reports she was not above sexually servicing an elderly, ailing, and extremely important member of the movie industry to further her career. Her extreme exhibitionism meant that not only did she not wear panties, but sometimes appeared before company nude. She was a user of both drugs and people. Unfortunately, she dropped only the people, when they were of no further use to her career, from her life. In substantiating Monroe's sexual involvement with the Kennedys, the closest Summers comes to getting an insider's account is in interviews with two of the ex-wives of Peter Lawford, who was also married to a Kennedy sister throughout the pertinent years. Both women recall in startling detail the affairs that they say Lawford confided in drunken moments. Summers' exhaustive investigation - he interviews Monroe's friends, neighbors, the police, private detectives, even ambulance drivers - reveals that Robert Kennedy may well have seen Monroe on the day of her death, and that possibly she died in the hospital. Her body, according to Summers' theory, was spirited back to her home as part of the cover-up. Oddly enough, though, it is Eli Wallach's description of Monroe's ability to metamorphose into Marilyn at will - "I just felt like being Marilyn for a moment," she would murmur when she instantaneously transformed herself while walking down a street - that stands out in this morass of shocking detail. It is fascinating in the extreme that a woman who so lost control of her person as to become a threat to the presidency could, up until the end, maintain such control over her persona. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

2,056 ratings
3.9 out of 5 stars
5 32% (658)
4 36% (732)
3 25% (505)
2 6% (125)
1 2% (36)
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