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Price of Fame by Sylvia Jukes Morris
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Price of Fame

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Price of Fame by Sylvia Jukes Morris
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Mar 17, 2015 | ISBN 9780804179706

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“ ‘Throughout her life she had aimed for the best of everything and usually gotten it,’ Sylvia Jukes Morris writes. . . . Clare Boothe Luce was an actress-editrix-playwright-screenwriter-congresswoman-ambassador-presidential adviser. And as the wife of Henry Luce, father of the Time empire, she was the clever half of the predominant power couple of the mid-twentieth century.”—Maureen Dowd, The New York Times Book Review
“In Price of Fame, the second volume of her stellar biography of [Luce], Sylvia Jukes Morris takes up the story she began in Rage for Fame, published 17 years ago. Both books are models of the biographer’s art—meticulously researched, sophisticated, fair-minded and compulsively readable.”—Edward Kosner, The Wall Street Journal
“Sylvia Jukes Morris’s brilliant biography . . . tracks the last half of its subject’s life with dexterity. . . . Luce was as serious about her faith as she was about civil rights. But Morris never lets us forget that she was also a wit par excellence. . . . Read the gems sprinkled throughout Price of Fame.”—Peter Tonguette, The Christian Science Monitor
“There’s a thrilling kind of energy in watching this ruthlessly self-made life take shape, an energy that is matched and reversed in Price of Fame, as celebrity just as ruthlessly takes its toll.”—Joanna Scutts, The Washington Post
“Morris’s cool portrait is eminently fair, depicting Luce’s faults and fine points with equal detachment.”—Wendy Smith, The Daily Beast
“Clare Boothe Luce [was] one of the twentieth century’s most ambitious, unstoppable and undeniably ingenious characters. . . . This full, warts-and-all biography hauls her back into the limelight and does her full justice.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times
“It is the author’s steady, sensitive handling of the material, told with humor and objectivity, that makes this biography so poignant and profound. . . . [Price of Fame] is nothing short of a triumph.”—Marion Elizabeth Rodgers, The Washington Times
“Morris’s shrewd portrait shows a woman of extraordinary contrasts. . . . She presents a clear-eyed assessment of Luce’s strong, egotistical personality.”Publishers Weekly
“With this second and concluding volume of her biography of Clare Boothe Luce, Sylvia Jukes Morris completes the tantalizing saga of a woman who helped define the ‘pushy broad’ in a century when men made the rules. . . . The result is an impeccably researched and thoughtfully written epic that crackles with the energy that defined her subject.”—Amy Henderson, The Weekly Standard
“Beauty was an asset Clare Boothe Luce used to her political (and financial) advantage. But so, too, were the other characteristics summed up by Sylvia Jukes Morris. . . : ‘charm, humour, coquetry, intellect, ambition.’ [She was] a woman gifted with intelligence and drive, but marred by narcissism and scarred by a constant sense of loneliness. There is a moving account of Luce’s conversion to Catholicism and a persuasive analysis of her role as ambassador to Rome in resolving the post-war status of Trieste.”The Economist
“Morris, who was given exclusive access to Luce’s diaries and papers, published her first biographical volume of this remarkable woman’s life [in 1997]. It concluded with Luce’s election to Congress. This long-awaited sequel tells about the political and personal events in the last half of the subject’s life, thoroughly describing traumatic losses, romantic dalliances, and marital struggles that consumed both Luce and her husband for nearly all of their remaining years together. . . . Readers who liked Rage for Fame and longed for more about this talented, determined woman will enjoy the full attention the author devotes to this work. Those interested in mid-century political history, too, will find much to reward their perseverance in this long but fascinating biography.”Library Journal
“If Clare Boothe Luce, with her lowly origins and blinding ambition, hadn’t existed, she might have sprung fully formed from the imagination of Henry James. . . . Sylvia Jukes Morris has written [a] clear-eyed account of this complicated and self-contradictory figure, one who had everything a person could wish for and still experienced great unhappiness. . . . This is a fascinating, close-up look at a woman whose prodigious gifts were used in the service of her appetites for wealth, fame, and power . . . a stylish striver whose blond ambition has not yet been matched in its scope by any woman who has come after her.”—Daphne Merkin, BookForum
“Believe me, the ‘good stuff’ is here, in this second volume. In dazzling, devastating spades. . . . What makes Price of Fame so riveting is that one literally doesn’t know what to make of Clare Boothe Luce. . . . My jaw dropped over and over again. . . . Her soul was restless, unquiet. But despite dark moments of despair—and the fact that many who knew her and loved her, found her essentially a tragic figure—she carried a genuine life force. [Here] is one of the most fabulous, intimate biographies I have ever read. If you’re interested in the twentieth-century history of this country, seen through the eyes and actions of a remarkable woman, this book is for you. If you crave tales of psychological unhingement amid the best of everything, you won’t be disappointed either!”—Liz Smith, Chicago Tribune

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