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Competing with Idiots by Nick Davis
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Competing with Idiots

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Competing with Idiots by Nick Davis
Sep 14, 2021 | ISBN 9780593319703

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  • Sep 14, 2021 | ISBN 9780593319703

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Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist

“[Davis’s] perspective gives the book an intimacy that raises the emotional stakes, especially when it comes to dysfunctional family dynamics . . . He sharply depicts the brothers’ complex relationship — how they helped each other but were also driven by a fierce and bitter rivalry.”—The Washington Post
“A tasty combination of film history, family album and psychological study . . . intimate . . . a tragic story told with disarming brio.”—Los Angeles Times

“No Hollywood figures have burned into memory more than the Mankiewiczs, dissolute and inspired Herman, driven and beglittered Joe. From a uniquely intimate viewpoint, Nick Davis gives us their story, and the larger story of their—and his—family. A wonderful book both for lovers of Hollywood lore and history and for anyone who ponders the many ways family heritage—and sibling rivalry—stress and shape our sensibilities.”—Adam Gopnik
Competing with Idiots is full of juicy Hollywood stories as it weaves an incredible tale about these two wildly different, but equally talented Mankiewicz brothers as told by Herman’s grandson Nick Davis. Their working lives brought us well-known masterpieces like Citizen Kane (Herman wrote it) and All About Eve (Joe wrote and directed), but their personal lives were no less dramatic. A thrilling book.”—Maria Semple

“Davis recounts the story of brothers Herman and Joseph L. Mankiewicz, whose names loom large in the annals of Hollywood history and in the author’s own family . . . The brothers had a complex relationship, fraught with jealousy and competition but also love, and Davis recounts it with feeling, drawing on fastidious research. Movie fans and viewers of the recent Netflix film Mank will give two thumbs up to this carefully crafted, fascinating account of two legendary Hollywood figures.”—Library Journal
“Fans of the movie Mank will be intrigued by this blend of memoir and biography from the grandson of Herman Mankiewicz and great-nephew of Joe . . . Davis capably summarizes the two men’s careers . . . thoughtful and engaging.”—Booklist
“A lively, anecdote-filled chronicle of the two men’s lives as Hollywood movers and shakers . . . Davis’ gossipy dual biography reveals the brothers’ starkly different personalities and enduring demons. A portrait of eventful lives in Hollywood’s golden age.”—Kirkus

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