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Secret Lives Series

Found in Biography & Memoir
Murder, adultery, scandal, addiction, UFOs…from playwrights to presidents, from Michelangelo to Mary Todd Lincoln, even the most familiar historical figures had surprising escapades that didn’t make it into the textbooks. These outrageous anecdotes, uncensored profiles, and tantalizing tales reveal the hidden side of history’s cultural and political icons…and it’s all true.
Secret Lives of the Civil War by Cormac O'Brien; illustrated by Monika Suteski
Secret Lives of the U.S. Presidents by Cormac O'Brien
Secret Lives of the First Ladies by Cormac O'Brien; illustrations by Eugene Smith

Secret Lives Series : Titles in Order

Book 8
True tales of murder, riots, heartbreak, and great music.
 
With outrageous anecdotes about everyone from Gioachino Rossini (draft-dodging womanizer) to Johann Sebastian Bach (jailbird) to Richard Wagner (alleged cross-dresser), Secret Lives of Great Composers recounts the seamy, steamy, and gritty history behind the great masters of international music. You’ll learn that Edward Elgar dabbled with explosives; that John Cage was obsessed with fungus; that Berlioz plotted murder; and that Giacomo Puccini stole his church’s organ pipes and sold them as scrap metal so he could buy cigarettes. This is one music history lesson you’ll never forget!
Book 7
Drugs, Adultery, Bribery, Homosexuality, corruption—and the Supreme Court?!?
 
Your high school history teachers never gave you a book like this one! Secret Lives of the Supreme Court features outrageous and uncensored profiles of America’s most legendary justices—complete with hundreds of little-known, politically incorrect, and downright wacko facts. You’ll discover that:
 
    •  Hugo Black was a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
    •  Benjamin Cardozo likely died a virgin.
    •  John Rutledge attempted suicide by jumping off a bridge.
    •  John Marshall Harlan organized regular screenings of X-rated films.
    •  Thurgood Marshall never missed an episode of Days of Our Lives.
    •  Sandra Day O’Connor established the court’s first Jazzercise class.
    •  And much, much more!
 
With chapters on everyone from John Jay to Samuel Alito, Secret Lives of the Supreme Court tackles all the tough questions that other history books are afraid to ask: How many of these judges took bribes? How many were gay? And how could so many sink into dementia while serving on the highest court in the land? American history was never this much fun in school!
Book 6
Strange-But-True Tales of Cross-Dressers, Drug Addicts, Foot Fetishists, and Other Legendary Filmmakers.
 
With outrageous and uncensored profiles of everyone from D. W. Griffith to Quentin Tarantino, Secret Lives of Great Filmmakers reveals the little-known secrets of all your favorite directors. Why did Charlie Chaplin refuse to bathe for weeks at a time? Was Alfred Hitchcock really missing a belly button?  Is Walt Disney’s corpse preserved in a state of suspended animation? And why on earth did Francis Ford Coppola direct a 3-D pornographic movie? The legends of the silver screen will never be the same!
Book 5
With outraeous anecdotes about everyone from Leonardo (alleged sodomist) to Caraviaggio (convicted murderer) to Edward Hopper (alleged wife beater), Secret Lives of Great Artists recounts the seamy, steamy, and gritty history behind the great masters of international art. You’ll learn that Michelangelo’s body odor was so bad, his assistants couldn’t stand working for him; that Vincent van Gogh sometimes ate paint directly from the tube; and Georgia O’Keeffe loved to paint in the nude. This is one art history lesson you’ll never forget!
Book 4
Strange-but-true tales of murderers, adulterers, drug addicts, and other literary legends.
 
With outrageous and uncensored profiles of everyone from William Shakespeare to Thomas Pynchon, Secret Lives of Great Authors tackles all the tough questions your high school teachers were afraid to ask: What’s the deal with Lewis Carroll and little girls? Is it true that J. D. Salinger drank his own urine? How many women—and men—did Lord Byron actually sleep with? And why was Ayn Rand such a big fan of Charlie’s Angels? Classic literature was never this much fun in school!
Book 3
Legendary Heroes of U.S. History—As You’ve Never Seen Them Before!
 
Secret Lives of the Civil War features irreverent and uncensored profiles of men and women from the Union and the Confederacy—complete with hundreds of little-known and downright bizarre facts. You’ll discover that:
 
     •  Mary Todd Lincoln claimed to receive valuable military strategies from ghosts in the spirit
        world.
     •  Jefferson Davis once imported camels for soldiers stationed in the American southwest.
     •  Ulysses S. Grant spent much of the Vicksburg campaign on a horse named “Kangaroo.”
     •  James Longstreet fought the Battle of Antietam wearing carpet slippers.
     •  William T. Sherman was the victim of two shipwrecks on the same day.
     •  Harriet Tubman experienced frequent and bizarre hallucinations.
     •  Stonewall Jackson was a notorious hypochondriac (he always sat up straight, fearing that
        slouching would compress his vital organs).
 
With chapters on everyone from William Quantrill (a guerilla leader whose skull later ended up in the basement of a fraternity house) to Rose O’Neal Greenhow (perhaps the South’s most glamorous spy), Secret Lives of the Civil War features a mix of famous faces and unsung heroes. American history was never this much fun in school!
Book 2
This newly updated collection of biographies showcases all the secrets, scandals, and trivia from America’s first ladies.
 
Whether she’s a leading lady, loyal spouse, or lightning rod for scandal, the First Lady of the United States has always been in the spotlight—and in 2017 that was truer than ever. This revised and expanded edition from Quirk’s best-selling Secret Lives series features outrageous and uncensored profiles of the women of the White House, from Martha Washington to Melania Trump, it comes complete with hundreds of little-known, politically incorrect, and downright wacko facts. Did you know that . . .
 
• Dolley Madison loved to chew tobacco
• Mary Todd Lincoln conducted séances on a regular basis
• Eleanor Roosevelt and Ellen Wilson both carried guns
• Jacqueline Kennedy spent $121,000 on her wardrobe in a single year
• Betty Ford liked to chat on CB radios—her handle was “First Mama”
And much, much more.
Book 1
Includes all-new chapter about the 45th POTUS, Donald J. Trump.

This updated and redesigned edition of Secret Lives of the U.S. Presidents features outrageous and uncensored profiles of our commanders in chief—complete with hundreds of little-known, politically incorrect, and downright wacko facts. You’ll discover that:

• Teddy Roosevelt was blinded in a White House boxing match
• John Quincy Adams loved to skinny-dip in the Potomac River
• Gerald Ford once worked as a Cosmopolitan magazine cover model
• Warren G. Harding gambled with White House china when he ran low on cash
• Jimmy Carter reported a UFO sighting in Georgia

With chapters on everyone from George Washington to Donald Trump, Secret Lives of the U.S. Presidents tackles all the tough questions that other history books are afraid to ask: Which president claimed that God struck down Abraham Lincoln on purpose? How many of these folks were cheating on their spouses? And are there really secret tunnels underneath the White House? American history was never this much fun in school!

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