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Anything Your Little Heart Desires: An American Family Story [Kindle Edition]

Patricia Bosworth
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Print List Price: $27.95
Kindle Price: $7.99
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Book Description

Patricia Bosworth’s striking and compelling memoir of power, politics, and family through one of the most defining eras in American history
 
The FBI kept a secret dossier on him. He was a confidante to stars; adviser to politicians; and lawyer to the likes of William Randolph Hearst, Rita Hayworth, and the blacklisted Hollywood Ten, whom he defended during the House Un-American Activities Committee trials of 1947. Bartley C. Crum was also Patricia Bosworth’s father—a frequently absent, unrelentingly principled, and stubbornly self-destructive one. Anything Your Little Heart Desires is Bosworth’s memoir of life with him, and of the momentous events that shaped his lifetime, from the New Deal to the Cold War and the anti-Communist fervor that jolted American life.
 
Using interviews, journals, letters, and her father’s own files, Bosworth delivers a profoundly personal portrait of the father she never fully knew, and the political forces that shaped a nation.
 

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The author profiles her relatives with the same sensitivity she brought to biographies of Montgomery Clift and Diane Arbus. She pays tribute to the liberal idealism that led her father, Bartley C. Crum, to defend unpopular leftists at home and Jewish refugees desperate to get into Palestine abroad, even as she depicts his lengthy absences and financial carelessness wreaking havoc on his wife and children. Patricia Bosworth's portraits of her unhappy, adulterous mother and withdrawn, suicidal brother are equally nuanced. The subtitle says it all: "An American Family Story."

From Library Journal

Writers of familial reminiscences often reveal a taste for treacly superlatives and insincere endearments. No such charge can be leveled here against Bosworth (e.g., Diane Arbus, LJ 6/1/84), the daughter of Bartley C. Crum. Crum was perhaps best known as one of the six lawyers who defended the Hollywood Ten when the House Un-American Activities Committee was pursuing its investigations of the "Communist peril" at the start of the Cold War in 1947. In presenting the story of Crum's remarkable career as lawyer to such notables as Rita Hayworth, adviser to President Truman, publisher of a liberal tabloid, and champion of the First Amendment, Bosworth maintains an admirable combination of sympathetic understanding and never-cold detachment. One feels that she has accomplished what she evidently set out to do: come to terms with her brother's and her father's suicides and reconcile herself to her father's having named names to prove his own loyalty. An engrossing study of personalities and motivations; strongly recommended.?A.J. Anderson, GSLIS, Simmons Coll., Boston
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1170 KB
  • Print Length: 399 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0684838486
  • Publisher: Open Road Media (June 5, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0083JBXZG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #703,797 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Painful Times February 22, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was looking for context for the Hollywood Blacklist. Although Bosworth's father, Bart Crum, played a fairly minor role in the Blacklist affair, as he defended only two of the accused screenwriters, nonetheless his involvement was crucial. He was a liberal Republican in a crowd of New Dealers, fellow travelers, and Communists. In the end he wasn't able to get off scot free. Bosworth lets the reader draw conclusions about what led to Crum's suicide. It's a horrible story and bears repeating, over and over again.

Bosworth is also good at delineating the personality and actions of her mother, a charming hostess who was also capable of drowning puppies in the bathtub.

Finally, the description of 1940's upper-middle-class milieu is superbly done.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pages and Pages of Name Dropping July 5, 2012
By L. Rudy
Format:Paperback
There were definitely some interesting parts of this book, but I found myself skipping several pages of "name dropping" of people I didn't really know (perhaps this was meant for a much older generation). I found myself far more interested in what the family was experiencing during this man's busy life, but those parts were stretched out quite a bit. I enjoyed hearing about the gardens of their Aptos farm and the drifter, the shoplifting, and Mrs. Crum's struggles as a single parent while her husband was absent. I would have loved to see more of this laced in.

The first half of the book was very slow for me, but the second half picked up. This poor family experienced significant tragedy, up and downs. I believe the author was trying very hard to write a biography of her father, but perhaps what she doesn't realize is that we the readers can learn quite a bit about a person from the impressions he gave his family. There was more of this in the second half of the book, as she and her mother began to talk more about her father's struggles. Still quite a bit of "name dropping" but now about people I know - Rita Hayworth, Jimmy Hoffa, etc. I suppose it would be difficult to write a biography of this man without namedropping, as he was a lawyer and journalist at points in his life - he knew a lot of people.

If you are interested in learning more about the HUAC, The Hollywood 10 and the fears of communism in American during this time, Rita Hayworth, Teamsters, and FBI phone tapping (oh that tricky Hoover!) you will truly enjoy this book. The man touched a lot of lives and wanted to help a lot of people - I don't doubt that - but the writing style was a struggle for me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A painful story November 14, 2013
By Molly
Format:Kindle Edition
I had no idea what this book would reveal when I began reading it. I find this story to be so sad about a father and husband who chased ideas and ideals and left his family alone. I think he was a very selfish man as he chased one dream after another. I do value the history very much as told by the author. I am glad that I chose to read this book because I got to see another part of pain in a dysfunctional family. I highly recommend this book for its historical value in such a dark period in US history.
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2.0 out of 5 stars lukewarm September 27, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
this was interesting for info on the McCarthy hearing, but the author also seems to be a big name-dropper. Lots of people were mentioned who had no real connection to the story.
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