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Citizen Hughes : The Power, the Money and the Madness Paperback – November 2, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; Reprint edition (November 2, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767919343
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767919340
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #977,593 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“A story of breadth and depth, scope and flavor . . . A terrifying portrait of power gone berserk.” —Chicago Tribune

“Reveals a Howard Hughes who is far more evil than we might have known before.” —New York Times

“Direct access to the mind of a callous and frightened man.”
Time

“Sensational: one of the best 'truth is stranger than fiction' stories of all time.”
—Liz Smith

“Remarkable . . . the mysterious Howard Hughes is exposed in his own strident memos.”
—San Francisco Chronicle

About the Author

MICHAEL DROSNIN, a former reporter for The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, is also the author of two other New York Times bestsellers, The Bible Code and Bible Code II: The Countdown. He spent seven years researching and writing this classic account of power gone mad. Drosnin lives and works in New York.

Customer Reviews

I wish I read this book when it was first published.
Herb.
The book is full of other gems as well, including details about how Hughes' people were involved in the CIA plot to kill Castro.
George M. Kozak
Nevertheless, I found the book highly credible and a great source of research information for more than just Hughes.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By George M. Kozak on January 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
I read the hard cover version of this book in the 80s. I haven't read the latest paperback version here that has been re-released to capitalize on the Hughes biopic "The Aviator." This book picks up where "The Aviator" leaves off and therefore is primarily concerned with the time Howard Hughes lived as a recluse at The Desert Inn in Las Vegas. It was supposedly derived from thousands of notes written in Hughes' own hand. It is an amazing window into the mind of an eccentric (insane?) but brilliant man. The book is full of other gems as well, including details about how Hughes' people were involved in the CIA plot to kill Castro. The first hand reports of LBJ's cynical and self-serving support of the civil rights movement were especially interesting. I would highly recommend this book, as long as the content hasn't changed from the previous edition.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Herb. on February 6, 2005
Format: Paperback
Michael Drosnin goes deep into the bowels of the Hughes empire and as a bonus, the deepest pathway into the Washington power elite. (Is there really and honest person in Washington?)Drosnin's technique for skipping back and forth through time was cleverly done through blending the characters names and incidences with subtle reminders. There are many names to remember and in the beginning I thought I may be "screwed" to remember all of them. But this was not the case. This read left me with truly ambivalent feelings for several characters but most of all Hughes. His total waste of his brain power through drugs and isolation and still his remarkable ability to be lucid when demanded of him is insight to the genius he once was. I wish I read this book when it was first published.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
A non-stop page turner! Since the seriousness of Drosnin's literary efforts are suspect [given his other works e.g. his bible code books; which should be interpreted for what they are - commercial entertainment - instead of some apocalyptic revelation beyond silliness], I don't know if his "facts" are accurate, but what a great read! Immensely entertaining!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. McRae on June 14, 2007
Format: Paperback
In his blacked-out Desert Inn Las Vegas suite, with only Mormon aides under the strictest of rules. Eating only canned goods after the most precise label removed sterilization routines. And the continuous viewing of the movie "Ice Station Zebra" morning, noon and night. This is the unshaved, rarely bathed Howard Hughes in his final years. Las Vegas because of its heat; heat representing in his mind cleanliness and purity. My how the mighty have fallen! Should be a sequel to the film "The Aviator".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
Howard Hughes is a tragic figure.

This book exploits the desire of gossip-mongers to "get the inside scoop" on the private life of the celebrity Hughes.

Nevertheless, I found the book highly credible and a great source of research information for more than just Hughes.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Tommy Yeargin on May 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
Shut away in a hotel room in Las Vegas, with the windows blacked out, and a TV and six aides as his only connection to the outside world, Howard Hughes rules the world, if only in his mind.

During the late 1960's and early 1970's, Hughes, who hasn't been seen in public in almost ten years, lives the life of a total recluse, in a "germ free" prison he has built for himself. Naked, only bathing maybe once or twice a year, with hair down to his backside, beard down to his navel, eating maybe once a day at the most, and storing his urine in Mason jars, Hughes writes out memos to his Mormon aides detailing to them, among other things, how to "sterilize" canned fruit to be served to him, despite the fact that his hotel room hasn't been cleaned in years. He also schemes about his plans to make Vegas in his image, including ways to allow people from all over the world to phone in to bookies to place bets and win big.

Howard Hughes, in his final years, lived only for self. He considered himself the perfect man, a megalomaniac who shoots up with enough drugs to kill a horse, and writes out his orders on legal pads instead of picking up a phone or showing up at board meetings in person.

"The Dating Game"

For example, as Hughes is poised to buy the American Broadcasting Company (ABC), the deal dies in less than thirty minutes, due to his racist tendencies (out of fear, not hatred). He tunes in to "The Dating Game", to see a black man have to choose a date between what Hughes thought was two black women and one "white" woman. The man chooses the "white" woman, who in fact is not white but is actually a very light skinned black woman. But it doesn't matter to Hughes: out of his bizarre fear, the deal is off.

In conclusion...

A wacky story of a genius who became so afraid of the world that he "tried" to control it through his TV and his henchmen.
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By nancy myers on September 15, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read three books about Howard Hughes. I enjoyed this the least. I just cannot understand the man. He was very careless with other people lives, yet would fill a star's room with flowers. Further, if his biographies are to be believed he kept many young would be starlets that he never even met. I really wish someone could have loved him instead of just being next to MR. HUGHES.
I cant understand why when he was so "doped" the aides could not have at least trimmed is hair, beard, and nails. I really believed he was neglected in one way or another all of his life. I can only give this book one star as I enjoyed other books about him more.
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Citizen Hughes : The Power, the Money and the Madness
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