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on December 31, 2006
Raymond's book is an excellent example of the study of a star formed by his cultural circumstances and historical forces. Heston has often been unjustifiably vilified in the recent past for his unpopular views to the detriment of his acting achievements. This book reveals that Heston was not alone in his rightward swing since it reveals him, along with Irving Kristol and Gertrude Himmelfarb, as liberal conservatives who belonged to the Democratic Party until historical forces changed their alignment. In many ways, they remained true to their beliefs while the Democratic Party changed from its conservative Eisenhower-Kennedy roots into Johnson Great Society that these people could not accept.

For those interested in social change in American society, this book is a very revealing treatment and explains much of what has happened during the last forty years. My only complaint is that Raymond has focussed on a limited amount of Heston films and has not examined others such as the Cold War western ARROWHEAD (1952) and THE CALL OF THE WILD where the Heston character undergoes a crisis of masculinity in one scene. It is easy to denigrate the actor as Michael Moore did unfairly in his interview in BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE where he appeared oblivious to the actors failing health and his recent operation. During Whoopi Goldberg's unjustly short-lived TV talk show, she did not take the easy option of making the actor look like a fool but spoke to him in a meaningful conversation without having any hidden agenda. It is a shame Raymond does not cite this in the book which is a valuable cultural study of a star who engaged in activist neo-conservative politics. While it is easy to sneer at his now outmoded roles and jeer at his Alzheimer's diagnosis as did George Clooney, it is much more challenging to understand the man and his beliefs in an objective manner. Raymond has risen to the challenge in a book which has several significant insights but could have been much better if more of the star's films had been covered against the background of the changing social and historical forces documented in this valuable work.
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VINE VOICEon July 14, 2011
Emilie Raymond writes a surprisingly engaging and thoughtful look at how Charlton Heston evolved from Democrat Civil Rights marcher to Republican NRA President. Her main hook is that Heston was experiencing and lamenting American culture from inside a life in the arts while intellectuals like Irving Kristol were lamenting it from inside intellectual circles. The progression of both men as liberals into neo-conservatives is an interesting premise and although I don't know if I would call Heston a neo-con as the result of this comparison, Raymond explains Heston's political transformation better than any other biographer.

Heston's own books do not go into the details that she provides here. It's an especially full account of Heston's experience as President of SAG and his fights with Ed Asner who wanted to make the union into a wing of progressive activism at the expense of representing members. The author makes a great point that Heston's perch as NRA President made him a national political figure and allowed his voice to be heard on any number of political issues as a result. Heston also made the NRA a bigger and stronger organization by weeding out some marginal characters that were influential in the organization beforehand.

This book is a great companion to other political/cultural studies of the 1990s.
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on April 15, 2011
Like the title says, this book is about Charlton Heston's politics. The author speaks briefly of Heston's personal life and acting career, but goes into detail concerning his affiliations and his politics.
The author has done some very in depth research and delivers the information thoroughly and easily.
Even though the subject matter is very interesting, some may find this book dry at times.
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on November 9, 2006
Anyone who thinks of Himself/Herself a Patriot needs to read this book. Anyone who doesn't needs to read it to find out why they need to be. This is the greatest country in the world, and if we wish it to stay great and free, we have to get involved, or what we take for granted will slip away. The modern media blames America first, finds fault, and betrays all that countless patriots who have given their all that we might live we do today. Why do peoples of the world see us as the beacon of hope, and risk everything to come here? You'll find the answers in Mr. Heston's book, and what we must do to pass what we have, on to our children, and generations to come.
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on April 26, 2011
I haven't read the book, as I bought it for a gift, but the person I gifted it to raved about it. The shipping was speedy and the book arrived in pristine condition.
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on March 7, 2014
Defends our right to bear arms! I would recommend this gift for the price and appearance to any friend for any occasion. Truly.
0Comment1 of 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 26, 2015
GREAT SERVICE. WOULD USE AGAIN.
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on October 19, 2014
Also a good read
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on March 17, 2013
Mr. Heston was a great actor and a great American. He would have a statue in bronze. He was great gun rights ad man.
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on February 27, 2007
I thought C. heston was one of the great actors in the world, and I still like Ben-Hur and El Cid and the 10 Commnadments very much..but Heston's stands on issues such as the NRA and gay rights are fascist at the very best.

He took a turn in his life thinking he could be an intellectual..a huge mistake..he was a good actor, he knew that much about himself, that he could dsraw aude=iences in with his swagger and heroic gesturing. But when he stepped out of the screen's protective proceniums, he showed his low voltage mind.

His Altzheimer's Disease is very sad, but the latter part of his life, beyond Touch of Evil, and Will Penny is even sadder.

A tragic case.
66 comments6 of 52 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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