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Front Row: Anna Wintour: What Lies Beneath the Chic Exterior of Vogue's Editor in Chief Paperback – February 7, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
It appears that Ms. Wintour was very "cool" from the get go. Nice when she needed to be but rarely covering her true frosty nature. Confident and collected she knew what she wanted from an early age and went after it.
Ms. Wintour did not graduate from high school and does not write very well, according to the author..so luck, family background, a strong sense of fashion and animal agressiveness played a large role in her rise to the helm of Vogue's masthead.
As I read throught the book, I couldnt help but be glad that I have no desire to enter the apparent competitiveness and cattiness that marks the world of fashion magazines. A cutthroat business where wearing the wrong shoes or skirt style will send smirks your way.
As Anna climbs to the top you read about how she loses friends, alienates people (yet somehow many come back for more abuse),and tramples on others to get where she wants to be. All the while she appears to fascinate others with her cool demeanor and aloof attitude. She is portrayed by the author as a shallow individual whose interests center around herself and clothes and thats about it.
The author is exhaustive in his research. As another reviewer pointed out, more photographs would have been nice. But overall an interesting read and one that may have you studying Vogue magazine to see how much the masthead varies from month to month as Ms. Wintour fires and hires at her imperious leisure.
Anna Wintour was born the daughter of high-ranking British parents, one a social do-gooder and the other a major newspaper editor. She followed in neither parent's footsteps -- from her early schooldays, it became obvious that Anna cared first and foremost about fashion, shortening her gym skirts and defying strict dress codes (which led to expulsion from high school).
As a teen, she was a minor club goddess. Then with her father's credentials as a calling card, Anna started delving into the world of fashion writing, including brief stints at magazines like Harper's Bazaar, the ill-fated Viva, and Home and Gardens, which she singlehandedly destroyed. Finally "nuclear Wintour" got her dream job: editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine.
Jerry Oppenheimer isn't exactly the ideal biographer, having written some truly awful biographies of Ethel Skakel Kennedy and Martha Stewart. However, he does a passable job with "Front Row," by coolly and calmly exposing the many flaws of Vogue's editor-in-chief, including how she incited rebellion and destroyed at least one magazine with her celebrity-obsessed revamps.
He also does an excellent job of deflating Wintour's imposing image, by revealing the times she was found sobbing, played "little girl," or acted in a manner that could have gotten her sued.Read more ›
Well, I've just finished "Front Row" and it appears that much of what is set forth in "The Devil Wears Prada" is closer to the truth than one might have originally thought. The book appears to be well-researched and unbiased. He gives a solid reporting of her life from childhood to present and never does the reader get the idea that Mr. Oppenheimer is "out to get" Ms. Wintour or that he is only reporting the negative side of things. While there were a few positive comments here and there, however, most reports related to Ms. Wintour do tend toward the negative. Given the the number of people willing to comment "on the record" and be quoted by name, I'm guessing this is just a simple case of "the truth hurts."
Okay...now pardon me while I pull out my soapbox for a minute...
After reading this book, the saddest thing to me is the fact that there are so many people -- starting with Anna Wintour herself, her colleagues, photographers, writers, assistants, etc. -- who actually perpetuate this type of behavior and treat it as if it were to be taken seriously. Anna Wintour is a fashion editor, for God's sake! She isn't a teacher or a scientist or a doctor or a law enforcement officer...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Delicious fashionable treat for anyone interested and living fashion.Published 5 months ago by Gidget London
Way too much filler in this book. You get completely bogged down.Published 6 months ago by Karen Slape Miller
Easy to dislike her! No earthly reason she is so highly regarded. Why can't I get thru this book! She sounds like complete bore!Published 6 months ago by BARBARA
If you're into fashion then this is the book for you. After reading this book I'm not sure if I love or hate her, but I will say she has earned my respect. Read morePublished 11 months ago by bmore40
Newsy, rushed. Very shallow sketch. But not bad. The illusiveness of Anna Wintour is the star of this book. She's a master that's for sure. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Mrs. BSK
You may want to make sure your book is edited properly. The amount of typos, grammatical and spelling errors are laughable. One word... PROOFREAD. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Eileen K. Myers
Very informative. Fab information. I think Anna Wintour is great. If she was a marshmallow she wouldn't be where she is. Read morePublished on April 18, 2014 by C. Gillespie