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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Ex-library book. The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting.
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Hope: Entertainer of the Century Hardcover – November 4, 2014

4.3 out of 5 stars 252 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


 “Revelatory…unabashedly ambitious…fascinating.” (New York Times)

“Terrific—scrupulously researched, likely definitive, and as entertaining and as important (to an understanding of 20th- and 21st-century pop culture) as its subject once genuinely was.” (Vanity Fair)

“A Bob Hope bio even millennials can love…As Zoglin vividly demonstrates here, Hope, who died in 2003, was a groundbreaker—a song-and-dance man who was also one of the inventors of stand-up comedy. Hope took great humanity, spectacular delivery and ordinary material and somehow transformed himself into one of the best-loved cultural icons of the age. Whether or not you’ve heard of him, this insightful bio is worth a read.” (People)

"A wonderful biography by Richard Zoglin. For me it's a feast." (Woody Allen)

“Richard Zoglin’s biography Hope does such an effective job of arguing the appeal that even the Hope-hater comes away eager to see more of his good early work, and more sympathetic to the forces in his life and in the country’s which left him hard to like at the end.” (Adam Gopnik New Yorker)

“Bob Hope was an entertainment colossus, shrewd and influential well beyond show business. Richard Zoglin’s biography captures it all—the public and private Hope.” (Tom Brokaw)

"Richard Zoglin's fascinating biography is as close as we're ever going to get to one of the most opaque human beings ever to become justifiably world-famous. Bob Hope lived so long that it's easy to forget how original he was, not to mention brilliantly funny and attractive. It's all here: the women, the politics, the amazing career, the selfless devotion to American soldiers, the unexpected empathy, and, thank God, the laughter." (Scott Eyman, author of John Wayne)

 “Bob Hope may indeed have been the most popular comedian of the 20th century, yet he probably is unknown to most Millennials, which is why Richard Zoglin's invaluable biography is so vital.” (USA Today)

“This beautifully written volume is, at last, the book about Bob Hope. Zoglin covers everything: the early life, the sky-rocketing triumphs in every medium, the life-risking—and ego-feeding—patriotism that spanned the globe, bringing laughter (and gorgeous ladies) to our troops in wartime, the wealth, the women, the quirks, the warts, the temper, the cheapness, the touching generosity, the fabulous talent and the genius-managed career." (Dick Cavett)

“An entertaining and important book.” (The Wall Street Journal)

“Important…Zoglin has put together a fair-minded book about Hope as an entertainer and as a person, and tells a far more compelling story than can be found in some tossed-off snark. Don’t just ask your grandparents. Read Zoglin.” (Akron Beacon-Journal)

“A thorough, evenhanded and absorbing portrait.” (Associated Press)

“Bob Hope lived to be 100. And even in death he has retained a kind of ubiquity. Let Richard Zoglin draw it for you in the introduction to what is one of the necessary American books – the definitive biography of one of the holy monsters of American show business.” (Buffalo News)

“[Zoglin] does a superb job in fetching all the mostly-forgotten versions of Hope and soberly parading them past us without too much hyperbole…. a good guide to the century of Bob Hope.” (Boston Globe)

"A definitive biography of this legendary performer has long been overdue, an undertaking Time magazine theater critic Zoglin completes here with great attention to detail and commendable skill. . . . Not just for Hope fans, Zoglin’s work will also appeal to readers interested in the colorful history of American entertainment, in which Hope played a prominent role." (Carl Hays Booklist)

“The definitive biography of the legendary comedian…In this rich and entertaining work, Zoglin pulls no punches but also remains an astonished admirer.” (Kirkus (starred review))

“A crackerjack biography.” (Goldderby.com)

About the Author

Richard Zoglin is a contributing editor and theater critic for Time magazine. His book Comedy at the Edge: How Stand-up in the 1970s Changed America is considered the definitive history of that seminal era in stand-up comedy. Zoglin is a native of Kansas City, Missouri, and currently lives in New York City.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1st edition (November 4, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439140278
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439140277
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (252 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By G.I Gurdjieff TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 10, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This is a very thorough biography that leaves virtually no stone unturned. For the most part, Bob Hope fans will find this book immensely interesting despite the fact that at times the facts of Hope's life is somewhat at odds with his public image that was carefully crafted. Like many things in Hollywood, public perception was paramount and Hope's image was a press agents dream, but not necessarily true or even reasonably accurate.
For my part, I wasn't particularly surprised by many of the revelations contained is this book. If a sailor was entitled to a girl in every port, Hope had many girl friends through the decades while still remaining married to his publicly acknowledged wife Dolores.
What this book will also tell you about is Hope's business savvy and how he became quite wealthy through real estate investments. Family life, career moves, his relationship with Bing Crosby, and his many missions to entertain the troops are also covered. Also a very early short lived marriage to a vaudeville partner go with the territory.
The probably most interesting aspect of this book remains for me the research that delved into BH's family background and his life before and after the family came to America. The author used genealogical records and family recollections to reconstruct the problems the Hope family encountered stateside due to his father's chronic drinking. It also portrayed Hope's mother Avis Towne as a stoic and resourceful woman who managed to keep the family going under difficult circumstances. Avis, for what it is worth, could have been the subject of a book. Curiously, public record or the lack of it even results in some confusion as to whether Hope was ever legally wed to wife Dolores.
This book is so wide sweeping and interesting that it was difficult to put down.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An extraordinary and well told story reaching back to the turn of the century. Author Zoglin's critical analysis of the artistic high and low points spanning vaudeville to movies to television adds great dimension to the tale. Time has obscured his groundbreaking contributions to modern comedy and the entertainment machinery which is now taken for granted. The balanced portrait of Hope as genius, philantropist, egomaniac, family man, philanderer, investor and brave soldier rings true - despite the apparent contradictions. Those looking for consistency of character should look to a more simplistic and less authoritative source.
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Format: Hardcover
I have always had a love-hate relationship with Leslie Towns Hope. I love the ROAD movies Bob Hope made with Bing Crosby and all those other great 1940/50s movies where he played variations of his brash, wise-cracking, chicken-hearted character. In the 50s/60s, my family always looked forward to his TV specials but, after a while, I noticed something about his performances. Hope was all set-up, punch-line, set-up, punch-line. He didn't seem to care about the audience or their reaction, he was just on joke cruise control. Hope seemed all surface; there was no depth to the man. More and more, he seemed out of step with America. And, in the end, he overstayed his welcome, refusing to get off the stage that seemed to be the only thing that really mattered in his life. Well, ok, he loved golf as well. Richard Zoglin details the life and times of this entertainment giant in HOPE, ENTERTAINER OF THE CENTURY, a 2014 Simon & Schuster release.

To cut to the chase: I think Zioglin's book will probably stand as THE definitive biography of Bob Hope. A door-stopper of a book at 565 pages, it's exhaustively researched, thorough yet entertaining, critical yet affectionate. Hope's achievements in entertainment and society, which were truly epic, are recounted in full. Hope was a success in vaudeville, Broadway, radio, movies, TV, personal appearances, etc. During World War II, it's fair to say he was THE face of Hollywood entertainment, circling the globe, giving endless shows to troops. Hope hobnobbed with the world leaders throughout five decades. An astute businessman, he was filthy rich when he died in 2003. Yet, as revealed in Zoglin's book, all this came at a cost to his private life, his family and friends. Show biz was his mistress and, for good and bad, that shaped his life and times.
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Format: MP3 CD
Hope by Richard Zoglin

Hope, a biography of Bob Hope is both affectionate and clear-eyed. Mr. Zoglin, theater critic for TIME is an authority on the history and development of American stand-up comics, so it was natural for him to take on the story of the man who he names in the subtitle " Entertainer of the Century."

Bob Hope covered everything in show biz, starting with vaudeville and on to Broadway stardom; he had the most popular radio show for years and segued to TV. He was a leading box-office star in movies for a number of years overlapping his TV years as number one. Only after 50 years on top did his charming antics and joking patter begin to pall, outlasting many of the luminaries of entertainment.

Mr. Zoglin covers it all. He describes Hope's tough early years as he clawed his way out of the depths of dingy music halls in the sticks. It is all here: the women ( many, even during his lasting marriage to Dolores), his wealth ( considerable, but kept quiet), his loyal friendships and his difficult relationship with Bing Crosby, his co-star in the famous Road pictures ( despite the on-cue pals-forever warmth, the association never continued offstage into true friendship.)

The reader will get a picture of Bob Hope who gave freely of himself as Bob Hope, the entertainer, but kept Bob Hope, the inner man behind the public persona he created. He became the Star of his own life story. The wise-cracking conniver, who financially aided friends and relations, but made sure he got freebies of anything from cars to coffee. The on screen leering wolf stuttering when it looked like the object of his advances turned warm, but who in real life was a serial philanderer.
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