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Howard Hughes: The Untold Story Paperback – November 2, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; Reprint edition (November 2, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306813920
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306813924
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #312,449 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Surely there are few untold stories about Hughes, the brilliant inventor and shrewd businessman who pioneered commercial aviation, became the only individual ever to personally own a movie studio, led Trans World Airlines to become the preeminent international air carrier, womanized his way across the tabloid headlines of the 1920s and '30s, and descended into frightful paranoia and drug addiction in his old age. Authors Broeske and Brown concentrate on the womanizing in this entertaining biography, which chronicles Hughes' affair with Katharine Hepburn, among many others. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

With at least eight biographies of Hughes still in print, folks may wonder how much more there is to tell about the enigmatic billionaire. Brown (Marilyn, Dutton, 1992) here focuses on his subject's personal life.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Well written and easy to read.
Great_Scot
The details of Howard Hughes' childhood days, love life with all of the major starlets of Hollywood, & his personal struggle with drugs, paints a terrible tragedy.
kbdelight
There is just enough details of how and why he came up with his inventions, mechanics of flying, and drive to make profits without putting us to sleep.
C. Corbett

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

67 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Neal Alexander on April 3, 2005
Format: Paperback
I came across this book shortly after seeing Scorsese's `The Aviator', and I can't imagine a better source for those wanting to know more about Howard Hughes. Although the movie may seem fantastic, this book shows an even more outlandish reality. A small example: not only did Hughes restrict himself to a few standard meals, like the steak and peas seen in the movie, but he used a special rake-like utensil to separate out, and discard, any peas above a certain diameter. The film also tones down his womanizing: apparently he slept with almost every screen sex symbol of the 30s and 40s, as well maintaining a private harem of starlets. And there are whole aspects of his life I had no idea about, like his links with Nixon and Watergate. Despite his eccentric, sometimes cruel, behaviour, the authors maintain their - - and the reader's - - sympathy for Hughes. This sunk in when the book reached his infamous final years. Although I'd started out eager to know the truth about the mad hermit at the top of the Las Vegas hotel, by the time I reached that stage I felt sorry for him and was reluctant to read the sordid details. Here again the book gets the balance right; insightful without wallowing in freakishness.

A compelling, well-researched and sympathetic story of an extraordinary subject: you can't ask for much more from a biography.
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67 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Francisco R. Fonseca on December 30, 2004
Format: Paperback
I read this book in hardcover years ago and loved it. It dispelled a lot of rumors about Hughes and gave this man's life the treatment he deserved, not to be defamed after death.

It talks about his womanizing, OCD, and passions for aviation and film. It is a totally comprehensive book. No stone is left unturned. You will leave this book with a great respect and admiration for the man which I did and continue to have. A must read on HH!! A+++++
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99 of 112 people found the following review helpful By K. Johnson VINE VOICE on April 5, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Hughes was a man who accomplished most of what he did before my time, so I've only remembered him as a billionaire, eccentric, and recluse, before reading this book. During his time he was a go-getter who tried many adventurous things professionally and both personally and privately.
This book brings to light the details of of the younger Hughes' extraordinary personal life, which I found more interesting than the business side of it. He spent notable time in Southern California and Los Angeles. Many tales bring Old Hollywood and Los Angeles to light. His involvement in the movie business producing films, influenced in part, as an avenue to get to the ladies of the screen. Details of his relationships with the stars of the day are illuminated. Taking dates to the mounted cross atop one of the Hollywood Hills, overlooking the flatlands and lights of LA. He even crashed a plane into 3 houses in Beverly Hills.
His 3rd plane crash, occurred while performing a flying stunt during the shooting of a movie (the stunt pilots refused to do the stunt because they considered it too dangerous). As a result of that crash he was in the hospital with critical life-threatening injuries. This was when HH was introduced to Codeine for the severe pain, something he would become addicted to for most of the rest of his life.
The book later progresses in the latter years of Hughes. Today, it is apparent to contemporary psychologists that Hughes was likely suffering from a form of the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Nowadays, OCD is more understood and highly treatable with medication. In HH's time, it was not thought of in biological and physiological terms.
Hughes' first break came when he entered a screening room and stayed in it for 5 full months.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By G. Mitchell on November 30, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This bio gave me a pretty good picture of Hughes' life, good enough that I don't feel a strong need to read any other bios. However, the authors don't really deliver everything they promise in the introduction. Yes, you'll learn that he built one of the nation's greatest airlines, founded an industry-leading aircraft company, became a leading defense contractor, became a major player in Las Vegas, indirectly contributed to the Watergate scandal, had shady dealings with the FBI, CIA and DoD, and much more. But you won't learn how; I guess we're supposed to take the authors' word for it. If you're looking for an examination of HH the businessman, the aviator, the inventor, the financier, or the Las Vegas tycoon, this book is very short on detail. It's clear that what really interests the authors most are 1) his love and sex life and 2) his Hollywood career and his life among the rich and famous. For every paragraph discussing his business career--which, after all, made him one of the nation's wealthiest men, and which constitutes a unique and fascinating story all by itself--you'll find 3 paragraphs about which movie stars he was wooing in 1948, where he took them for dinner, who sat next to them at the restaurant, what kind of flowers he gave them, what lies he told to get them in the sack, how much jewelry he gave them, what their mothers thought of Hughes, and the contents of their love letters.

Hughes' obsessive womanizing was an important part of his life, and makes an interesting story. However, there were a LOT of women, and with a few exceptions, he treated most of them essentially the same way. We see the same sad story of obsession, manipulation and heartbreak (for the women, not HH) over and over again. My eyes glazed over more than a few times while reading this.
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