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John Wayne: American Paperback – September 28, 1997
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Since I was a kid watching John Wayne movies with my dad, I wanted to know more about the man behind the walkin and talkin and this book really filled in all the blanks. The best part about this book was that Duke turned out to be everything I wanted him to be. He was flawed... he was a womanizer and a bit of a drinker and he probably didn't make the best decision when it came time to fight in WWII. But, one thing is for sure. The man was not a coward and he was a patriotic and moral soul that struggled with his own demons just like the rest of us, but truly always sought to do the right thing.
The authors did an outstanding job of pointing out when the Duke may have made a mistake or had a lapse in judgement because the guy was human. But, they also documented some of the times when the Duke stood up for what he believed in, like when he stood up for U.S. soldiers repeatedly during the Vietnam war.
I had this image of who John Wayne was in my mind. He was a flawed giant that believed in a chilvarous code to country, family and God and that is exactly the image that was portrayed in this book.
Wonderfully written book that is really worth your time...!!
Beginning in 1930 with THE BIG TRAIL & ending in 1976 with THE SHOOTIST, DUKE has been bigger than life, a symbol to the world of the ruggedness, tough independence, personal conviction, & courage that make up the American character.
I love him not just because he was a great actor, but because he played roles that showed us an America to be proud of. He was the type of guy you wouldn't mind sitting with in a bar for a few drinks &, definitely, you'd love him at your back in a fight!
The authors of this book tell you everything you need to know to understand & appreciate John Wayne the way I & millions the world over do.
This meticulously researched, & well thought out story of the life of DUKE is a must. From his childhood to his college years, from his first job in Hollywood thru the incredible career he led as an actor, from one marriage to the next & his political views & activism all the way thru to his battle with the Big C this book is a gold mine.
An added plus are the extensive notes & bibliography sections & a complete chronological Filmography.
You will never look at John Wayne, the actor & the man, in the same way ever again.
John Wayne: American, is not only about Marion Micheal Morrison, the gangly Iowa kid who grew up to become an Icon, but also about the American myth machine. Olson and Roberts include intriguing insights into the Hollywood dream factories, politics and the craft of acting.
Wayne comes off here as a suprisingly complex man who not only proved to be a fine actor but an astute business man who willingly allowed himself to be co-opted as a profitable commodity by not only the Hollywood system but by the political arena as well as the American cult of personality. Whether for well or ill, Wayne came to rdefine not only entire generations of men but also a national identity as well.
The book does honestly deal with the fact that Wayne cocooned himself within the sanctity of the manufactured image and took great pains to maintain that carefully constructed product. But what a product it was.
Olson and Roberts are reverant to their subject while managing to lend the critical eye a terrible aspect. This book is refreshing in its honesty. Admirable for its respectful treatment. And thoroughly entertaining and enlightening in its detail. Watch Wayne's films and enjoy this book.
1. He portrayed macho cowboys and military leaders in the movies but never served in World War II (which caused him a good deal of guilt in later years.)
2. He was an advocate for strong family life (including strong
male bonding with his friends) but was wed three times and
had several affairs.
3. He enjoyed drink, good food and profane activities with his buddies Ward Bond and director John Ford but was noted for his
strong he-man appearance (he was 6'4' tall and at one time weighed over 260 pounds.)
4. He was at one time a member of the John Birch Society and
supported the right wing during the McCarthy era but could also
express individuality in politics (he supported LBJ and was a
friend of Jimmy Carter). He resigned from the Birchers and was
a man who valued America freedom. He was constantly having money troubles with the IRS and disdained (loathed!) big government.
5. He believed in God but did not become a member of an organized religion until converting to Roman Catholicism on his deathbed),
6. He was a good but often absent father to his seven children.
7. He was well read and memorized his lines quickly.
8. He was an excellent actor who finally won his Best Actor Oscar for "True Grit."
Randy Roberts and James Olson have told "Duke's story from
his life in middle class Iowa and Glendale (his parents despised one another and later divorced)to football player at USC to work
in the movies.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I enjoyed this book very much. It appears to show JW the man and his blemishes. But doesn't detract from his legacy.Published 5 months ago by John Henry
Well written, with extraordinary details about the areas of Wayne's life not usually covered.Published 8 months ago by Wayne Davis
To be honest, I didn't read it. But my father enjoyed it very much. So much so that he's still talking about it 15 years later.Published 15 months ago by Limey Smokejumper
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. It covered all aspects of his life, in fact I hated to see the book end. Duke Morrison was a remarkable man and a true professional. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Copper
GREAT BOOK I JUST LOVED JOHN WAYNE AND REALLY ENJOYED THIS BOOK GREAT SERVICEPublished 20 months ago by Priscilla Larson