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Judy Garland: A Biography [Kindle Edition]

Anne Edwards
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Edwards’s biography presents a complete picture of the late actress—and not just the boozing, drug-addicted caricature of a woman central to lesser biographies. We learn, for example, that Garland saw it as her duty to provide for her family financially, a generosity that her mother Ethel exploited with disastrous results. Above all, Judy Garland sought to please, whether it was an audience or a studio head, and therein lies her powerful and heartbreaking story.

Editorial Reviews


Anne Edwards comes the closest yet to evoking that incredibly complex woman I remember as Judy Garland. It is the most in-depth and truthful book we have had so far. (Rod McKuen)

People are complex creatures, and often so very difficult to understand. Judy Garland is a biography of the famed Hollywood starlet, as Anne Edwards seeks to show a more complete picture of a woman who struggled to serve her family, sought other artistic endeavors such as poetry, in spite of her own demons which Edwards holds get all too much attention when discussing Garland. Judy Garland is an enticing addition to biography collections focusing on the Golden Age of Hollywood. (Wisconsin Bookwatch)

About the Author

Anne Edwards is an American biographer who specialises in theatre, film and opera (including acclaimed lives of Judy Garland, Vivien Leigh, Katharine Hepburn) She lives with her songwriter-husband, Stephen Citron, in Los Angeles, but was resident in the UK and Europe in the 1970s.

Product Details

  • File Size: 5005 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Taylor Trade Publishing (May 3, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #125,789 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Myth of Judy Garland May 14, 2002
Like several other biographers (most recently Gerald Clarke), Anne Edwards makes the mistake of taking Garland herself as the ultimate authority on her own life--and since Garland never let the truth get in the way of a good story and frequently recast the facts in order to justify her excesses, this is a very serious mistake indeed.
Even so, the book is written in a very readable, slightly romanticized style, and while you have to take it with a whole shaker of salt it does a very good job of presenting Garland as she herself wished to be perceived--and in that sense Garland fans will find it quite interesting. But for a serious biography of Garland, I recommend Christopher Finch's RAINBOW and Gerald Frank's JUDY.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good but.... January 8, 2004
By A Customer
I thought this book was very good. I'm not entirely sure however what to think of the book.
After reading this I was VERY upset and cried several times because of what was said. It isn't the authors fault and her comments because they were fine, it was just what happened to Judy in life.
I don't think the book tells the whole truth because (for e.g.) Anne Edwards says that L.B.Mayer treated Judy literally like rubbish. Throwing her around wherever the hell he pleased BUT in Lorna Luft's Me and My shadows Lorna says that Judy loved Mayer dearly and never once complained about him and that he loved her.
I don't know who to believe but I am leaning towards Lorna's version.
Although this book doesn't have all the facts it is clear to see that Anne Edwards did do a lot of research before writing this but maybe didn't talk to all the right people.
Anne seems to be a fan of Judys and I do recommend this book to anyone who loves Judy as much as me.
Anne seems genuine with her love to Judy and so it isn't like Sheridan Morley with his book Over The Rainbow.
May you rest in piece Miss Judy Garland!
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Judy Garland: Not Just the Eternal Victim October 23, 2006
Judy, Judy, Judy, the entertainer extraordinaire,greatly loved: movie star and stage performer. In this book, Anne Edwards suggests, think Judy, think "Eternal Victim." But that was the view held in the 70's, shortly after Garland's death: it may not be the most useful to us.

This biography is an oldie but a goodie. Edwards, who was English, was a London neighbor of Judy's: she treats Judy with respect, affection, and sympathy. She's decent; discreet about some sad episodes of Judy's life about which we don't really need to know; she takes Judy's word on things. Almost all the books written about Judy up until Edwards' focused on Judy's use of booze and drugs, her scandals. Edwards was the first to try to convey the complexity of the woman, the heart and soul of this great talent. If you want a better, later, more complete chronicle of Judy's career, you might want to read John Fricke's "Judy Garland, Art and Anecdote." But Edwards' book stands on its own; it captures the warmth, the essence of this remarkable performer. Edwards has written several show business biographies, of Katherine Hepburn and Vivien Leigh, among others. She may not rake all the dirt that's to be found, but she's consistently compassionate, interviews many people, and writes smoothly and well.

So, Judy Garland,born Frances Gumm, sang "Jingle Bells" on the vaudeville stage at two 1/2 years old, and was greeted rapturously. She was supporting her family by the time she was four. She wasn't born a beautiful child, but she was born with a great big beautiful voice. She was born to Ethel, who would be a strong candidate for worst stage mother ever.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This is a detailed and highly readable biography. Edwards is very sympathetic to Judy Garland and she makes her out to be a victim. She is first of all a victim of her frustrated, ambitious stage- mother who cared more for her daughter's show- business success than she did for her family. Garland is too shown to be the victim of Metro- Goldwyn- Mayer, of the big studio's regimentation, and exploitation. Here the monster figure is Louis B. Mayer. Later Judy is portrayed as victim of second husband Vincente Minelli ( father of her first daughter, Liza) and third- husband Sid Luft( father of Lorna and Joey Luft). Luft served as her manager for ten years and had an off- again, on - again relationship with her for years after this. Garland's path to self- destruction through use of drugs and alcohol is a major theme of the work. Edwards' claim is that this began in her days at Metro, and also had to do with the dieting she had to do to stay in shape.
While this book is filled with the woes and sufferings of Garland it also filled with the story of her great vitality and tremendous achievements. She was of course one of the great superstars of American entertainment. She remains today a 'classic ' figure in American culture. 'Somewhere over the Rainbow ' is the ever- hopeful anthem of a whole culture.
Edwards tells of the years at Metro co-starring with her friend Mickey Rooney in the Hardy films, of the breakthrough of 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' of her eventually losing her place there. The great second career afterwards as a performer, her incredible performances at Palladium and at the 'Palace' are written about with breathtaking skill and drama. Also she tells the story of her second truly great film ' A Star is Born'.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars but I was disappointed that it wasn't a hardback
Cannot write as to content, this was a gift for someone else; but I was disappointed that it wasn't a hardback....if the posting said as much I missed it.
Published 3 days ago by Barb History Buff
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Book
Good story about her life. Explains a lot about her horrific life. Such talent she had. Thats all I have to say
Published 27 days ago by Michelle Gospodarski
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
This was a fascinating book that I couldn't put down. Judy Garland's troubled life and her remarkable strength came alive through the author's vivid description. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Debbie Morris
5.0 out of 5 stars Tragic, tragic, tragic
I loved Judy Garland, as did most people who knew who she was. Unfortunately, she did not share in our enthusiasm about her self. I called her a tortured soul. Read more
Published 1 month ago by winfred cook
4.0 out of 5 stars Judy I never knew
In the picture show everything turns out great for Judy. In life it was sad full of drugs and heartache. While well written it breaks my heart.
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars well written
Felt it was very well written showing both the good and the bad in her life. I really enjoyed reading this book.
Published 6 months ago by cheryl Kahler
3.0 out of 5 stars Engaging 30 yr old biography showing its age
Judy Garland (1922-1969) could barely remember a time when she was not performing. Fully forty of her forty-seven years were spent in front of an audience of sorts, be it in... Read more
Published 6 months ago by M. Swenson
5.0 out of 5 stars good for a biography
I thought Purgatory Moon really picked up where her life left off. Been addicting to all things Judy Garland since I read Purgatory Moon! Judy's back and amazing!
Published 8 months ago by Richie D
5.0 out of 5 stars Judy Garland
This was a revealing book on a screen legend, written with clarity and honesty. Judy had a great screen career with films such as A Star is Born and Easter Parade.
Published 9 months ago by John Terence Jensen
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book
I have always loved Judy Garland, every since my Grandpa told me about meeting her when he was in the Army during WWII. And of course, I loved her as Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Jennifer B.
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