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“A dazzling portrait of a fragile but remarkably ambitious and determined personality, as spiritual as she was corporeal, as canny as she was careless.” ―Carina Chocano, Elle
“Banner…probe[s] Monroe's fraught relationship to her sexuality with an uncommonly insightful eye. But fans of Hollywood Babylon, take heart: Studious as she is, Banner also rakes the muck like a pedigreed newshound.” ―Jan Stuart, More
“By dint of exhaustive research and uniquely informed analysis, distinguished and trailblazing feminist historian Banner has written a profoundly redefining bombshell biography of artist and icon Marilyn Monroe. Banner is the first to bring a scholar's perspective to bear on the influence of postwar misogyny and sexual hypocrisy on Monroe's life and work as she painstakingly chronicles Monroe's shunting from one foster home to another, her sexual abuse and subsequent stutter, evangelical upbringing, daring foray into modeling, and epic battle for Hollywood success. Intellectual rigor and insight shape Banner's coverage of Monroe's debilitating endometriosis, chronic insomnia, prescription-drug addiction, numerous sexual relationships, reliance on psychoanalysis, and three troubled marriages. Banner breaks new ground with her sensitive disclosure of the star's toxic fear of the exposure of her sexual attraction to women, an utter disgrace for a reigning sex symbol in a harshly homophobic time. And her revelations about the role of the Kennedys and the FBI in Monroe's death are appalling. On the upside, Banner celebrates Monroe's perfectionism, generosity, humanist political views, trickster humor, covert brilliance, daunting "process of self-creation," and immense cultural resonance. A passion for precision and truth fuels Banner's electrifying portrait of an artist caught in a maze of paradoxes and betrayals. Here is Marilyn as we've never seen her before.” ―Donna Seaman, Booklist (starred review)
“This new biography brings the known facts up to date and offers a fresh, modern take on the tragic star's life and choices…. Surely not the last word, but a complete and honest effort and a good starting place.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“Banner elegantly and skillfully chronicles Monroe's short life…. [she] paints a portrait of Monroe as a complicated, many-faceted woman.” ―Publishers Weekly
Lois Banner is a founder of the field of women's history and cofounder of the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians, the major academic event in the field. She was the first woman president of the American Studies Association, and in 2006 she won the ASA's Bode-Pearson Prize for Outstanding Contributions to American Studies. She is the author of ten books, including her acclaimed American Beauty and most recently MM -- Personal, which reproduces and discusses items from Marilyn Monroe's personal archive. In addition to her books on Monroe, Banner is a major collector of her artifacts. Banner is a professor of history and gender studies at USC and lives in Southern California.
Marilyn died before any of the good stuff happened in the 60s: civil rights, anti-war, music, even before we really started talking about women's rights. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Susan
Lois does an excellent job of displaying the facts and theories and laying out Marilyn's life. One of the most objective book's I have read on the star. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Nina Boski
I normally don't write reviews but this book was so bad I felt I had to write. It seemed like the author took notes and then just put them in a book. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Melony Schenk
am reading it. it needs editing. but i am enjoying reading it. it could be written better. sorry to say so.Published 17 months ago by Simone Gad
Have not read it all but very comprehensive if the author is a bit egotistical on some points. Overall an excellent readPublished 18 months ago by Darina Van den Bergh
Prof. Lois Banner's popularly recieved "Marilyn" is an authentic, deeply researched and brilliantly written Marilyn Monroe biography, a must read!Published 18 months ago by denbiebs
Lengthy and repeative, but if you have nothing else to read and you were a fan of hers it might hold your interest more than it held mine.Published 20 months ago by Author
This is the first and only biography of MM I've ever read. I really wanted to know "the facts" about her life. Not the gossip. Not the rumors nor innuendo. Read morePublished 20 months ago by M. Frost