Not the Girl Next Door: Joan Crawford, a Personal Biography and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
Condition: Used: Like New
Comment: Used, but looks brand new. Only very slight signs of use. Cover and binding are undamaged, and pages are crisp and unmarked. .
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Not the Girl Next Door: Joan Crawford, a Personal Biography Hardcover – February 12, 2008

See all 18 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
Hardcover, February 12, 2008
$0.01 $0.01
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Popular New Biographies & Memoirs
Browse a selection of popular new biographies and memoirs.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this sympathetic biography, Chandler (Ingrid: The Girl Who Walked Home Alone) chronicles Crawford's life—from a brutal Midwest childhood to her self-imposed exile in New York. Crawford (1905–1977) began as a dancer, but her extraordinary features, perfect for the new medium of film, served her well. Her career spanned silents to Hollywood's golden era, and her body of work is legendary—Grand Hotel, The Women and Mildred Pierce, to name just a few. Divided into 10 sections, including the luminous MGM and Warner years, the book provides a brief description of her films and studio life, and offers a sanitized view of her four marriages as well as a strong refutation of the Mommie Dearest claims. Chandler isn't interested in sex or scandal; she had, however, extensively interviewed Crawford; her first husband, Douglas Fairbanks Jr.; and scores of film luminaries, like Myrna Loy and Bette Davis. All reveal a hardworking, disciplined and generous woman who lived for work. Joan Crawford and her camera. It was the greatest love affair I have ever known, said director George Cukor. Chandler's bio is a breezy, laudatory read that would have pleased Crawford, who was fiercely protective of her iconic status. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"In Davis's memoirs one hears the authentic, engrossing, gloriously manipulative voice of Old Hollywood." --Publishers Weekly

"Readers will enjoy finding that her famously bombastic personality is allowed to shine through." --Booklist --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

"A Touch of Stardust" by Kate Alcott
Go behind the scenes of the filming of "Gone with the Wind" and the passionate romance between Clark Gable and Carole Lombard. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1St Edition edition (February 12, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416547517
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416547518
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,483,467 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

The author makes no note of the discrepancy.
This is a good read for the movie fan, and if you are interested in Joan Crawford, definitely worth a look.
Valerie J. Wood
Joan Crawford & Bette Davis has gone down in history as the best actress's ever.
D.A. Lanier

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Severin on March 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just finished this book and having never read any other about Joan Crawford I took it at face value; at first. Watching new DVD set The Joan Crawford Collection Vol. 2 I found that the documentaries often contradict portions of this book. For instance, according to the book Joan volunteered to do an audition for "Mildred Pierce" even though she was told she did not have to. But in the latest DVD set it's reported that one of the shocks she received when moving to Warner Bros. was having to do an audition for the part.

And where is the story of Bette Davis bringing a Coke machine on the set of "Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte" to irritate Crawford, the Pepsi queen? And where is the alcoholism? And what happend to her between 1964 and 1968? The book goes from one movie to the next with no mention as to what the actress was doing during those years. In fact little is said about her later years.

Even the movie synopses aren't all that accurate, read the one for "Sadie McKee" and watch the DVD, you'll see what I mean. I have to think that there's a more detailed, more accurate biography of this fine actress, as nice as this makes her out to be. I was left with the impression that Crawford believed her own myth and became her Hollywood persona, the ultimate movie star.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By SusieQ on August 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Any sympathetic biographer of Joan Crawford has to overcome a reader's initial repugnance for the "Joan Crawford" presented in Christina Crawford's autobiography. I admire this author for trying to even the balance, as it were, on Joan Crawford's complex character.

I liked the fact that this biography "talks" to the reader, apparently in Joan Crawford's own words. And while the author is sympathetic to Joan, I never got the impression that anything that passed between Joan Crawford and Ms. Chandler, as reported here by Ms. Chandler, was in any way false, or was said in order to perpetuate a cover-up of Ms. Crawford's "true" character.

From this biography it is easy to see that Lucille LeSeuer, aka Joan Crawford, came from the bottom up. She was an exceptionally strong woman who, with basically no support system from childhood onward, re-invented herself and achieved stardom in Hollywood.

Maybe she wasn't the most nuturing, understanding, warm & cuddly Mother she could be -- I still can't make up my mind that she was a physically abusive one -- but she herself was the receipient of a hard and unloved girlhood, which couldn't have prepared her for being a mother herself.

If it went somewhat wrong between JC and her children (and I think "somewhat" is the right term, because her younger children seemingly have no complaints), it seems appropriate to place the blame on JC's own childhood, which left her emotionally unable to establish strong, continuously loving relationships with anyone but her adoring (and distant) fans.

And one other thing I took away from this biography is, how refreshing to read about a woman who came up from nothing, with sheer hard work, guts and determination.
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Miss Mississippi on April 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book was a quick read - but I don't mean that in a good way. It was all fluff! The author did not tell the story of Joan Crawford. She merely quoted pages and pages of Crawford talking about herself and a few other people talking about Crawford. There's scant evidence of any real research here. Were any biographical details confirmed? This book would have been a great opportunity for someone to really research Crawford and put to rest some of the more unfortunate rumors about her. There's no mention of her first husband (before Fairbanks) or of some of the more common fables about her. It's just a rehashing of old interviews of people who would never say anthing negative about her. I think Crawford fans want and deserve the truth told in an objective manner with independent verification of facts, timelines, and details. There's no "there there".
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Killian HALL OF FAME on September 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Not the Girl Next Door is not the book we Crawford fans wanted, which is a pity because Charlotte Chandler has never before let me down. Her book on Bette Davis was astonishingly good! What happened with Crawford? Don't know. All I could think of was that she had this one new angle--that Crawford wasn't so bad--and she had to hold on to it despite all evidence to the contrary. She was able to interview a reclusive Crafword daughter, one who had never spoken before to the press, and their conclusions were that a) Christopher was evil, and b) Christina encouraged his weird behavior and alienated a loving, devoted Joan.

I agree with the other reviewer who was tempted to review the hairdo in the author photograph in this book. You can't see it from here, can you, but maybe there's a Charlotte Chandler in which she displays her magnificent, Jeff Koonslike hair that occupies most of the photo space like a headdress by Carmen Miranda. She looks like a playing card, but not in a bad way, that hair makes one feel very affectionate towards her, plus it looks as though she could smuggle small cats and dogs in it, so it gives her some compassionate cachet.

The book comes alive in a lengthy description of the fairytale romance between Crawford and the young Douglas Fairbanks Jr, their attraction for each other and the thrill of being "young Hollywood" in the shadow of the two older players, her in-laws. Fairbanks' memories in old age of his "salad days" are warm and genial, but then the book grows faint and spotty and we never get an idea of who Franchot Tone was, Philip Terry and Pepsi Cola Guy blur in a haze. If this wonderful and gracious Joan is who she really was, then give me back my monster!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?