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The Hiltons: The True Story of an American Dynasty Hardcover – April 1, 2014
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"Riveting...Hang out the Do Not Disturb sign for this addictive tale."―People
"...filled with enough strange and wonderful anecdotes, and tales of love, greed, and horrid excess to fill a stack full of Jackie Collins novels."―NY Journal of Books
"A vivid account of the family's rise to fortune."―New York Daily News
"Taraborrelli has written the definitive biography of a family whose glory days may have passed but which simply refuses to recede into the background."―Kirkus
More About the Author
Taraborrelli's best seller, "After Camelot," is presently in production as a miniseries for the ReelzChannel (2017), starring Katie Holmes as Jackie Kennedy Onassis. Taraborrelli is one of the Executive Producers, as is Holmes. His previous book about the Kennedys - "Jackie, Ethel, Joan - Women of Camelot" was a highly-rated miniseries for NBC, starring Jill Hennesey as Jackie and Lauren Holly and Ethel. It is available for purchase here on Amazon.
His national best seller, "The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe" was the basis of a miniseries of the same name for Lifetime, starring Susan Sarandon, Kelli Garner, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Emily Watson. It aired to critical acclaim in 2015.
J. Randy's most recent two books include an update of his classic Sinatra biography, "Sinatra - Behind the Legend," (published in August 2015), and "Becoming Beyonce - The Untold Story" the first-ever in-depth biography of the pop star (published in October of 2015).
The author holds a black belt in the martial art of American Tang Soo Do and a blue belt in Gracie Jiu Jitsu. He lives in Los Angeles, California.
Top Customer Reviews
The Hiltons in addition to being enormously successful in the hotel business, primarily due to Conrad's vision and energy, were well known personalities who led personal lives that rivaled those of the movie stars to whom several of them were married. In addition to Zsa Zsa, who was briefly married to Conrad, an extensive list of Hollywood personalities like Natalie Wood, Joan Collins and Eddie Fisher make appearances.
The three Hilton sons and their wives are featured. Nicky Hilton's disastrous marriage to Elizabeth Taylor is discussed in detail as is his father's marriage to Zsa Zsa. The fallout from these marriages followed the men for years: Zsa Zsa in a constant battle with Conrad; Nicky feeling guilt for his abusive treatment of Elizabeth.
The lives of these amazing characters keep you turning the pages. The marriage problems of the male members of the family read like a novel, or a soap opera. However, even more interesting is the chronicling of Conrad's experience building a hotel empire. Even the business sections are filled with interesting characters and suspense. If you like stories of big business, you'll enjoy this part of the book.
I recommend this book if you find the Hiltons fascinating, or if your interest is in how a major corporation was born.
I reviewed this book for Net Galley.
The most interesting chapter for me was the story behind the sale of Hilton International to TWA. Despite Nicky being the head of Hilton International, Conrad and Barron went behind his back to strike a deal with TWA. Nicky learned too late and argued against it to no avail. It turned out that Nicky, the prodigal son who was seen as unreliable, was right in this case as the deal became one of the biggest mistakes in Conrad's long career. A reminder that arrogance and hubris always bring us down.
The book does justice to their flawed and somewhat tragic stories. And thankfully the mention of Paris Hilton is kept to a minimum.
Conrad Hilton, Paris's great grandfather, came from a family ethic where you were expected to work hard to earn your own path through life, without handouts or free rides of any kind. He believed in keeping the family name clean and even though he knew that he wasn't the father of one of his children, he still called her one of his own and gave her his last name.
Naturally, I have always assumed that the Hilton's lived off of the wealth of their family's fortune, but was surprised to learn that this was not Conrad's vision for his family and had there not been a loop hole in his will (that allowed his son, Barron Hilton, to contest against and win), our ear's may have been spared the term "that's hot" for so many years.
It was also quite interesting to learn that Conrad thought that women who spent a majority of their time hung up on doing things to make themselves look beautiful were frivolous and foolish. He couldn't even endure watching a woman apply fingernail polish in his presence. So, of course, he wasn't thinking very clearly when he married Zsa Zsa Gabor in the 40's. As a result, they had two separate bedrooms. I found it interesting how the author compared Zsa Zsa to Paris toward the end of the book, because the entire time that I was reading about Zsa Zsa, I couldn't help but notice their uncanny similarities as well.Read more ›
This is a book well worth your time!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Reads like a gossip magazine. True events, including how Conrad Hilton amassed his fortune read like book summaries without depth. Read morePublished 2 months ago by sammie
Very interesting read regarding Conrad Hilton - the book was well written and not a gossipy read by any means.Published 2 months ago by mjc
This book read very much like watching a soap opera with my grandmother when I was younger. I felt like I could stop reading the book at any time, and still go back a few hours or... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Casey F
Great book ! I think some of the facts were cleaned up but overall goodPublished 6 months ago by Raybon
I read a lot of biographies and autobiographies and rarely have I enjoyed one more. The book reads like fiction--the story of the various Hiltons is more entertaining than some... Read morePublished 6 months ago by MelB
Great Story. Enjoyable from front to cover. Arrived quickly in perfect condition.Published 6 months ago by Jack Miller