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The Way You Wear Your Hat: Frank Sinatra and the Lost Art of Livin' Paperback – May 5, 1999


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The Way You Wear Your Hat: Frank Sinatra and the Lost Art of Livin' + Rat Pack Confidential: Frank, Dean, Sammy, Peter, Joey and the Last Great Show Biz Party + Mr. S: My Life with Frank Sinatra
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (May 5, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060931752
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060931759
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 6.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #305,759 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Narrator Brian Emerson reads this celebrity profile in a well-phrased pleasant voice, with limited emotion. This is not a formal biography of superstar powerbroker Frank Sinatra, who died in May at the age of 82. We learn his likes, dislikes, and behavior as singer, actor, and head of Hollywood's "Rat Pack." Missing are things like rumors of Mafia connections or reprisals against enemies like ex-son-in-law Tommy Sands. Friends, relatives, and Sinatra himself provided info. This man of talent was fascinating, if flawed. He craved to be the best and own the best, was generous to friends and relatives, and hated journalists who wrote unsympathetically about his public brawls and affairs with women. Although far from complete, this study provides a good deal. Recommended for popular biography collections.?Gordon Blackwell, Eastchester, NY
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"A strictly fun style guide for men, with Ol' Blue Eyes as

muse."

-- -- Entertainment Weekly

"Not really a biography, it's funny and illuminating without

being either lurid or sentimental."

-- -- Elvis Costello

"One of the best books ever written about Frank Sinatra. It

perfectly captures his style and attitude. You won't be

disappointed."

-- -- Sinatra Society of America

"A strictly fun style guide for men, with Ol' Blue Eyes as muse." -- Entertainment Weekly

"An essential compendium of Sinatra wisdom on the lost art of livin'. This book is an ode to an era when male conduct was less confused and confidence was king." -- Newsweek

"Not really a biography, it's funny and illuminating without being either lurid or sentimental." -- Elvis Costello

"One of the best books ever written about Frank Sinatra. It perfectly captures his style and attitude. Youwon't be disappointed." -- Sinatra Society of America

"The Way You Wear Your Hat is a warm, wacky, irreverent...look at Frank's take on and philosophy of life, by an author who understands what it means to be Frank Sinatra. With a little help from the man's own words, Bill Zehme captures the contradictions: the simplicity and the style, the passion and the ice, the party and the pain...the winner who loses and the loser who wins...stories that capture the nature and the essence of the man who invented cool." -- Nancy Sinatra


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Customer Reviews

A human,funny,admiring portrait of a VERY human man.
Artanis Frank
If you ever wanted to know what was the essence of the 20th century's most popular entertainer, this book is the only place to start!
memento@ix.netcom.com
For those of us who never met the man, you close the book feeling like you knew him.
Jon Warshawsky

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Jon Warshawsky on June 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Zehme's book is a delight, a welcome change from the biotrash (Kitty Kelley) and a nice complement to the detailed music analyses (Will Friedwald and Charles Granata). For those of us who never met the man, you close the book feeling like you knew him. For those of us who live our lives by his music, it offers a great perspective on the man behind the songs. Even if the author writes for Esquire, this is less of style manual than a collection of anecdotes telling us how the Chairman did things with class. The world dressed better in the 1950s, and Sinatra STILL looks like the classiest guy around 50 years later (check out contemporary photos of his pals for a contrast!) You'll learn how to mix drinks, what color suit to wear at night (hint: forget about brown), how to manage your untold millions and how to date starlets.
Many of the excellent Phil Stern photographs have appeared elsewhere, but it is nicely illustrated book with some new (to me) photos.
Recommended as a fun read and the closest we'll ever come to spending an afternoon with the man.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Old Fisherman on March 6, 2000
Format: Hardcover
First, you have to understand it's not a biography. Actually the book's premise is summed up very well by the Sinatra quote on the dust jacket. "I think my real amibition is to pass on to others what I know. It took me a long, long time to learn what I now know, and I don't want that to die with me." I think this book does that very well using a series of ancedotes culled from Mr. Sinatra himself as well as others. It covers things such as the Las Vegas "Rat Pack" years, his style of dress, his code of conduct, his loyalty to friends. The book succeeds in what it was meant to do, but to get a real feel for the total man I'd suggest reading one of the many fine biographies that are out there. Whether you love or hate Frank Sinatra you'll have to admit he was a very complex man who lived life on his own terms. This book will give you some insights into what drove him to be the way he was.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By theprophet@prophetsplace.com on December 4, 1997
Format: Audio Cassette
Bill Zehme hits one out of the park with his brilliant new book: The Prophet reviews it here... Long time readers of the Prophet's work will recall that I have praised Zehme's article about the Rat Pack that apeared in Esquire back in March, 1996 as one of the finest pieces ever written about Sinatra and company. Now he's expanded that article into a book that is simply essential reading for all Prophet posse members. He's combined the 'guide to life' genre with a biography of Sinatra, and the result is nothing short of awesome.
Visually, the book is beautiful and includes a lot of never-before published pictures of Sinatra and his minions. The content of the book attempts to dissect the Chairman's own unique take on living a civilized life, and illustrates its points with a lot of quotes direct from the man's mouth. In addition, this information is supplimented with biographical information and andecdotes from Frank's posse. The result is not only a first rate blueprint for a more civilized existance, but an insightful biography of a great entertainer. The book covers it all--Frank's take on wine, whiskey, women, food, song, dress, and most importantly the essential element of personal integrity. It is that very integrity and unwavering committment to personal vision that has elevated Sinatra above so many other entertainers. Strength of his personal identity is what enabled him to grow as a man and artist, and these are the qualities that are celebrated in this book.
Bill Zehme is one hell of a good writer.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Joe Owen VINE VOICE on January 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
What a great book! I have read this twice already and didn't put it down until the wee hours of the morning. To read this is to almost be talking to Mr. Sinatra one on one. The author did a great job to give the reader the essance of Sinatra and see what made him "Tick". His views on friends, enemies and lovers is blunt, honest to the point and quite refreshing in this day of political correctness. Alot of important details about how Sinatra looked and dressed are emphasized and are quite valuable to the overall picture. The heydays of the ratpack, relationship with Ava Gardner, Marilyn Monroe and his last love..his wife, are told with a tinge of regret and admiration, but lovingly honest as well. The man admitted his flaws but his style and personality made his admirers overlook them. I recommend this to anyone who wants to know what the late night swing life of the 1950's-early 60's were like. A fantastic read! Kudos to the author.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Artanis Frank on June 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover
There are obviously a lot of people out there who love hating Frank Sinatra.Kitty Kelly writes a filthy book thousands of Sinatra-haters swoon over,and Bill Zehme writes a fabulous book for the FANS that everyone complains about.Maybe Zehme's stories aren't all true.At least HE puts in the "alledgedly."

In any case-it's a beautiful book.It's an appreciation of an undeniably tremendous life and way of life,and on those grounds,it succeeds all the way.Yes,it does tend to gloss over the Mob relations and those legends of cruelty that have persisted so long.His Way glossed over the innumerable charitable acts and legends of kindness that have persisted so long.What do YOU want to believe?

Even if you're one of those idiot Sinatra haters,you gotta admit this is one entertaining book.Many of the anecdotes are hilarious(Rat Pack) and the sadder ones(Ava,ect.)are seemingly truthful and well-written.I do admit,I've heard most of these stories from a different source,and often in a different and darker light than taken here,but they're still the same facts,and VERY entertaingly recounted.

If you start this book prejudiced by that sad,monstrous image many of those dish-the-dirt biographies have painted of Sinatra,sure,you're gonna complain just like the rest-you want the TRUTH.What,may I ask,IS the truth?Like I said before,too many people love to hate their idols.Biographers have tried to tear down Marilyn Monroe,Elizabeth Taylor,the Kennedys,Rock Hudson,James Dean,Ava Gardner,Cary Grant,Joan Crawford,Judy Garland,Betty Davis, and are probably working on inventing a juicy scandal for Jimmy Stewart,but Frank Sinatra has been these rats' favorite target since he socked Lee Mortimer in 1947.There were not two Sinatras.
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