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Too Rich: The Family Secrets of Doris Duke Hardcover – January 1, 1996


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 269 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st edition (1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060172185
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060172183
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #495,838 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Gossipy, lascivious, irreverent and wild -- just like Doris Duke, the woman who inspired this romp of a biography. Born the richest child in America, Duke broke free from the restraints of her privileged upbringing into a life of scandal, sexual conquest, inheritance and headlines, ending with her mysterious murder at the age of 80. A no-holds-barred look into the lives of the rich and famous.

From Publishers Weekly

"Really great sex" is what the very rich and the very poor can share, according to the late Doris Duke, because both have the time and the freedom to focus on it. The middle class is too busy with jobs and mortgages and college tuitions. Duke, the tobacco heiress who during her lifetime (1912-1993) was thought to be the world's richest woman, spent most of that life in search of the largest and most potent male organ, the winner being that of playboy Profirio Rubirosa, with Hawaiian Duke Kahanamoku's the runner-up, although General Patton's won kudos too. The authors speculate on whether Duke deliberately killed one of her lovers, and they relate how, late in life, she learned to distinguish between sex and love and found the latter with author Louis Bromfield. The suspicious circumstances of her death are retold with renewed questions about her doctors' behavior and the last-minute codicil to her will, which left the major portion of her estate to her butler, "the Rasputin of the court of Doris Duke." Pony Duke (Doris's godchild), writing here with former nationally syndicated columnist Thomas, "really liked" her, but his portrait, drawn from his own and family members' recollections as well as public information, is not one of an easily likable woman. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

It just goes to prove money CAN'T buy you love.
Dizney Man
Aside from that, it's a great story that contains insights and information (and gossip!)
B. Broucek
I enjoyed this book very well written and hard to put down.
Vivabohdi

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By YellowBug on March 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After reading the other two reviews, I waited a few months before buying this book. I was pleasantly surprised since this book is very interesting and it flows nicely. I felt that the author was fair to Doris and he did not "bash" her as the other reviews had said. I enjoyed getting to know Doris Duke, and I am glad I bought the book.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Michael Hogan on May 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Doris Duke, the "richest girl in the world" as she was called by a N.Y. Times reporter, inherited a vast fortune at age twelve when her father, James Buchanan Duke, died. Her father was the founder of the tobacco cartel responsible for the sales of 80% of all tobacco products in the U.S. At his death she also came into possession a number of estates,mansions,farms and other properties. One of her favorite homes was in Newport, RI where she lived in the summers and, after her mother's death, began to prefer over all others. She lived a wild life, using cocaine, LSD, drinking a great deal and having many lovers. In 1966 she crashed her car into her decorator, Eduardo Tirella, while he was opening the iron gates of her property. He was crushed to death. The police (whether bought off or just intimidated by her family's power) never investigated. She was never charged although the police chief resigned shortly thereafter under mysterious circumstances.
This incident is fully detailed in another book which I recommend. A Death in Newport.In the months that followed the death of Tirella, Doris changed a great deal. Whereas earier she had neglected her adopted home, now she launched the Newport Restoration Foundation and persuaded Jackie Kennedy to serve as vice-president. She spent millions in restoring historic homes in the area. In addition, the Cliff Walk which she had previously blockaded from her home and had patrolled by dogs, was opened up and re-paved so that tourists and local fishman could have access.This book gives us a balanced portrait of the contradictory and troublesome life of an hieress who had everything except happiness.
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33 of 41 people found the following review helpful By K. Milano on May 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
After a recent visit to the Rough Point Estate in Newport, I was interested to know more about the remarkable woman who once lived there. This book was a disapointment because it is quite obvious the authors had an axe to grind with Miss Duke and chose this method to extract more money from the association to her. It should be pointed out that Doris Duke was very generous to Pony Duke,co-author, until he threw it all away. I will say atleast he had the courtesy to admit it. The book is poorly written as well. Cheap is the word I'de like to use. It is unfortunate that a good biography has yet to be written about this huge icon. Her life was filled with controversy and great sadness, but also triumph and cunning, generosity and good will. It is a shame that even in death she was taken advantage of.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Born to Shop on October 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book reads like they simply didn't have enough information to write a good biography. Many misspellings, grammatical errors, and the same thing repeated over and over and over again in order to flesh out each chapter. Seems self-published.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By E.P. Brookshire VINE VOICE on May 12, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I will say that I didn't really care for this author's writing style. This book is not written as a historical piece like many of the other books about famous American families I have read as of late. Even others written by family members do not come off quite as dishy and tongue-in-cheek as this book does. The author takes great delight in making little sarcastic puns and jokes about the key players in this story. That being said, I still really liked the book because I enjoyed the Duke story. I think Doris Duke had a good heart and any of her shortcomings are easily explained by her cold and conniving mother and her duplicitous first husband, Cromwell. I loved the book and would enjoy reading more about Ms. Duke.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By W.G. Mann on September 6, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have never read such badly written trash in my entire life. The worst is the one sentence paragraphs and CONSTANT repetition! This book is not worth the (digital) paper it is written on! Do NOT waste your money on this lurid - and unreadable - tome!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By hilary rutberg on November 2, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was poorly written and abominably edited. The editing was so poor that it interfered with the flow of the story. I also got a sense of sour grapes in the telling of it. At times the language was unnecessarily crude, almost as though the authors were being spiteful children. That being said, it was interesting material that could probably only have been learned about from family members.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Unknown on April 29, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
love

I loved the story and would have loved to have known her. What a sad and truly wonderful woman

Shame on you Pony Duke! The love she craved could have come from you and the Duke family.A. little respect and attention of her family and this book could have had a Happy Ending. Difficult as she may have been, she had quite heavy responsibility at a very young age. Would it have been crime to try to know her? Look at the"loving" relationship from that horror of the " mother".
The Richest Woman in the world, from The Richest Family and you people allowed an illiterate alcoholic to just walk in and take over a BILLION. DOLLAR ESTATE.!!! That's just Wrong.
I would love to know how things are today 2013.
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