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Front Row: Anna Wintour: What Lies Beneath the Chic Exterior of Vogue's Editor in Chief Paperback – February 7, 2006
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“Gleefully vicious biography of a New York fashion icon.” ―Kirkus
“The revealing unauthorized biography unveils the Anna Wintour even those closest to her don't know….If you liked The Devil Wears Prada, get your gossip fill with Front Row…we couldn't put it down.” ―Complete Woman
“Better than fiction.” ―New York Post
“For inquiring minds, it's a juicy, tabloidesque read.” ―Houston Chronicle
“A fast-paced biographical romp... Mr. Oppenheimer uses Front Row to ladle out dish―just as he did in Just Desserts, his 1997 biography of Martha Stewart. What he serves up is pretty juicy.” ―New York Observer
“Filled with gossip and scandals and peppered with celebrity names and tales…[A] fascinating read about one of the great queen-bee bosses and her mission to determine and define fashion.” ―Booklist
“Schadenfreude enthusiasts will enjoy Oppenheimer's latest, Front Row, which offers Anna Wintour in extreme close-up.” ―Los Angeles Times
About the Author
Jerry Oppenheimer has been writing definitive, bestselling biographies of American icons since the mideighties. His subjects have included Martha Stewart, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Ethel Kennedy, Barbara Walters, Jerry Seinfeld, and Rock Hudson. He has worked in all facets of journalism, from national investigative reporting in Washington, D.C., to producing TV news and documentaries.
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Also you "quoted" Grace Mirabella saying "we give our readers what they don't know they want". Um that was one of Diana Vreeland's quotes extracted from one of her famous memos. Tsk tsk tsk
It read a little too snarky for my tastes. I was more interested in learning about Anna Wintour and instead got a whole lot of disgruntled gossip. There were some interesting tidbits but the meanness which the author wrote makes me wonder if they had a grudge. If you want to read a wannabe Liz Smithish tabloid fodderish revenge piece then spend your money.
Personally I find educated people profiting from someone like Anna Wintour (who didn't need an education because she is that good) to be the real evil in journalism.
I must say what I found most staggering from my reading of the book was the fact that Ms Wintour has been allowed to get away with treating staff and colleagues like garbage for the better part of four decades now. Not once has a senior executive stepped in to admonish her for her unreasonable, alienating, diva like behaviour. I find this absolutely extraordinary. I understand she is a very valuable asset to Conde Nast, but this sort of indulgence is pathetic. I live in Australia and we have very strict workplace laws here regarding age discrimination (it's illegal, end of story) and bullying and humiliation of employees (again, an illegal practice that an employer can be sued for). If she was editing Vogue here, Ms Wintour would have had her scrawny butt dragged before the Employment Tribunal umpteen times by now. Perhaps workplace laws are less strict in the US? Whatever, I find her management style and attitude towards staff and colleagues to be highly distasteful and a huge black mark against her. I don't care how influential she is in the shallow orbit of world fashion, you do not ever treat those who work for you with such open contempt.
Overall, Mr Oppenheimer has written a terrific biography about a fascinating, though polarising personality. It is well-researched, almost exhaustive in the number of people quoted and paints a very compelling portrait of the Vogue supremo. Highly recommended, I give this book five stars.
We read her background, the path she followed in her rise ( which makes it obvious that she reached the top using sharp teeth and sheer guts) and we learn a bit of what to do when one finds oneself in her sights.
She is a woman to admire, as this book shows.
Not necessarily a woman to like or emulate.
The book undoubtedly makes Anna angry, there are some ugly moments in her life.
Take this book to the beach, read it on a plane - it will definitely make time fly.