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Howard Hughes: His Life and Madness Paperback – September 17, 2004
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“Now the full story of the life and death of Howard Hughes has been published, told not as cheap gossip but as a dazzlingly reported, hard-nosed account...[A] fat, beautifully researched book.”
- John Justin Smith, Chicago Sun-Times
“By far the soundest, fairest and fullest book we have on the bizarre billionaire who commanded the fortunes of Croesus yet could not command himself. It is the story of a man who had everything―and nothing.”
- John Barkham Reviews
“Donald Barlett and James Steele of The Philadelphia Inquirer, the finest team of reporters west of The Times of London, herewith present the perfect biography of the weirdest, most fascinating, most god-awful corporate creature you will ever encounter in broad daylight.”
- Robert Sherrill, Nation
“Of all the books written about Howard Hughes, [this] is easily the best...the first fully documented, crade-to-grave account of a unique American life.”
- Ted Morgan, New York Times Book Review
“[The authors] have made an impressive use of documents to fashion this longest, most responsible and authoritative biography of Hughes to date.”
- Peter S. Prescott, Newsweek
About the Author
Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele, Time editors-at-large, are the only journalists in history to win two Pulitzer Prizes and two National Magazine Awards.
James B. Steele and Donald L. Barlett, Time editors-at-large, are the only journalists in history to win two Pulitzer Prizes and two National Magazine Awards.
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Top customer reviews
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Amazon Marketplace in a used copy and had it sent to him. He was delighted! Apparently this book delves into some Hughes scandals that are not well explored elsewhere, including suspicions regarding Hughes death.
The only reason I gave this book a 4 rating was because, while HH was a very eccentric person, the Author seemed to dwell on his idiosyncrasies in way too much detail and on too many occasions! Once or twice was fine, but 7-8 times, Too Much Information.
The Author delves deep into HH's childhood, and his health issues then (Mom inspired I believe), and throughout his life.
There were so many different things that HH and his group were involved in, it was amazing that he could keep up. It's ashamed that HH floated off into mental illness, because he was brilliant.
Read it, you'll enjoy it!
Hughes played an integral role in shaping this country, a role unknown to many of today's younger generations. Donald Barlett and James Steele do an amazing job detailing both his accomplishments and private life. Some of his endeavors are less obvious today than others, such as helping transform Las Vegas into the resort town we know today. Many people are unfamiliar with the Hughes Medical Institute or the creations from the Hughes Aircraft Company. Although the book does show his odd lifestyle behind the darkened windows and closed doors, it is fair in that it also accurately focuses on his important business dealings.
The popular movie "The Aviator" seems to be scripted largely from the first half of this book. To fully appreciate the movie, I recommend reading this particular book first. Not only will it help clarify references that may slip by in the movie, but this book shows that Hughes was much more than a movie producer who flirted with Hollywood's divas of the day. He was a master engineer, expert businessman, and defender of Democracy (he furiously fought Communists). Innovative people like Hughes is what America is all about.