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Paul Newman: A Life Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook
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From Publishers Weekly
Film critic and biographer Levy (Rat Pack Confidential) embarks on a respectful, thoroughgoing survey of Newman's long life (1925–2008) and massive film career without lingering on emotional and psychological factors. A kind of accidental hero, Newman recognized that his blue-eyed good looks would open doors for him, but by sheer determination and work ethic he muscled his way to the Olympian heights of America's finest actors. Born to middle-class Jewish parents in Shaker Heights, Ohio, he eventually enlisted in the navy then attended Kenyon College on the GI Bill; his early first marriage and dabbling in theater seemed to be a way to avoid having to return home and take over his father's sporting-goods store. He enrolled in Yale's drama department, then in 1952 gave himself a year in New York to prove himself: he hustled small, paying parts and gradually became a part of the Actors Studio, where he claimed to have learned everything he knew about acting. From then on, using his connections shrewdly, he moved from success on Broadway (Picnic, where he met Joanne Woodward, whom he married in 1958) to TV (Our Town) and Hollywood (Somebody Up There Likes Me). From there, the professional accolades began piling up, while Levy also chronicles Newman's stunning success as a race-car driver, entrepreneur and philanthropist. Levy doesn't shy from discussing Newman's shortcomings as a father and husband, yet he leaves a glowing assessment of this legend's career. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
As many diverse roles as Paul Newman played on the silver screen, he occupied nearly as many roles in his real life. Levy, in this for-the-record biography, shows us Newman as the hungry New York actor, the guilt-ridden divorcé, the matinee idol, the grieving father, the business philanthropist—and many more. Newman thought of himself as essentially two people: the public actor and the private man. Levy shows us that, in fact, Newman had many different identities within those two primary delineations. As the public performer, he was a consummate professional (and, of course, glamorous beyond compare). In this context, he wore not only the hat of leading man but also those of director, fund-raiser, promoter, and stage performer. In his private life, Newman proved just as supple, inhabiting the roles of loyal son and brother, supportive husband (to actress Joanne Woodward) and responsible provider for his six children. But he had his faults. Levy delicately documents Newman’s extramarital dalliances as well as his fatherly failings. Ultimately, the author reveals how Newman was able to blend his many components and become a man of great integrity who was successful at almost everything he tried—including his charitable pursuits. Levy’s representation of the many Newmans will leave readers feeling that they have somehow slipped through the security gate and gotten to know a movie star who was famously guarded about his private life. --Jerry Eberle --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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The reader is led through the complete gamut of Newman's films without ever skirting the issue that some were bombs... as well as his historic lifetime successes such as "SOMEBODY UP THERE LIKES ME"... "COOL HAND LUKE"... "HUD"... "BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID"... "THE STING"... "THE HUSTLER"... "THE COLOR OF MONEY"... et al... and his first movie ever... which he hated till the day he died... "THE SILVER CHALICE". At times the reporting is a bit laborious.
Newman's personal life which included two marriages and six children was not as successful as his screen career. Newman was a legendary drinker downing a "CASE" of beer a day for much of his life. In fact during the cocaine hey-day in Hollywood when many people wore a razor blade on a chain around their neck... Paul wore a bottle opener around his. The fact that he was a worldwide sex symbol... made it even harder for him to have a solid relationship with his children... and some of his kids had alcohol and drug problems... including his oldest child Scott who died from an alcohol and drug overdose. Newman's second wife was Oscar winner Joanne Woodward who also had some problems with the attention Paul received. To thwart any rumors about marital infidelity... Newman made the much repeated quote: "WHY SHOULD I GO OUT FOR HAMBURGER... WHEN I HAVE STEAK AT HOME?" Paul would live to regret that statement when it was made public that he was having an affair with a Hollywood journalist Nancy Bacon who was quoted regarding Newman: "YOU'RE ALWAYS DRUNK, AND YOU CAN'T EVEN MAKE LOVE. I ENDED IT!" This and more was published in Bacon's 1975 autobiography "STARS IN MY EYES... STARS IN MY BED." "According to Bacon, the publisher's lawyers vetted all her claims about Newman by interviewing her friends. The stories stood up." "People used to joke about it: "PAUL MAY NOT GO OUT FOR HAMBURGER, BUT HE SURE GOES OUT FOR BACON."
Newman's mid-life passion for motor racing is examined in great detail along with his philanthropy... constant drinking... political beliefs... constant drinking... teenage-like sense of humor and love of pranks... and his inability... despite his never getting over his lack of closeness with his own Father... to truly be the kind of Father he himself had longed to have...
*"WHAT WE GOT HERE IS... FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE!"
2. The author skipped around from not only one time period to the next in the space of minutes, but he would skip around as many as 50 years in the space of minutes. This made it difficult to understand and to relate to Newman's development and growth which seemed to be the authors main theme.
3. The author could have made a reference to another book that told the story of how the "Hole in the Wall" idea was conceived and developed. This organization was the most important thing Newman ever did.
4. Newman himself, was a staunch Democrat and the Democrats stand for having the government provide for all needs of all people. So what does Newman do? He starts a business with profits going to his charities. This is a Republican profile. This corporation hired people, paid health insurance, vacations etc. I do not know whether it pays corporate income taxes as I do not know if is classified as a none profit organization. The corporation also plows back profits into the company to develop and sell more product thus making more money. If the company is a for profit company therefore paying corporate taxes and corporate taxes are raised, the ability to distribute income to the needy will fall as net after taxes fall. One thing is for sure and that is there is no government involved in managing the corporation therefor no government waste. Newman went to corporations to discuss his program to them. The difference between the 2 types of corporations is that one has investors who risked their own funds into the corporation and deserve a return on their investment. Newman decided he had enough money of his own that he did not need a return on investment. That was very generous of him. His family have benefitted as several of them are employed and manage the business. The point being is that if all of the Democratic multi millionaires would invest their money into creating businesses that would make money to support their special interest group, there would be no need for the government getting involved in all of these costly government misrun enterprises. In fact, if all of us Americans would just donate to our favorite charity instead of wasting money giving it to politicians to run for public office, we would not need all of this caustic debate, wasted tax dollars and congress could complete their business in about 4 weeks a year and then they could go home and earn a living doing whatever their talents are good for. Making a profit or solving problems are not part of that equation.
5. Newman simply did not learn from his business success and translate that back into his political beliefs. He had a huge chance to champion free enterprise and he did just the opposite. It was just like the many bomb movies he made and the mistakes he made not making the movies he passed up on.
Most recent customer reviews
He gave back to the world besides being a great actor