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on September 10, 2017
A prelude of sorts to the Summer of Love in that it describes the intensity and political
Horror that came before, that generated the Beats and then an overwhelming need for love and communication.
I was a middle class, middle western child of
the 50's and totally ignorant of all that was happening in the world. My parents didn't discuss or even acknowledge any of it.
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on May 4, 2017
Fascinating
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on March 28, 2017
really enjoyed this book
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on September 27, 2012
this was interesting for info on the McCarthy hearing, but the author also seems to be a big name-dropper. Lots of people were mentioned who had no real connection to the story.
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on November 12, 2014
very happy with product and transaction,thank you
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on February 15, 2017
Apart from being a fascinating look into American politics via Patricia Boswell's beloved father, Bartley Crum, a lawyer and political insider active from Roosevelt to the Kennedys, this book illuminates the beautiful and tragic history of a fascinating family. A sensitive, compassionate man who undertook the plight of the underdog in both his high profile and pro bono cases, Mr. Crum was largely unknown, and Ms. Boswell does a magnificent job bringing him to life. But the book is not just about her father.

I am not sure how I missed this one as I try to read everything Patricia Boswell writes. A well-known author of celebrity biographies -- I consider her book on Montgomery Clift to be the gold standard -- I could not take my eyes off the page for one minute when I realized she had written a family memoir of sorts with "Anything Your Little Heart Desires."

Ms. Bosworth has always had an elegant, incisive style and she applies her keen eye here as she describes in loving detail the man who called her "My Masterpiece." I had no idea of the author's other career as an actress and now I will have to rent "The Nun's Story" which I've never seen. I also had no idea of the tragedy of losing the two men in her family to suicide. At points in her story, Ms. Bosworth flails herself for her reaction to these tragedies, saying it is something she will regret to the end of her life. But I believe things work out exactly the way they are supposed to and that her loved ones would not want her to feel any sense of guilt at all.

The cast of characters in this book is impressive and absolutely fascinating to read about, in particular Ms. Bosworth's father and "The Drifter." Her description of this odd man and his involvement in the family was one of my favorite parts. The way he transforms their garden while transforming her mother as well vividly displays Ms. Bosworth's talent for storytelling. Using her mother's notes of the time, the author discovers a whole new side to her mother, surprised at her affection for this usurper of her absent father's chair at the head of the table. The sudden conflagration in their garden when he leaves after realizing her mother has cut him out, put the best of Ms. Bosworth's abilities on display -- combining a reporter's eye with an unerring ability to take events and give them an almost fable-like quality. This makes it easier to see the sometimes humorous irony that goes along with it all.

Congrats to Ms. Bosworth. She paints her subjects so well. The reader feels he really knows them. l, especially liked her mother, a stylish, articulate woman. Nothing is forgotten in this book. Neither the chaos of the big things nor the beauty in the details.

Five Stars. Great Read!
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on December 19, 2017
What an amazing life the author's family had. Her father, Bart Crum, was an extremely talented lawyer, fixer, mover and shaker not only in the Hollywood community but also in high levels of diplomatic government. Her mother was beautiful, had exquisite taste in furnishings, lifestyle and entertaining the good and the great. However, she was deeply dissatisfied with her husband's constant business away from home and sought comfort outside the marriage. This left two rather parentless children to make do as best they could with the result that the author's brother committed suicide. Her father never recovered from this, nor did the marriage, and he subsequently ended his life with a seconal overdose after numerous tries earlier. A bit too much information for me about the Communist witch hunts during which Bart defended many of the accused and was mostly blacklisted himself as a result. Anyway, a great insight into a very important time in American history post WWII. Very rich in detail about an impressive family and the inner and outer workings of a marriage.
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on May 20, 2017
The prelude to Patricia Bosworth's ALL THE MEN IN MY LIFE, ANYTHING YOUR LITTLE HEART DESIRES covers the early years of her family's life with the important story of her father who was one of the attorney's for the Hollywood Ten, the Hollywood actors and directors who refused to testify before the HOUSE UN-AMERICAN ACTIVITIES COMMITTEE in the late forties and fifties. Bosworth writes with candor, insight, perceptiveness and in both volumes the sensitivity of a young girl and an intelligent woman. Both books are a delight and worth reading for one who's interested in the history of our times told from a unique and inside view.
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on July 5, 2012
There were definitely some interesting parts of this book, but I found myself skipping several pages of "name dropping" of people I didn't really know (perhaps this was meant for a much older generation). I found myself far more interested in what the family was experiencing during this man's busy life, but those parts were stretched out quite a bit. I enjoyed hearing about the gardens of their Aptos farm and the drifter, the shoplifting, and Mrs. Crum's struggles as a single parent while her husband was absent. I would have loved to see more of this laced in.

The first half of the book was very slow for me, but the second half picked up. This poor family experienced significant tragedy, up and downs. I believe the author was trying very hard to write a biography of her father, but perhaps what she doesn't realize is that we the readers can learn quite a bit about a person from the impressions he gave his family. There was more of this in the second half of the book, as she and her mother began to talk more about her father's struggles. Still quite a bit of "name dropping" but now about people I know - Rita Hayworth, Jimmy Hoffa, etc. I suppose it would be difficult to write a biography of this man without namedropping, as he was a lawyer and journalist at points in his life - he knew a lot of people.

If you are interested in learning more about the HUAC, The Hollywood 10 and the fears of communism in American during this time, Rita Hayworth, Teamsters, and FBI phone tapping (oh that tricky Hoover!) you will truly enjoy this book. The man touched a lot of lives and wanted to help a lot of people - I don't doubt that - but the writing style was a struggle for me.
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on February 22, 2010
I was looking for context for the Hollywood Blacklist. Although Bosworth's father, Bart Crum, played a fairly minor role in the Blacklist affair, as he defended only two of the accused screenwriters, nonetheless his involvement was crucial. He was a liberal Republican in a crowd of New Dealers, fellow travelers, and Communists. In the end he wasn't able to get off scot free. Bosworth lets the reader draw conclusions about what led to Crum's suicide. It's a horrible story and bears repeating, over and over again.

Bosworth is also good at delineating the personality and actions of her mother, a charming hostess who was also capable of drowning puppies in the bathtub.

Finally, the description of 1940's upper-middle-class milieu is superbly done.
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