Born in 1903, and until his death in 2003, Bob Hope was the only entertainer to achieve top-rated success in every major mass-entertainment medium, from vaudeville to television and everything in between. He virtually invented modern stand-up comedy. His tours to entertain US troops and patriotic radio broadcasts, along with his all-American, brash-but-cowardly movie character, helped to ease the nation's jitters during the stressful days of World War II. He helped redefine the very notion of what it means to be a star: a savvy businessman, pioneer of the brand extension (churning out books, writing a newspaper column, hosting a golf tournament), and public-spirited entertainer whose Christmas military tours and tireless work for charity set the standard for public service in Hollywood. But he became a polarizing figure during the Vietnam War, and the audiobook sheds new light on his close relationship with President Richard Nixon during those embattled years.
Bob Hope is a household name. However, as Richard Zoglin shows in this revelatory biography, there is still much to be learned about this most public of figures, from his secret first marriage and his stint in reform school, to his indiscriminate womanizing and his ambivalent relationship with Bing Crosby and Johnny Carson. Hope could be cold, self-centered, tight with a buck, and perhaps the least introspective man in Hollywood. But he was also a dogged worker, gracious with fans, and generous with friends.
Hope is both a celebration of an entertainer whose vast contribution has never been properly appreciated, and a complex portrait of a gifted but flawed man, who, unlike many Hollywood stars, truly loved being famous, appreciated its responsibilities, and handled celebrity with extraordinary grace.
©2014 Richard Zoglin (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved. Recorded by arrangement with Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Well, I might listen to it with another Hope enthusiast, because it's so well done. But a book is a book and I usually read a book once.
I appreciated the honesty of the reporting of Hope's astonishing life. Fabulous and Flawed, every aspect of Hope's contribution to show business is covered.
I have not, but I found his delivery superb, and his subtle delivery of Hope's quotes somewhat evocative of Hope himself.
This is an important book, about an important 20th Century personality. It is accessible and very well-written, and the performance on the Audible recording is brilliant.
I remember watching the Bob Hope TV show and specials, his movies, and his tours to entertain the US troops. He seemed to never rest--he was all about entertaining people. I didn't know tons of details about the man who made himself into Bob Hope, so I turned to this biography. It did not disappoint. It is well written and the narrator was excellent. I highly recommend it.
His life was so interesting and varied--I learned a lot about him.
Learning that he did not write his own material and that he was different personally than his entertainment persona.
Great performance, made the story come alive.
The time he spent entertaining the troops was amazing. While he could be fairly selfish, this was very selfless.
I wasn't really sure what to expect with so many biographies of dead stars being no more than sensatonalized gossip rehashed but this book stuck to facts. I was presented in a very easy to follow manner neither glorifying Hope nor condemning him. He certainly would not have gotten away with many things he did in today's world of cell phones and social media, but this is a well presented story of a bygone age and man.
Say something about yourself!
I enjoyed this audio book very much. The history of the entertainment industry and how it evolved was very interesting. I wasn't sure if I would enjoy this as its not the norm for be; but I am glad I got it.
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