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Hughes: The Private Diaries, Memos and Letters: The Definitive Biography of the First American Billionaire | [Richard Hack]

Hughes: The Private Diaries, Memos and Letters: The Definitive Biography of the First American Billionaire

In "the most exciting bio of the year," Richard Hack uses recently uncovered (and in some cases, recently declassified) personal letters, court testimony, FBI files, autopsy reports and exclusive interviews to reveal the man who was a legendary lover, record-setting aviator, award-winning film producer, talented inventor, ultimate eccentric, and, for much of his lifetime, the richest man in the United States.
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Publisher's Summary

"Howard Hughes would have hated this book...because he never wanted the truth to be told. As the man who knew Hughes best for 17 years and to whom he referred publicly as his alter-ego, I now believe that the entire story has finally been told." (Robert Maheu)

Howard Hughes was a true American original: legendary lover, record-setting aviator, award-winning film producer, talented inventor, ultimate eccentric, and, for much of his lifetime, the richest man in the United States.

His desire for privacy was so fierce and his isolation so complete that even now, 25 years after his death, inaccurate stories continue to circulate, and many have been published as fact. Hughes explodes the illusion of his life and exposes the man behind the myth. He was a playboy whose sexual exploits with Hollywood stars were legendary. He was a man without compassion; an entrepreneur without ethics; an explorer without maps; and ultimately, an eccentric trapped by his own insanity, sealed off from reality, who died a lonely and - until now - mysterious death.

Newly uncovered personal letters, over 110,000 pages of sealed court testimony, recently declassified FBI files, never-before-published autopsy reports and exclusive interviews reveal a man so devious in his thinking, so perverse in his desires, and so influential that his impact continues to be felt even today. From entertainment to politics, aviation to espionage, the influence and manipulation of this billionaire has left an indelible and unique mark on the American cultural landscape.

© and (P)2001 New Millennium Audio, All Rights Reserved

What the Critics Say

"In the most exciting bio of the year, Hack presents the American dream curdling into the American nightmare, personified in a legend who at last has an accounting worthy of him." (Publishers Weekly)
"A fascinating, captivating listen." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (497 )
5 star
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4.1 (205 )
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Story
4.1 (201 )
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Performance
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  •  
    S. Cook 08-18-05
    S. Cook 08-18-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    27
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    6
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    "Not bad, but it is long..."

    I was interested in reading this book after seeing The Aviator. This book is filled to the rafters with details and minutia, which isn't bad, but the abriged version might be better for some people. It is informative and a bit entertaining. It doesn't go into his businesses much, other than how it affected his personal life - so if you're looking to see how he became so rich, this probably isn't the right book.

    The reader (Cashman) is good (not great, but not bad) except for his pronounciation. It is HORRIBLE. It actually is entertaining and part of the fun to try and figure out what he's referring too. The director/producer/audio engineer were either asleep or laughing their asses off. It is seriously that bad.

    I listed to this while jogging or biking long distances, and it was entertaining enough. I wouldn't recommend it for long drives as the details wouldn't keep you up. Also, listening while doing anything that requires any concentration is difficult, because the long lists of details can get drowned out by what you're doing.

    All in all, I'm glad I used my subscription credits for this one. And, if you're very interested in various personal aspects of HRH, it's not bad.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter Hamburg, NY, USA 04-26-05
    Peter Hamburg, NY, USA 04-26-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A great story poorly told"

    There's no question that Hughes lived a life interesting enough to justify several biographies, but this one is pulled down by its many flaws. The reader is OK, barely, but it's the writing that falls short; it's pedestrian at best and downright annoying at times. Details can add to a book, but not when they're meaningless, like the names of all of the members of the medical team who would have treated Hughes but who didn't because he was DOA. Or the full menu of what his parents had for dinner one night before Hughes was born. Most annoying to me were the constant nonsensical metaphors, dumb enough to make Dan Rather blush. Hughes' life was fascinating enough to help overlook some of these weaknesses, but it isn't enough to make you completely forget them.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ramjet1997 Ohio 04-21-05
    Ramjet1997 Ohio 04-21-05 Listener Since 2005

    Robert

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    1
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    "Insightful information on a strange fellow......"

    I was a teenager when I first heard of this elusive millionaire, Howard Hughes. I really enjoyed the audiobook, as I was able to listen to an hour per day while I commuted to work each day. It was all I could do to not listen to the CD's during the weekends. This book provides very interesting and sometimes very odd insight on a man who had all the money you would ever want - but nothing else. I'll take my "simple life" any day over his..........

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Timothy 02-15-05
    Timothy 02-15-05
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    1
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    "Great book--Poor Narration"

    This wonderful and fascinating look at the life of Howard Hughes is severly damaged by the frequent mispronunciation of key words. Forget the mispronunciation of names ("Dore Schary" and "Faith Domergue" to name a couple). Even the simplest of words ("gaffe" and "substantive" being just two of the many) are slaughtered. Forget legal terms like "nolo contendere". The content of the book tries to override these moments, but each mispronunciation jolts one out of the book for 20 to 30 seconds in disbelief. It is a shame that the narrator and/or producer of this audio edition did little or no research before hitting the "record" button.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Walter DeBary, FL, USA 01-18-05
    Walter DeBary, FL, USA 01-18-05 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent"

    This book is both enlightning and entertaining

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 09-05-12 Member Since 2008
    ratings
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    64
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    Story
    "Hughes Hater"

    The author's opinion of Hughes came out clearly in the narrative of the story. This book is not one that future researchers should use to find the history of Hughes, it is a novel with the writer's opinions laced throughout the book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    EGB86 10-07-11
    EGB86 10-07-11

    Writer and Librarian

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Cashman needed a pronunciation dictionary!"

    An earlier reviewer remarked on reader Dan Cashman's atrocious pronunciation. I have to wholeheartedly agree. I'm familiar with both Dallas and Houston, where Hughes childhood takes place, and Cashman's mispronunciation is driving me crazy! It's really distracting. For example, it's MON-trose, not mont-rose. And ga-NO, not GAN-o. FON-ten-o, not font-e-not. On it goes.

    Another thing that bothers me is Cashman's rendering of Southern female voices. Though I'm sure it's not Cashman's intent, he just sounds condescending doing those voices and it comes across like he studied the accent from watching old Bugs Bunny cartoons or something.

    I will say Cashman has a nice voice and a lively reading. But that pronunciation! Oy!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Randall Roseville, CA, United States 04-25-09
    Randall Roseville, CA, United States 04-25-09 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    47
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    "GOOD READ"

    This is a good read, and i highly recommend it. But I'm not sure about the author, I think he's a Hack.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Baltimore, MD, USA 05-21-05
    Michael Baltimore, MD, USA 05-21-05 Member Since 2002
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    "Intriguing biography but not definitive"

    Not the best Biography. Hughes is portrayed as a severely dysfunctional individual: mentally, socially, and even dysfunctional in his business dealings, yet he became the first billionaire in America. These facts do not make sense and the book does not attempt to explain, analyze, or even acknowledge this discrepancy, thus it cannot be the definitive biography of Howard Hughes, as claimed by the author. Many other minor paradoxes are not even acknowledged. What stands out in the book is that HRH was a consummate predator of human beings, a cannibal, which you will clearly see is something very different than a warrior. Intriguing but not definitive.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Houston, TX, USA 02-09-05
    Mark Houston, TX, USA 02-09-05 Member Since 2008
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    5
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    "Hughes"

    Good listen, but the narrator must be about ten years old to be so lame in his pronunciations of people, places, and things. It seems one would have to grow up in total isolation not to know how to pronounce names like "Nadine" and "Tonopah". These are just two examples of dozen's of mispronuncitions. It was annoying especially for a resident of Houston.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
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