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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 (483 )
5 star
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4.1 (191 )
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Story
4.1 (187 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Ian Wigginton, UK, United Kingdom 12-02-03
    Ian Wigginton, UK, United Kingdom 12-02-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Truely Incredible"

    As a Brit, I had always had a vague notion that Howard Hughes was a mainstay of the US economy, an aviator, and an eccentric.

    I had no idea that he was as wacked in the head as he obviously became in later life - the readings from his memos in the "Operations Manual" for his company are astounding.

    Thouroughly enjoyed this book - the narrator is nicely neutral adding to the experience without ever becoming irritating.

    Give it a go.

    23 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Jay Centennial, CO, USA 03-30-03
    L. Jay Centennial, CO, USA 03-30-03 Member Since 2002
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    "Extremely entertaining"

    Forget everything you thought was motivating Howard Hughes. This is a highly entertaining inside story of a man who marched to a drummer on a different planet. The richest man in the world sits in the stench of a filthy darkened room, obsesses about germs, mucks up multi-million dollar business deals, compulsively lies and has no comprehension, much less concern, about the havoc he causes others. This is a great listen.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Johnnie Walker Blaine, WA 01-15-05
    Johnnie Walker Blaine, WA 01-15-05 Member Since 2003

    Black

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Liking the Unlikable"

    It is difficult to like a book about an unlikable character and in Howard Hughes there was much not to like. Had he not had the cash machine of the Hughes Tool Company, he would have been one of those people who drifted through life never quite putting it together in either their personal or professional lives. In his later years, he either would have been institutionalized (in one era) or living on the street (in another). Nevertheless, this author and this reader pull it off and make the experience of listening to this life a fascinating experience. I will never forget the Howard Hughes instructions on opening a can of peaches.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Craig bellaire, TX, USA 05-26-03
    Craig bellaire, TX, USA 05-26-03
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    "Best biography"

    I thought The Last Lion, American Cesar, and John Adams were the best biographies Audible had to offer. I was wrong, Howard Hughes is a must read !

    15 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leslie Hillsborough, NC, United States 03-08-09
    Leslie Hillsborough, NC, United States 03-08-09 Member Since 2007
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    "Great book! I couldn't stop listening"

    Even though this book was very long, it sure doesn't feel that way. The Narrator sounded great. He has a voice that you can lose yourself in. Howard Hughes was quite a interesting subject. I never got bored, even when Mr. Hughes started, his now famous, strange routines.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Gordon New York, NY 05-08-05
    James Gordon New York, NY 05-08-05 Member Since 2004
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    "There's A Great Book In There Somewhere"

    Wow, this guy can sure write and, no doubt, he's done his research. I wish he could have edited as well. We are inundated with facts and figures and unimportant people (at least to the story) that detract from the insightful tale of Howard Hughes and what made him tick. That Hughes is a mighty figure and an interesting character goes without saying. However, in this bloated tome the interesting facts can easily get bogged down with the trite.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Don 03-07-05
    Don 03-07-05 Member Since 2003
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    "Excellent Research"

    All in all, this is a great book. The research is excellent and Hughes' story is fascinating, though incredibly depressing. What a pathetic individual. He was brilliant but he was a brilliant, spoiled brat.

    The writing is good but has some definite issues. The author frequently describes Hughes thoughts about particular topics as though he knows exactly what Hughes was thinking. Hughes didn't keep a diary and apparently didn't carry on a lot of personal conversations in the latter half of his life, so I don't know how the author would know his intimate feelings. I find this sort of pure invention in biographies annoying. There are also some very wierd similies and metaphors used in the book (unfortunately, it's hard to go back and find an example in an audiobook). Fortunately, the excellent research saves the book from some of the minor failings of the writing itself.

    The narrator was very good in tone and pace though I too was astonished at the number of basic mispronunciations.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew Laun 01-23-05 Member Since 2011
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    "Very interesting biography, disturbing"

    I expect this book will contrast greatly with the current movie "Aviator" about this strange man. It's not just his eccentricities that developed later in life that make him strange. Hughes developed neurotic tendencies early in life. He was not a very good man, but certainly a very lucky man, and a clever man at times. It became uncomfortable to listen to the meaningless, dragging out final years of his life. It didn't help that I was bed ridden with bronchitis while I was listening to it :-)

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Round Rock, TX, USA 01-04-05
    Robert Round Rock, TX, USA 01-04-05
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    "The Aviator comes to audible"

    If you liked the movie Aviator you will love this book. The movie is very true to the book which of course goes into much more wonderful detail. This is one of the better all around great jobs that Audible has brought to market. The author did a great job, the narrator did a great job and Audible did a great job bringing the book to the audible market. Well done.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    01-20-05
    01-20-05
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    "Hughes"

    One of the best Biographies read. Provides information never known about the subject. Excellent flow and continuity.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
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