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James Stewart: A Biography | [Donald Dewey]

James Stewart: A Biography

In the most penetrating and in-depth biography yet written about the beloved screen icon, award-winning author Donald Dewey delves beneath the persona into the usually unremarked turmoil of the actor's private life and behind the earnest Capraesque image so often accepted as the Stewart identity.
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Publisher's Summary

In the most penetrating and in-depth biography yet written about the beloved screen icon, award-winning author Donald Dewey delves beneath the persona into the usually unremarked turmoil of the actor's private life and behind the earnest Capraesque image so often accepted as the Stewart identity. He draws upon extensive research and nearly 200 interviews to follow Stewart from his hometown of Indiana, Pennsylvania, and a childhood shaped by a strong-willed father, to the fateful encounter at Princeton University with actress Margaret Sullavan, to his first professional theatrical experiences on Cape Cod and the forging of a remarkable life-long friendship with Henry Fonda in New York, to his unexpected stardom at MGM.

©1996 Donald Dewey; (P)1997 Blackstone Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

"Going beyond biography, Donald Dewey captures the wistful America of the 1940s and '50s and the screen icon who symbolized it....With polished ease and impeccable pacing." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (57 )
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3.7 (23 )
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3.5 (24 )
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  •  
    Jan Mesa, AZ, United States 12-29-06
    Jan Mesa, AZ, United States 12-29-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    335
    ratings
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    "Love Jimmy Stewart"

    This audio book would have gotten 5 Stars if not for the hour and a half that starts this story....holy smokes....it lends nothing to the story of Jimmy Stewart. I have read 4 of the Stewart Bios over the last 20 years and this is by far the most in depth and most interesting - save the 1st hour or so - of them all. I particularly enjoyed learning about his youth and discovering where his values came from. Highly recomend but skip the first hour or so.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judith Okemos, MI, USA 08-17-08
    Judith Okemos, MI, USA 08-17-08 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
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    "A bit anti-intellectual"

    This biography might be better if the author were not so critical of Stewart's values of work and discipline. Apparently, this author views the Scots-Irish as about a foot less intolerant than the Klan. The guy is also quite unfortunately anti-intellectual, taking gratuitous pot-shots at academic material that he obviously does not understand or where he has clearly missed the point. Most of the negativity is not necessary and produces a kind of ambivalent view even of Stewart himself.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane Estevan, SK, Canada 04-26-06
    Jane Estevan, SK, Canada 04-26-06 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A touching and honest portrayal of a great star."

    James Stewart was and is one of the best loved movie stars of all time.A biography of this complex and very private man was a monumental task, but author Donald Dewey managed to create a portrait that not only reveals the real Stewart, but pays tribute to the man and his art.It is full of great insider tidbits to please any hollywood trivia buff, as well as many unknown facts about the young Stewart. Stewart's movies are summarized and analyzed, but Dewey is careful not to let the book become one long movie review.All in all,this is a well done and complete biography. An excellent book.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Black Lick, PA, United States 01-01-12
    Robert Black Lick, PA, United States 01-01-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Be Prepaired!"

    I am a big fan of Jimmy Stewart and I was looking forward to this book! What I was not prepaired for was the negative attitude the author had toward Jimmy Stewart. After the first hour and a half all I could think was 1) why did Donald Dewey even bother writting this book if he hates JS so much. and 2) I really hated myself for wasting my money on buying this book. But, after you get thru the 1.5 hour overview of his life and you get into the details of Jimmy's life the book becomes much more enjoyable. If you buy the book do yourself a favor and skip thru the first 1.5 hours and you will enjoy the details of his life much more. The details of his life are done in great detail.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon Oakland, CA, United States 08-28-11
    Sharon Oakland, CA, United States 08-28-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Fascinating"

    Enjoyed this story about America's beloved actor. Loved reading about his youth and what brought him to films. Definitely a must read for film buffs and those who enjoy understanding the person behind the icon.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Polly Philadelphia, PA, United States 03-03-14
    Polly Philadelphia, PA, United States 03-03-14 Member Since 2010

    An avid reader, demanding of the story, characters and narrator. Mysteries and historical fiction are my favorites.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Extremely Detailed, Somewhat Dry"

    Most of us love and admire actor James Stewart, and I started this book in hopes of learning more about him as a man. What was his wife Gloria like? Was Henry Fonda really his best friend? What were his favorite movie experiences? Who were his favorite directors and co-stars?

    I learned ALL of that, and so, technically, the book was a success.

    However, it was a little bit TOO detailed and quite dry.

    For example, J.S. attended Mercersburg Academy (Pa.). Author Donald Dewey wrote much more than I cared to know about M.A., its founding, and its head master. The same can be said about the author's description of Indiana, Pa. (J.S.'s hometown), etc., etc.

    So I recommend this book for factual content, but don't expect anything more than that.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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