Through family interviews, diaries, letters, and workbooks that had been sealed for over 60 years, Barbara Goldsmith reveals the Marie Curie behind the myth - an all-too-human woman struggling to balance a spectacular scientific career, a demanding family, the prejudice of society, and her own passionate nature. Obsessive Genius is a dazzling portrait of Curie, her amazing scientific success, and the price she paid for fame.
Other Powers interviews the stories of some of the most colorful social, political, and religious figures of America's Victorian era with the courageous and notorious life of Victoria Woodhull - psychic, suffragette, publisher, presidential candidate, and self-confessed practitioner of free love. It is set amid the battle for women's suffrage, the Spiritualist movement that swept across the nation in the age of Radical Reconstruction following the Civil War, and the bitter fight that pitted black men against white women.
"Fascinating and seductive"
This is a story of money, glamour, and scandal (on the highest level); a story of American society and of European Royalty; a story of family strife exploding into one of the most dramatic and publicized court battles of the century - the battle for a solemn 10-year-old child, "little Gloria" Vanderbilt, who in 1934 was the object of the epic custody suit between her mother, the beautiful and penniless Vanderbilt widow, and her aunt, the famous Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, whose $78 million could buy her anything she wanted.
"Insight into a bye gone era Poor Little Rich Girl"
Barbara Goldsmith’s The Straw Man is an explosive novel about the fabulously wealthy Royceman family, financiers through several generations, collectors of opulent homes, exclusive clubs, thoroughbred horses, influence, women, and art. The family’s obsession is the Royceman Collection: the finest private art collection in America, a hundred million dollars’ worth of Old Masters, Impressionists, Neo-Impressionists, and objects d’art.
When J. Seward Johnson, the pharmaceutical heir, died in 1983 at the age of 87, his six children (each of whom was already in possession of an immense fortune) were outraged to learn that he had willed his entire $500-million estate to their stepmother Basia - a woman 42 years Seward’s junior, a Polish refugee who had once worked as a chambermaid in his household. They came to believe that Basia had used undue influence to "enchant" their father, prying his fortune away from him and turning him.
"Truth is far stranger than fiction!"