A Dangerous Woman

American Beauty, Noted Philanthropist, Nazi Collaborator - The Life of Florence Gould
Narrated by: Carol Monda
Length: 14 hrs and 14 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (29 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From Susan Ronald, author of The Pirate Queen, comes a revealing new audiobook biography.

With each sensational chapter, A Dangerous Woman documents the life of Florence Gould, a fabulously wealthy socialite and patron of the arts, who hid her dark past as a Nazi collaborator in 1940s Paris. Born in turn-of-the-century San Francisco to French parents, Florence moved to Paris, aged 11. Believing that only money brought respectability and happiness, she became the third wife of Frank Jay Gould, son of the railway millionaire Jay Gould. She guided Frank's millions into hotels and casinos, creating a luxury hotel and casino empire. She entertained Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso, Joseph Kennedy, and many Hollywood stars, like Charlie Chaplin, who became her lover.

While the party ended for most Americans after the Crash of 1929, Frank and Florence refused to go home. During the Occupation, Florence took several German lovers and hosted a controversial salon. As the Allies closed in, the unscrupulous Florence became embroiled in a notorious money laundering operation for fleeing high-ranking Nazis. Yet after the war, not only did she avoid prosecution, but her vast fortune bought her respectability as a significant contributor to the Metropolitan Museum, New York University, and Cornell Medical School, among many others. It also earned her friends like Estée Lauder who obligingly looked the other way.

A seductive and utterly amoral woman who loved to say "money doesn't care who owns it", Florence's life proved a strong argument that perhaps money can buy happiness after all.

©2018 Susan Ronald (P)2018 Macmillan Audio
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Factual Errors

Any additional comments?

In chapter 26, the author erroneously links famed WWII era AP reporter, Edward Kennedy, to the famed Kennedy family. The passage revolves around a WWII investigation into Florence's colluding with the Germans. The author writes that the reporter in question was Edward "Ted" Kennedy, the son of the former Ambassador to England, Joseph Kennedy. This is such a careless error, as the future Senator Kennedy wasn't born until 1932, making this claim ludicrous. The actual AP reporter, Edward Kennedy was born in 1905 and was no relation to the former Ambassador. This flagrant error makes me worry about the accuracy of other "facts" presented.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

No staars. Badly written badly read.

There is nothing to recomend about this book.. It is read with sappy over exageration like cheap pulp fiction. The author seems to think that stringing together court documents and old news clippings is all thats needed to write a biography.

8 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Incredibly annoying narration

The reader has this breathy pseudo-sexy style that goes from sentence to sentence with the same intonation. The book is chockablock with French words, names, and phrases--along with some German and Italian--and her pronunciation is absolutely laughable. I kept correcting her in my mind. Tiresome.