Confidential Confidential

The Inside Story of Hollywood's Notorious Scandal Magazine
Narrated by: Donna Postel
Length: 12 hrs and 53 mins
4 out of 5 stars (25 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

In the 1950s, Confidential magazine, America's first celebrity scandal magazine, revealed Hollywood stars' secrets, misdeeds, and transgressions in gritty, unvarnished detail. Deploying a vast network of tipsters to root out scandalous facts about the stars, including their sexual affairs, drug use, and sexuality, publisher Robert Harrison destroyed celebrities' carefully constructed images and built a media empire. 

Confidential became the best-selling magazine on American newsstands in the 1950s, surpassing Time, Life, and the Saturday Evening Post. Confidential's spectacular rise was followed by an equally spectacular fall. Stars filed multimillion dollar libel suits against the magazine, and the state of California, prodded by the film studios, prosecuted its publisher for obscenity, culminating in a famous, star-studded Los Angeles trial in 1957. The lawsuits forced Confidential to end its scandal-mongering, and stopped printing its sleazy gossip in 1958. However, the magazine's legacy lives on in our culture's obsession with gossip and celebrity scandal. 

This is Confidential's story, how the magazine revolutionized celebrity culture and American society in the 1950s and beyond.

©2018 Samantha Barbas (P)2018 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    11
  • 4 Stars
    8
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    2

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    12
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    9
  • 4 Stars
    10
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    2

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating! Painstaking Research & Documentation

Wow! So much valuable information in this book about media history, libel laws, and reckless exploitation of others with malice and sadistic disregard for others to earn a living. The Underbelly of capitalism. A covert form of domestic terrorism. It is fascinating to understand these roots in our society and how they took hold. The paper had a crew of cagey "tipsters", sneaky private detectives, and cunning lawyers that worked to unearth private details of other people's lives and profit from publishing it or even invent it to misinform and miseducate at other people's expense. Today Hollywood celebrities are stalked, "outed" attacked and censored for religious affiliation. But back in the '50s, they were terrorized for being gay, looking gay, or "comingling" with other races. Sexual indiscretions. Even targeted for being single! Invitations to hate, boycott and shun artists and celebrities were issued mainly through one paper. Confidential. And the book describes in fabulous detail the rise and fall (and the many victims) of that paper. The celebrities and how they were targeted. The cunning use of the constitution (First Amendment) to justify media terrorism. Extortion of secrets in return for protection. Blackmail. Payoffs. Valuable information about the beginnings of the publishing industry and the figures involved. Ruthless (and shameless) predators. One story results in the death of a child as the publisher gloats about the public relations value he will gain from the death. The author meticulously illustrates for the reader the sadism and greed behind such characters who eke out a living in this way. This would make a great television series! It is still true today!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Expected celeb gossip, got publisher memoir. Blah.

Too long & boring. Not at all what I expected. Struggled to finish, kept fast-forwarding. Narrator's voice just OK.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for LanaLeigh
  • LanaLeigh
  • 04-11-20

Fascinating story

Highly recommend this book. it is about so much more than just Confidential! If you are interested in modern history this is a must!