• The Silver Swan

  • In Search of Doris Duke
  • By: Sallie Bingham
  • Narrated by: Donna Postel
  • Length: 10 hrs and 46 mins
  • 3.8 out of 5 stars (34 ratings)

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The Silver Swan  By  cover art

The Silver Swan

By: Sallie Bingham
Narrated by: Donna Postel
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Publisher's Summary

In The Silver Swan, Sallie Bingham chronicles one of the great underexplored lives of the 20th century and the very archetype of the modern woman.

"Don't touch that girl, she'll burn your fingers," FBI director J. Edgar Hoover once said about Doris Duke, the inheritor of James Buchanan Duke's billion-dollar tobacco fortune. During her lifetime, she would be blamed for scorching many, including her mother and various ex-lovers. 

She established her first foundation when she was 21; cultivated friendships with the likes of Jackie Kennedy, Imelda Marcos, and Michael Jackson; flaunted interracial relationships; and adopted a 32-year-old woman she believed to be the reincarnation of her deceased daughter. 

Even though Duke was the subject of constant scrutiny, little beyond the tabloid accounts of her behavior has been publicly known. In 2012, when 800 linear feet of her personal papers were made available, Sallie Bingham set out to probe her identity. She found an alluring woman whose life was forged in the Jazz Age, who was not only an early war correspondent but also an environmentalist, a surfer, a collector of Islamic art, a savvy businesswoman who tripled her father's fortune, and a major philanthropist with wide-ranging passions from dance to historic preservation to human rights.

©2020 Sallie Bingham (P)2020 Tantor

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What listeners say about The Silver Swan

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

interesting but too much superfluous text

the story would have been much better if it has been focused more on Doris herself. There are too many tangents and diversions into less interesting aspects the time in which Doris live.

4 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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disorganized and rambling

Book is a disorganized rambling of stories and not a good telling of Doris Dukes life story. waste of a credit.

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    1 out of 5 stars

terrible narrator

this is very difficult to listen to because of the way the narrator reads.

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    3 out of 5 stars

God information

This book is not what I was expecting. It is written like a research paper. I learned a lot about the Duke Family and the times in which they lived but it's not great entertainment.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Story

This reflects the life of Doris Duke, A fabulous woman before her time, narration was awesome, highly recommend