Hope: Book summary and reviews of Hope by Richard Zoglin

Hope

Entertainer of the Century

by Richard Zoglin

Hope by Richard Zoglin X
Hope by Richard Zoglin
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  • Published in USA  Nov 2014
    576 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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Book Summary

The first definitive biography of Bob Hope, featuring exclusive and extensive reporting that makes the persuasive case that he was most important entertainer of the twentieth century.

Born in 1903, and until his death in 2003, Bob Hope was the only entertainer to achieve top-rated success in every major mass-entertainment medium, from vaudeville to television and everything in between. He virtually invented modern stand-up comedy. His tours to entertain US troops and patriotic radio broadcasts, along with his all-American, brash-but-cowardly movie character, helped to ease the nation's jitters during the stressful days of World War II. He helped redefine the very notion of what it means to be a star: a savvy businessman, pioneer of the brand extension (churning out books, writing a newspaper column, hosting a golf tournament), and public-spirited entertainer whose Christmas military tours and tireless work for charity set the standard for public service in Hollywood. But he became a polarizing figure during the Vietnam War, and the book sheds new light on his close relationship with President Richard Nixon during those embattled years.

Bob Hope is a household name. However, as Richard Zoglin shows in this revelatory biography, there is still much to be learned about this most public of figures, from his secret first marriage and his stint in reform school, to his indiscriminate womanizing and his ambivalent relationship with Bing Crosby and Johnny Carson. Hope could be cold, self-centered, tight with a buck, and perhaps the least introspective man in Hollywood. But he was also a dogged worker, gracious with fans, and generous with friends.

Hope is both a celebration of an entertainer whose vast contribution has never been properly appreciated, and a complex portrait of a gifted but flawed man, who, unlike many Hollywood stars, truly loved being famous, appreciated its responsibilities, and handled celebrity with extraordinary grace.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"In this rich and entertaining work, Zoglin pulls no punches but also remains an astonished admirer." - Kirkus

"A definitive biography of this legendary performer has long been overdue, an undertaking Time magazine theater critic Zoglin completes here with great attention to detail and commendable skill...Not just for Hope fans, Zoglin's work will also appeal to readers interested in the colorful history of American entertainment, in which Hope played a prominent role." - Booklist

"A wonderful biography by Richard Zoglin. For me it's a feast." - Woody Allen

"Bob Hope was an entertainment colossus, shrewd and influential well beyond show business. Richard Zoglin's biography captures it all - the public and private Hope." - Tom Brokaw

"This beautifully written volume is, at last, the book about Bob Hope. Zoglin covers everything: the early life, the sky-rocketing triumphs in every medium, the life-risking - and ego-feeding - patriotism that spanned the globe, bringing laughter (and gorgeous ladies) to our troops in wartime, the wealth, the women, the quirks, the warts, the temper, the cheapness, the touching generosity, the fabulous talent and the genius-managed career." - Dick Cavett

"Richard Zoglin's fascinating biography is as close as we're ever going to get to one of the most opaque human beings ever to become justifiably world-famous." - Scott Eyman, author of John Wayne

The information about Hope shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Author Information

Richard Zoglin

Richard Zoglin is a contributing editor and theater critic for Time magazine. His book Comedy at the Edge: How Stand-up in the 1970s Changed America is considered the definitive history of that seminal era in stand-up comedy. Zoglin is a native of Kansas City, Missouri, and currently lives in New York City. His late wife, Charla Krupp, was the author of the bestselling books How Not to Look Old and How to Never Look Fat Again.

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