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Seduction: Sex, Lies, and Stardom in Howard Hughes's Hollywood Hardcover – 22 Oct 2018


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"Karina Longworth loves Hollywood the way it ought to be loved -- mercilessly. She is a skeptic without cynicism, a feminist without apology, and in Seduction she has found the great subject that her essential podcast has long promised"--James Kaplan, author of Sinatra

"An entertaining and timely tour of early Hollywood mores and manipulation. No matter how much you think you know about golden age Hollywood, Longworth serves up fascinatingly fresh perspective on the ways male desire and power shaped movie mythology."--Joy Press, author of Stealing the Show

"A history that shows clearly how powerful men exploited actresses long before the #MeToo movement began. Hollywood historian Longworth has mined memoirs, biographies, magazines, newspapers, and archives to create an entertaining, gossip-filled portrait of the film capital's golden age... A lively--and often sordid--Hollywood history."--Kirkus Reviews

"Full of insight...illuminating and memorable."--Booklist

"Seduction reads like a scandal sheet tempered with primary and secondary research."--Los Angeles Review of Books

"From the force behind the You Must Remember This podcast comes a book exploring the glamour of classic Hollywood cinema through the lens of Texas business magnate, filmmaker (Hell's Angels, Scarface), and notorious womanizer Howard Hughes--think a Harvey Weinstein-esque character decades before #MeToo."--Vanity Fair

"Longworth blasts through the seductive narratives propagated by men in the film business to uncover the dark stories underneath."--The Cut

"Vibrant... A compulsive page-turner... Much of Seduction reads like a long overdue act of redress, repositioning women into the more central positions where they belong."--Los Angeles Times

"Longworth pulls back the curtain on Hollywood's golden age to reveal, through the stories of some of the actresses pursued by legendary millionaire mogul Howard Hughes, its dark and lasting legacy of power inequity, harassment, and abuse."--Bustle

"A candid portrait of the multifaceted millionaire...As his romantic tastes shifts from known quantities -- like Hepburn, Rogers and Gardner -- to powerless unknowns, Seduction reveals the root of Hughes's interest in women: a desire to exert total control, rather than true affection."--Washington Post

From the Back Cover

The host of the hugely popular podcast You Must Remember This explores Hollywood’s glamorous golden age via the cinematic life of Howard Hughes and the women who encountered him—sometimes at the expense of their minds and souls

Howard Hughes’s reputation as a director and producer of films unusually defined by sex dovetails with his image as one of the most prolific womanizers of the twentieth century. The promoter of bombshell actresses such as Jean Harlow and Jane Russell, Hughes supposedly included among his off-screen conquests many of the most famous actresses of the era, among them Billie Dove, Katharine Hepburn, Ava Gardner, Ginger Rogers, and Lana Turner. Some of the women in Hughes’s life were or became stars and others would stall out at a variety of points within the Hollywood hierarchy, but all found their professional lives marked by Hughes’s presence.

In Seduction, Karina Longworth draws upon her own unparalleled expertise and an unpreceded trove of archival sources, diaries, and documents to produce a landmark—and wonderfully effervescent and gossipy—work of Hollywood history. It’s the story of what it was like to be a woman in Hollywood during the industry’s golden age, through the tales of actresses involved with Howard Hughes. This was the era not only of the actresses Hughes sought to dominate, but male stars such as Errol Flynn, Cary Grant, and Robert Mitchum; directors such as John Ford, Howard Hawks, and Preston Sturges; and studio chiefs like Irving Thalberg, Darryl Zanuck, and David O. Selznick—many of whom were complicit in the bedroom and boardroom exploitation that stifled and disappointed so many of the women who came to Los Angeles with hopes of celluloid triumph.

In his films, Howard Hughes commodified male desire more blatantly than any mainstream filmmaker of his time and in turn helped produce an incredibly influential, sexualized image of womanhood that has impacted American culture ever since. As a result, the story of him and the women he encountered is about not only the murkier shades of golden-age Hollywood, but also the ripples that still slither across today’s entertainment industry and our culture in general.


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Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars 32 reviews
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2.0 out of 5 starsSkip it
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3.0 out of 5 starsMore than I needed to know
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5.0 out of 5 starsGreat gift for the film lover (like me), so I bought myself it
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5.0 out of 5 starsHughes and Hollywood a great combination !
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