Passion and Prejudice

Sallie Bingham, Author
Sallie Bingham, Author Alfred A. Knopf $22.95 (525p) ISBN 978-0-394-55851-6
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
Heiress to a big chunk of her family's multimillion-dollar newspaper, radio and TV-station empire, the author of this powerful, mesmerizing autobiography tells a tale of disillusionment. Growing up on a claustrophobic estate in Louisville, Ky., she was protected by a controlling, perfectionist mother, black servants, her own emotional withdrawal and by ``useful lies'' that shielded her from unpleasant realities. But those realitiesher distant father's alleged links to covert government operations, her family's perceived racist and anti-Semitic attitudes, the Old South's pervasive sexismhad a way of constantly intruding. Writing with charm, poise and controlled fury, Bingham weaves a multi-generational saga and profiles a destructive patriarchal pattern that culminated after two of her brothers died accidentally and she became locked in a power struggle with her surviving brother. The ensuing scandal triggered her father's sale of the Louisville Courier-Journal in 1986 . Through it all, the author maintains her clarity of vision as she becomes a teacher, playwright and mother of two sons, and sheds the role of submissive Southern belle she was expected to fulfill. Photos. 35,000 first printing. (Jan.)
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