Price of Fame: The Honorable Clare Boothe Luce

Sylvia Jukes Morris. Random, $30 (752p) ISBN 978-0-679-45711-4
In this lively second volume by Morris (Rage for Fame: The Ascent of Clare Boothe Luce), Luce (1903-1987), the playwright and wife of Time magazine founder Henry R. Luce, becomes a politician, right-wing firebrand, and feminist pioneer. Morris follows Luce from her election to Congress in 1942, to her service as Eisenhower's ambassador to Italy, to her enduring role as one of America's most vehement and sought-after conservative commentators. Morris's shrewd portrait shows a woman of extraordinary contrasts: a celebrated beauty and wit who inspired giddy love letters from generals; a sharp thinker and writer; a strident anti-Communist (who occasionally spouted anti-Semitic rants) who championed civil rights and Zionism; a manipulative charmer and fragile soul who sought refuge in Catholicism, LSD, and sleeping-pills. (The author paints Luce's relationship with Henry as one of history's great marital melodramas, full of mutual admiration, infidelity, and misery.) Morris, who once lived with Luce and had access to her diaries, evokes her subject's charisma without unduly succumbing to it; she presents a clear-eyed assessment of Luce's strong, egotistical personality that does full justice to this fascinating icon. Photos throughout. Agent: Wylie Agency. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/09/2014
Release date: 06/17/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 594 pages - 978-0-8041-7969-0
Paperback - 752 pages - 978-0-8041-7970-6
MP3 CD - 978-1-5226-9161-7
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