Frederick J. Augustyn

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Richard Nixon: California’s Native Son

A favorable, felicitously fashioned retrospective that helps readers see that Nixon led a substantial and transformative life. This book offers a key to comprehending the relational, emotional, and social contexts that led to his political and psychological formation.

Ideal Beauty: The Life and Times of Greta Garbo

Preceded by innumerable contributions to the study of Garbo, including Robert Gottlieb’s Garbo and Robert Dance’s The Savvy Sphinx, this book presents a truly different approach for both lay and academic readers. It expertly offers an understanding of an elusive figure within the context of the film industry.

Strictly Dynamite: The Sensational Life of Lupe Vélez

A top-notch biography that ardently recreates Vélez’s ebullient personality.

Red Sapphire: The Woman Who Beat the Blacklist

Written with the pulsating pace of a thriller, this book will likely attract readers and scholars interested in political journalism, women in film and television, and mid-20th-century pop culture history.

Still Laughing: A Life in Comedy from the Creator of Laugh-in

While Schlatter may be a better comedy impresario than practitioner, his amiable succession of observations about encounters with entertainers from the past 70 years is a breezy read.

Starmaker: David O. Selznick and the Production of Stars in the Hollywood Studio System

This detailed study of popular stars as marketable properties might appeal more to social and economic historians. For general readers of this subject, there’s Thomas Schatz’s The Genius of the System and Paul McDonald’s Hollywood Stardom.

Haight-Ashbury, Psychedelics, and the Birth of Acid Rock

A diverting and informative tour and an excellent companion to William Schnabel’s Summer of Love and Haight.

When the British Musical Ruled the World

True buffs of the business and production of musicals will appreciate this book.

The Last Action Heroes: The Triumphs, Flops, and Feuds of Hollywood’s Kings of Carnage

This helpful overview of ’80s and ’90s action films also ventures into the forgotten subsequent film failures of the far-from-invincible men stars, guiding readers to films to avoid or to reevaluate.

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