Monday, November 7, 2022

Seven essential Marilyn Monroe books

At Vulture Nathan Smith tagged seven of "the best books that deconstruct, analyze, and even transmogrify the star known as Marilyn Monroe." One title on the list:
Marilyn Monroe: The Biography, by Donald Spoto

Donald Spoto’s deeply researched and detailed biography of Monroe is a hard find today but worth the hunt. It’s often considered the best of the Monroe bios and
remains an essential corrective. At almost 800 pages, it’s a fulsome account of Monroe’s much fabled life story, beginning with her difficult childhood — the absent, unknown father and mentally unwell mother — to her early days hustling in Hollywood, all right up until her huge celebrity finally engulfed her. The book is a fair and revisionist take that puts to bed many rumors, including completely debunking the sexual-affair stories with the Kennedy brothers (thanks Mailer). Spato states Monroe slept with J.F.K. only once: “The Kennedys had almost nothing to do with her.” This is all underpinned by comprehensive research, including 35,000 personal and professional documents (some unsealed for the first time), and rare interviews including with those present at the autopsy (who stress Monroe wasn’t murdered by the FBI or CIA). Instead, Spoto tries to let the straight facts talk alongside heavily attributable sourcing, arguing that Monroe’s tragic ends had everything to do with her search for stability in life and nothing to do with wild conspiracies.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue