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Sharon Marcus's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Sharon Marcus recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Sharon Marcus's favorite book recommendations of all time.



Cinema's glamor has always been inseparable from star performances and star images. On its first publication in 1980, this book set new standards for critical and theoretical rigor in the field of star studies. Through the intensive examination of films, magazines, and advertising--as well as critical texts--Richard Dyer analyzes the historical, ideological, and aesthetic significance of stars, changing the way we understand screen icons. Paying particular attention to Marlon Brando, Bette Davis, Marlene Dietrich, Jane Fonda, Greta Garbo, Marilyn Monroe, Robert Redford, and John... more
Recommended by Sharon Marcus, and 1 others.

Sharon MarcusThis is the book that most people would say is the foundational work in celebrity studies … The most interesting contribution of Dyer’s book is his commitment to taking pleasure seriously. He focuses on how stars give us beauty, pleasure and delight. (Source)

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Mommie Dearest

The 40th anniversary edition of the "shocking" #1 New York Times bestseller with an exclusive new introduction by the author (Los Angeles Times).

When Christina Crawford's harrowing chronicle of child abuse was first published in 1978, it brought global attention to the previously closeted subject. It also shed light on the guarded world of Hollywood and stripped away the fa�ade of Christina's relentless, alcoholic abuser: her adoptive mother, movie star Joan Crawford.

Christina was a young girl shown off to the world as a fortunate little...
Recommended by Sharon Marcus, and 1 others.

Sharon MarcusMommy Dearest, published in 1978, appeared at a pivotal moment in the history of celebrity, and also helped to change celebrity culture. Christina Crawford’s book helped create a public as fascinated with celebrities going bad as with celebrities being good, a public obsessed with celebrity scandal and with exposing the flawed person behind the beautiful image. (Source)

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The author wickedly remembers and delectably recounts the scandals, gossip and glorious intimacies of the golden age of Hollywood. less
Recommended by Sharon Marcus, and 1 others.

Sharon MarcusA Girl Like I helps us to chart the transition from theater to film. Anita Loos, born in 1889, started out in the world of theater. Her father was both a newspaperman and a theater owner. Steeped in the world of entertainment from a young age, Loos understood how it depended on publicity and news coverage and how that publicity and news coverage can be manipulated and angled. She tells a lot of... (Source)

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My Double Life

The Memoirs of Sarah Bernhardt

My Double Life is the autobiography of the French actress Sarah Bernhardt, who was internationally famed during her lifetime and afterwards as one of the classical theater's all-time greatest stars. Bernhardt's memoirs are composed with a novelist's (or actress's) sense of artistry and suspense that leaves no doubt of the charisma for which she was famed in her "double life, " both on- and offstage. Yet at the same time as this book very consciously contributes to the crafting of her image, it also illuminates a whole era: not only the world of theater, but also the worlds of women, politics,... more
Recommended by Sharon Marcus, and 1 others.

Sharon MarcusDuring this period, often called theater’s golden age, many stage actors became famous, but Sarah Bernhardt didn’t just become famous as an actor, she also became famous as a personality. She often appealed to the public when contesting bad publicity in the press. Her autobiography reprints many newspaper articles that she feels were unfair to her or misrepresented the facts and rebuts them at... (Source)

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In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along... more

Barack ObamaOf course, @MichelleObama’s my wife, so I’m a little biased here. But she also happens to be brilliant, funny, wise – one of a kind. This book tells her quintessentially American story. I love it because it faithfully reflects the woman I have loved for so long. (Source)

Piers MorganCongrats to @MichelleObama on sensational sales of her new book #Becoming. I always take people as I find them & when I met her at the White House, she was a delightfully warm, friendly & genuine lady. A great First Lady & now a best-selling author. (Source)

Randi Zuckerberg"I love the book Becoming by @MichelleObama and Creative Curve by Allen Gannett." @GoldieChan (Source)

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