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Rage for Fame: The Ascent of Clare Boothe Luce

Rage for Fame The Ascent of Clare Boothe Luce Born illegitimate on New York s Upper West Side with nothing to recommend her but blonde good looks and a ferocious intelligence she used sex street smarts acid humor and money to plot a career i

  • Title: Rage for Fame: The Ascent of Clare Boothe Luce
  • Author: Sylvia Jukes Morris
  • ISBN: 9780394575551
  • Page: 352
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Born illegitimate on New York s Upper West Side, with nothing to recommend her but blonde good looks and a ferocious intelligence, she used sex, street smarts, acid humor, and money to plot a career improbable than anything in her own fiction and drama At ten, Clare Boothe understudied Mary Pickford on Broadway At twenty, she was both a suffragette and a siren to weBorn illegitimate on New York s Upper West Side, with nothing to recommend her but blonde good looks and a ferocious intelligence, she used sex, street smarts, acid humor, and money to plot a career improbable than anything in her own fiction and drama At ten, Clare Boothe understudied Mary Pickford on Broadway At twenty, she was both a suffragette and a siren to well placed men on both sides of the Atlantic She spurned the handsomest to marry the richest George Tuttle Brokaw, an alcoholic Fifth Avenue millionaire than twice her age At twenty six, she was free of him, financially secure, in the full flower of her beauty, and ambitious enough to scorch silk Clare Boothe set about transforming herself into a caption writer at Vogue, staff writer and managing editor of Vanity Fair glossiest of the Deco era magazines , and author of Stuffed Shirts, a satiric short story collection brilliant enough to arouse the envy of Andre Maurois Then, in three days at age thirty three, she wrote The Women, the hit play whose dry martini dialogue I m a virgin a frozen asset still elicits gasps from audiences around the world By then Clare Boothe was married again, this time to a man who was her equal in force of character Henry Luce, the youthful publisher of Time and Fortune On their honeymoon, she helped plant the seed of his greatest success, Life For Luce, meeting Clare was a coup de foudre, a lightning stroke that transformed him overnight into the most ardent and generous of lovers To Clare, whom a French artist once described as a beautiful facade without central heating, Henry was only the latest, and by no means the last, of the men she cruelly disillusioned.Although the marriage endured, this clear eyed biography chronicles its deterioration from passion to partnerships Other admirers, including Max Reinhardt, Conde Nast, Joseph P Kennedy, Randolph Churchill, Noel Coward, Bernard Baruch, Paul Gallico, Isamu Noguchi, and Jawaharlal Ne

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    1 thought on “Rage for Fame: The Ascent of Clare Boothe Luce

    1. My mother and I recently went on a tour of old homes on the Cooper River (Moncks Corner, SC) which included CBL's Mepkin Plantation, which is now a Trappist Monastery. Intrigued, I googled her and found that one of my all-time famous witticisms ("No Good Deed Goes Unpunished") is attributed to her. I immediately bought this biography. It's an excellent read and a fascinating introduction to a woman with the classic rags-to-riches background. She was a witty, beautiful, opportunistic, disciplined [...]

    2. Such a fascinating read- I had no idea what a feminist intellectual Clare Boothe Luce was and especially during the 30s and 40s. Her life story inspired me and reminded me of the importance of living passionately and true to one's ambitions no matter the cost.

    3. One of the great page-turner biographies, this first volume of the Clare Boothe Luce saga combines unbeatable documentation and research with spellbinding writing. This is a fascinating portrayal of a fascinating American success story. Very highly recommended!

    4. This extremely long (450+ pages) biography details Clare's life from early childhood being raised by self-absorbed mother and no father, through clerical job at a fashion magazine, through various affairs with (mostly married) older men, whose money and influence she uses to attain even greater things - foreign war correspondent in WWII, and finally political office. She is worldly wise, but has little formal education. She uses her looks, wit, and strong personality to get what she wants. Story [...]

    5. Sylvia Jukes Morris’s biography published in 1997 of Clare Boothe Luce (1903-1987) is a fascinating account of the life of a beautiful, very talented writer as well as an ambitious woman. Clare was born in poverty and raised by a single mother, her mother pushed her to excel at all she did and that education was key to success.Clare Boothe Brokaw in 1929 started writing captions at Vogue to rise swiftly to the managing editor of Conde Nast’s literary jewel, Vanity Fair. In 1934 or 35 she pub [...]

    6. The upside of this biography is that it was a fair portrait of a woman of great ambition and drive who achieved nearly every goal she set for herself. Ms. Morris doesn't whitewash the fact that Clare Booth Luce was an incredible narcissist who only cared about other people vis a vis their relationship to her own ambitions. To her credit, she may have advanced the cause of feminism by (albeit unwittingly) by participating in a man's world on her own terms. The Anti-Eleanor Roosevelt if you will.W [...]

    7. "Rage for Fame: The Ascent of Clare Boothe Luce" is an unflinching look at the life of Clare Boothe Luce from birth until her election to Congress in 1942. Morris describes a complicated, egotistical, self-involved woman who coasted from adventure to adventure, success to success, and lover to lover with only the most minor friction to slow her down. Glib and beautiful, young Luce seems almost afraid of testing her own obvious intelligence in anything but the most superficial pursuits. Morris al [...]

    8. I had alwasy wented to find out more about Claire Boothe Luce. Born out of wedlock to an ambitious and beautiful mother, she was taught early how to use men to get what seh wanted. A classic story of sleeping her way to the top, she was also stunningly smart. She became a playwright, editor of Vanity Fair Magazine, war reporter, far right Congresswoman, and Ambassador, all the while being perfectly dressed and smelling divine. She married for money, but never let that stop her from multiple affa [...]

    9. I knew the name, Clare Boothe Luce, and assumed she was married to Time's Henry Luce. If you told me she wrote the play The Women, I'd say of course. But that was my sole knowledge of Clare Boothe Luce. This was a fascinating read of a woman driven to be rich and famous, propelled by a mother who had a similar philosophy of life. In the end, Clare ends up being a decent writer and having a real purpose in life other than pursuit of money and fame. I liked it enough to want to read the The Honora [...]

    10. Very interesting historically, but long and has started to drag a bit. Will go back soon to finish. About Clare Booth Luce who rose from nothing to fame in the 40's. Married publisher Henry Luce. She was a writer, Congresswoman, Ambassador, converted to Catholicism as an adult, although she also had several affairs. Went into all her endeavors with a passion & was often considered rather difficult to get along with.

    11. I knew very little about CBL before reading this, other than she was the author of THE WOMEN.Well, now I know too much. CBL was over-the-top, all-consuming, half-crazy and power-mad woman. I felt positively inadequate when reading about how she looked at life. Wow.I wish it had been a complete biography, although I understand why it ended when it did in 1942. It was the ascent of CBL, not the decline.Still, an amazing book about an even more amazing woman.

    12. A great read for biography lovers. CBL is a name we have all heard of, but I for one did not know much about her. Fascinating woman and fascinating story. Although she doesn't appear to have been a very likable character. Her life spanned all the interesting events of the 20th century and Clare was right there in the thick of it.

    13. Clare Boothe Luce sticks it where no woman has gone before. And gets away with it.Morris has apparently set CBL as her life work, to read every letter/journal/diary and quote the memorable or juicy parts in her book(s). Thanks. Best of all, her writing did not get in CBL's way as she sliced through the 20th century. I thank God I never met CBL. She sounds like a terror.

    14. Brilliantly researched, in-depth portrait of an intelligent, enigmatic driven woman's carefully calculated rise in American society and indeed a place in it's history.Very much looking forward to the second volume by Sylvia Jukes Morris.

    15. One of the most engaging biographies I have read in years. I was so bummed when I got to the end and realized it was only part one! But a fascinating portrait of a really talented and beautiful woman.

    16. The first of a two volume biography of Clare Boothe Luce, author, reporter, Congresswoman, political rabble rouser,and wife of Time-Life founder Henry Luce. Interesting for the portrayal of its subject, her times and the many characters in her life.

    17. I had no knowledge of Clare Boothe Luce prior to reading this book. I am very interested in reading the second installment of this biography. I thought that the author dealt with the subject matter in a very fair and unjudgemental way.

    18. A well told biography of a very interesting woman. I've been waiting many years for the second volume and haven't seen it. This one is definitely worth a read.

    19. Reading in tandem the Rage for Fame and Price of Fame bios on Clare Boothe Luce, makes me wonder if the critics would have been as scathing if she were a man.

    20. Wow, what a woman was our Clare! Had no idea she had such a "romantic" history. Fascinating story of this brilliant, beautiful, and bewitching woman who was tough as nails. can't wait for volume 2.

    21. So many biographers become enamored with their subjects to the point that they are incapable of rendering an honest portrait. This is not the case with this author. Fascinating reading.

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