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Biography/Autobiography

Biography/Autobiography

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The Hearsts: Father and Son [*SIGNED*], Hearst, William Randolph Jr., with Jack Casserly
41 Hearst, William Randolph Jr., with Jack Casserly The Hearsts: Father and Son [*SIGNED*]
Niwot CO Roberts Rinehart Publishers (c.1991) 1-879373-04-1 / 9781879373044 First Edition Hardcover Fine in Near Fine dj Signed by Author
[nice clean copy, no discernible wear to book; jacket has a couple of tiny scuffed spots on front panel (very unobtrusive), light wear at spine extremities]. (B&W photographs) INSCRIBED generically ("My best wishes") and SIGNED by the author (Hearst) on the half-title page. In this book, the authors "not only respond to the image created [of the senior Hearst] by [Orson] Welles [in CITIZEN KANE], but also tell the extraordinary story of an American family from the gold-diggings of California to the present Hearst media empire. The remarkable career of the junior Hearst -- to this point overshadowed by that of his larger-than-life father -- is here given its due." (Seems like he omits the part about having cancelled Marion Davies' subscription to the L.A. Examiner the day after his old man died, though. And is it just my imagination, or does that front-jacket photo not have a bit of a "composite" look about it? Were they ever really on that train together, I wonder? And where the heck is Niwot, Colorado, anyway? Examining minds want to know.) Signed by Author 
Price: 50.00 USD
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My Life Transformed, Heckman, Helen
42 Heckman, Helen My Life Transformed
New York The Macmillan Company 1928 NO First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Good dj 
[book is clean and bright, slight crimping at base of spine but no other significant wear; jacket missing a small piece at bottom right corner of front panel, 1-1/2" closed tear at top of front panel, 1-inch tear at bottom front hinge (with minor paper loss), general soiling and edgewear]. (B&W photographic plates) "Deaf, dumb, and mentally undeveloped at twelve years -- now an able pianist with a pleasant speaking and singing voice and a successful professional dancer, in spite of the fact that she cannot hear the music to which she dances -- this is in brief the story of Helen Heckman." Although I've seen her referred to as a "noted dancer and beauty" of the 1920s, my research has turned up only scant information about her career -- which I suspect may have involved her stepmother touring her and her sister (who played the violin) around the country (and to "the Continent") and putting them through their paces in front of sympathetic audiences. The caption on a 1923 L.A. Times photo of the trio calls Helen "the wonder girl of Oklahoma," that being where she spent much of her childhood, and where her widowed father met and married stepmom. To be fair, though, the stepmother, Vina Janet Heckman (née French), was definitely the "miracle worker" in Helen's life, having refused to institutionalize the girl at about age ten, instead taking responsibility for educating her new stepdaughter herself. (It's worth noting in this regard that another Helen -- Keller -- was already world-famous at the time that Mrs. Heckman made this momentous decision, circa 1910. Perhaps she drew some inspiration from Keller's story, and maybe she was just, as the book declares, "a woman of broad vision and deep sympathy.") One interesting angle of the author's triumph over her disabilities is discussed in Chapter VIII, "Spiritual Awakening," in which she describes how in 1912, "motion-pictures became a force in my education." 
Price: 75.00 USD
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Showtune: A Memoir, Herman, Jerry, with Marilyn Stasio
43 Herman, Jerry, with Marilyn Stasio Showtune: A Memoir
New York Donald I. Fine Books 1996 1-55611-502-4 / 9781556115028 First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Near Fine dj Illustrated by (dj design) Bob Aulicino 
[nice clean book with very slight bumping at base of spine and one bottom corner; jacket shows light surface, minor wrinkling at bottom of front flap]. (B&W photographs) "The life, the times, the songs, the shows of the fabulous composer-lyricist of 'Hello Dolly!', 'Mack and Mabel,' 'La Cage Aux Folles' and 'Mame'. The creator of three of the longest-running musicals in Broadway history, Jerry Herman is a theatrical institution. His rise of anonymity as a youth in Jersey City to become one of the most successful composer-lyricists ever is candidly recounted here in his own words." 
Price: 12.00 USD
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The World is Mine, Holmes, Burton
44 Holmes, Burton The World is Mine
Culver City CA Murray & Gee, Inc. (c.1953) NO First Edition Hardcover Very Good in Very Good- dj 
(price-clipped) [moderate shelfwear to base of spine, faint smuding to top page edges; jacket lightly soiled, minor horizontal crease near top of front panel, shallow chipping at top of rear panel and a tiny hole in the spine, which is also a bit faded]. (B&W photographs) Autobiography of the noted world traveller, lecturer, photographer and filmmaker. 83 when this book was published, Holmes had only retired a few years earlier. In his life he crossed the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans each more than 50 times, and delivered somewhere in the neighborhood of 8,000 lectures. He began incorporating motion pictures into his presentations very early on (he is said to have taken the first films in Japan, in 1899), and later produced travel films (he invented the word "travelogue") for Paramount and M-G-M. A substantial portion of his film archive (some 200 reels) was rediscovered in 2004, has been preserved by George Eastman House, and can now been on YouTube and elsewhere. 
Price: 40.00 USD
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Louis Armstrong: Biography of a Musician, Hoskins, Robert
45 Hoskins, Robert Louis Armstrong: Biography of a Musician
Los Angeles Holloway House Publishing Co. (BH668) (c.1979) 0-87067-668-7 / 9780870676680 Unstated edition Softcover Very Good+ Illustrated by (cover) Jesse Santos 
[minor wear to bottom edge of front cover, long vertical crease along left edge of front cover]. Mass Market PB Paperback original, a biography of the great jazz trumpeter. "An Original Holloway House Edition" on title page, but no edition or printing statement on copyright page; printed price on cover $1.95. 
Price: 7.00 USD
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The Legendary Mizners, Johnston, Alva
46 Johnston, Alva The Legendary Mizners
New York Farrar, Straus and Young (c.1953) NO Later Printing Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good dj Illustrated by (dj and illustrations) Reginald Marsh 
(price-clipped) [light wear at spine ends, top front corner slightly scraped at top of cover, one-time owner's name and address in ink on ffep; jacket a little faded at spine, small chip at top of spine, light wear at extremities]. (pen and ink drawings) Profiles of the Mizner brothers -- playwright/raconteur Wilson and architect/playboy Addison -- by the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who perfected the "profile" format, at least as practiced in the pages of The New Yorker. Johnston's previously-published profiles of both men served as the foundation for this book, which he completed shortly before his death in 1950. Per the jacket blurb, "for years, he had been gathering anecdotes and fresh details about [Wilson], who was a legend long before he was laid to rest. Carefully, lovingly, and with inimitable skill, Johnston put the myriad stories together to build this monument in memory of two men and the fabulous era they decorated so lavishly." 
Price: 30.00 USD
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The Strange Case of Alger Hiss, Jowitt, The Earl
47 Jowitt, The Earl The Strange Case of Alger Hiss
London Hodder & Stoughton 1953 First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good dj Illustrated by (dj design) "Biro"(?) 
(price-clipped) [moderate wear to book at bottom edge and extremities; jacket has tiny tears and very slight paper loss at several corners, some wrinkling/creasing along top edge, spine a little sun-browned]. (B&W photographs) "The Hiss trial is one of the most famous cases of this century. It has been the central theme of two American books, and one of the chief protagonists has published an account of the history of the trial and of the circumstances of his association with Alger Hiss. [The reference here is to "Witness" by Whittaker Chambers.] None of these writers has, however, attempted to deal with the case from the detached point of view of a lawyer who desires merely to review the evidence which was presented in the course of the case. This is the task Lord Jowitt has undertaken." Jolly sporting of you, m'Lord! 
Price: 15.00 USD
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Men, Marriage and Me , Joyce, Peggy Hopkins
48 Joyce, Peggy Hopkins Men, Marriage and Me
New York The Macaulay Company 1930 B000EAECUU First Edition Hardcover Good+ in Fair dj  
[shelfworn, binding a little loosey-goosey but no splits or detached pages, boards slightly exposed at several corners, browning to top page edges, mild soiling at other edges; jacket heavily worn at edges, paper loss at both ends of spine, one-inch triangular chip at bottom of rear panel, various small tears and one large rip (closed but still visible) extending about 3/4 of the way across the bottom third of the front panel]. The most notorious man-chaser of her day dips into her "intimate diary" to tell her story "from the time she ran away from home to join a vaudeville bicycle performer's act to her latest affairs with Lord Northesk and other European noblemen. At bottom hers is the story of a girl who ran away from home in a blind search for happiness, a girl who wanted silk chemises and pretty gowns, good times and plenty of love. All that distinguishes her from less celebrated girls with the same desires is her superior technique in attainment." The rear panel of the uncommon dust jacket features her ten-point definition of the perfect husband, e.g.: "1. He must be rich but have a very competent secretary so that he will not have to pay too much attention to business. 8. He must not stop telling me I am beautiful just because I am his wife."  
Price: 150.00 USD
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Men, Marriage and Me, Joyce, Peggy Hopkins
49 Joyce, Peggy Hopkins Men, Marriage and Me
New York The Macaulay Company 1930 First Edition Hardcover Good in Good dj Illustrated by (dj) J.W. Collins 
[ex-rental library book with attendant stamping on front pastedown and ffep, rear hinge cracked; jacket trimmed a little along top and bottom edges, backed with brown paper and glued down at flaps, with some staining and soiling to rear panel, wrinkling and rubbing to front panel, a couple of small tears and associated creasing at bottom of front panel]. The most notorious man-chaser of her day dips into her "intimate diary" to tell her story "from the time she ran away from home to join a vaudeville bicycle performer's act to her latest affairs with Lord Northesk and other European noblemen. At bottom hers is the story of a girl who ran away from home in a blind search for happiness, a girl who wanted silk chemises and pretty gowns, good times and plenty of love. All that distinguishes her from less celebrated girls with the same desires is her superior technique in attainment." The rear panel of the uncommon dust jacket features her ten-point definition of the perfect husband, e.g.: "1. He must be rich but have a very competent secretary so that he will not have to pay too much attention to business. 8. He must not stop telling me I am beautiful just because I am his wife." 
Price: 200.00 USD
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Sketches of a Working Woman, Kaufman, Regina
50 Kaufman, Regina Sketches of a Working Woman
Los Angeles Fidelity Lettershop (printer) 1984 0-9605252-1-3 First Edition Softcover Very Good+ Illustrated by (cover design) Paula and Will Soloman 
[light handling wear, minor soiling to page edges, very slight dog-earing at corners of front and rear covers]. Trade PB Memoir of a woman born in the Jewish ghetto of Warsaw, who emigrated with her family to the U.S. (specifically New York's Lower East Side) around the late 'teens or early 1920s. The book is notably short on dates, but whatever it lacks in historical specificity is more than compensated for by the author's vivid memories of life in Poland, the arduous passage to America, working as a teenager in the garment industry, her union activities in the 1930s, and the experience of motherhood during World War II and afterwards. 
Price: 20.00 USD
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Growing Up Happy: Captain Kangaroo Tells Yesterday's Children How to Nurture Their Own [*SIGNED*], Keeshan, Bob
51 Keeshan, Bob Growing Up Happy: Captain Kangaroo Tells Yesterday's Children How to Nurture Their Own [*SIGNED*]
New York Doubleday 1989 0-385-24909-8 / 9780385249096 First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Fine dj Illustrated by (dj photo) Deborah Feingold Signed by Author
[very slight shelfwear to bottom edge, mild age-toning to page edges; jacket is flawless]. (B&W photographs) SIGNED "Bob Keeshan / Captain Kangaroo" by the author in green ink (in honor of Mr. Green Jeans?) on the half-title page. A memoir by the popular kiddie TV host, rather weirdly pitched and packaged as a child-rearing manual, although it appears to be at least two-thirds straight autobiography, about his early career, the development and production of the long-running "Captain Kangaroo" series, etc. Signed by Author 
Price: 25.00 USD
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The Brighter Half, Kelley, Ada Campbell
52 Kelley, Ada Campbell The Brighter Half
New York Greenwich Book Publishers, Inc. (c.1965) NO First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good dj Illustrated by (dj design) Thomas Yacovella 
[minor soiling to cloth at top and bottom edges, no other significant wear; jacket somewhat faded at spine, with light overall soiling and age-toning]. Certainly one of the odder memoirs (if that's what it is) you're likely to encounter. The bulk of the book is the story of a woman named Anna Goldman Denny, who (like the book's author) is a native of St. Louis. She chronicles her life from childhood through her early career as an office worker in St. Louis and Chicago, her service with the Red Cross (stateside) during World War I, and in particular her long affair with an older man in her office (she confesses at one point in her narrative to "the sex attraction I had for those older men"). This fellow eventually divorces his wife so he and Anna can marry (in 1920), but his death just five years later launches her into a new phase of life. She goes first to Florida, then to Greenwich, Connecticut, where she somehow catches the wave of the contract bridge craze and becomes a prominent teacher of this newly-introduced "modern" form of this card game, gets enough gigs and enjoys enough success that she's able to travel to Europe and invest in the stock market (you see that end coming, right?), and even publishes a popular book about the game. Now at this point, it seems pretty clear that "Anna" is an autobiographical stand-in for author Campbell, described in the jacket blurb as "one of our first teachers of contract bridge," who indeed write a tome entitled "Auction and Contract Bridge: Complete--Condensed" (The John Day Company, 1930) -- but other than that episode and their shared birthplace, the life-chonicles of Ada and "Anna" don't seem to coincide very well, so how much is invention and much memoir? Furthermore, we now have to grapple with the narrative structure of the book itself: its first four chapters aren't by Anna/Ada at all, but by a guy named Jack, who tells the story of being introduced to Anna in Southern California (where she'd ended up after the stock market crash had forced her back into the regular working world), falling in love with her, and asking her to write down the story of her life, to tide him through an impending separation. SO -- most of the rest of the book is essentially the manuscript she produces in response to that request (and which often addresses Jack directly, e.g. "Jack, I wish you could have known my mother.") And just to add to the meta-ness of it all, that narrative is occaionally punctuated by a "Dear Jack" letter, in which she comments on her feelings while she's been writing the thing. Confused yet? Starting to wonder if this is really a memoir, or some kind of novelistic projection of a romance that never actually happened? Was there actually a "Jack," or was this just a framing-device excuse to write a memoir without using her real name? (Don't look to me for the answers, I'm still trying to figure it out myself.) There are other interesting episodes in Anna's life, notably a job working in a large San Francisco department store, and a brief stint (in Beverly Hills) as managing housekeeper for fading movie matinee idol Richard Dix. I should make it clear that I'm not in any way mocking this book or is author: it's well enough written, it benefits from the maturity of her authorial voice, and many of the episodes of her life are genuinely interesting, especially as they reflect on the realities of a single (later widowed) woman trying to make a living in early-20th century America. (The years covered by the book are roughly 1900 -- Anna refers to childhood memories of the St. Louis World's Fair of 1904 -- to the mid-1930s; the "Dear Jack" letter that prefaces the manuscript is dated September 1934.) And in case you're wondering, Jack himself does come back into the picture at the very end of the book, with an "Anna Dear" letter of his own, dated November 11, 1934 -- although I have to say, it doesn't provide quite the ending one might expect. 
Price: 50.00 USD
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George Gershwin: A Biography, Kendall, Alan
53 Kendall, Alan George Gershwin: A Biography
New York Universe Books 1987 0-87663-663-6 / 9780876636633 First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Near Fine dj 
[nice clean copy, light shelfwear, top corners faintly bumped; jacket shows a little wear along top edge, mild surface wear]. (B&W photographs) 
Price: 15.00 USD
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54 Ketchum, Richard M. Will Rogers: The Man and His Times
New York Touchstone / Simon & Schuster (c.1973) 0-671-22009-8 / 9780671220099 1st printing thus Softcover Very Good+ 
[moderate edgewear, very slight dog-earing of corners at front cover, faint soiling to bottom page edges]. Trade PB (B&W photographs) 
Price: 5.00 USD
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A Time to Sing [*SIGNED*], Kirsten, Dorothy
55 Kirsten, Dorothy A Time to Sing [*SIGNED*]
Garden City NY Doubleday & Company 1982 0-385-14744-9 / 9780385147446 First Edition Hardcover Fine in Near Fine dj Signed by Author
[nice tight copy, the faintest bit of soiling to bottom edges of boards but no significant wear; jacket shows very minor wear at corners and fore-edge, one tiny closed tear at top of front panel]. (B&W photographs) INSCRIBED ("To ________ / Sincerely") and SIGNED by the author on the ffep. The famous soprano's "warm and wonderful reminiscence of her brilliant career." Signed by Author 
Price: 60.00 USD
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Hanna & Walter: A Love Story [*SIGNED*], Kohner, Hanna and Walter, with Frederick Kohner
56 Kohner, Hanna and Walter, with Frederick Kohner Hanna & Walter: A Love Story [*SIGNED*]
New York Random House (c.1984) 0-394-52164-1 / 9780394521640 First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Near Fine dj Illustrated by (dj design) Richard Adelson 
[nice clean book, no real wear but a very slight ripple in the text block; jacket shows just a bit of surface wear]. INSCRIBED and SIGNED on the ffep by both authors: "For _____ - good old - / friend - with all / our fondest wishes -- / Affectionately / Walter Kohner" (and) "In friendship to dear / _____ / Hanna Kohner" (and) "Los Angeles, Cal. / June 1984," in what appears to be Walter's hand. Love story about "two people separated by war and the Holocaust -- and miraculously reunited." Walter, preceded to the U.S. by brothers Paul and Frederick, both well established in the movie business (Paul as an agent, Frederick as a writer), was able to emigrate to the U.S. in the late 1930s. Hanna wasn't so lucky: she fled at first to Holland, then married another man (who subsequently died in Auschwitz), and eventually ended up in a concentration camp. "At the end of the war Walter learned that Hanna was still alive [and] began a search that would take him across a continent." 
Price: 50.00 USD
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The Navigator: Story by Avraham Goldreich [*SIGNED*], Kolka, Gila (translated by Helen Kaye; edited by Rina Petilon)
57 Kolka, Gila (translated by Helen Kaye; edited by Rina Petilon) The Navigator: Story by Avraham Goldreich [*SIGNED*]
Tel Aviv (published by the author) 2009 NO "Special Edition" Softcover Near Fine 
[extremely light handling wear]. Trade PB (B&W and color photographs) INSCRIBED and SIGNED by the book's subject, Avraham Goldreich, on the title page. "The story of Avraham Goldreich, one of the first Navigators in [the] Israel Air Force." Although "written by" Gila Kolka, the narrative of Mr. Goldreich is presented in the first person. He tells the story of fleeing with his brother from Poland in 1942 and eventually making his way to Palestine, where he eventually becomes a navigator in the Israel Air Force, "one who has had a demonstrable influence on the development of aviation flight, and who has been one of the bricks that built Israel." Signed by Biographee 
Price: 25.00 USD
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Our Ida Nudel: Testimonies of Former Prisoners and Refuseniks, Krausz, Peter, ed.
58 Krausz, Peter, ed. Our Ida Nudel: Testimonies of Former Prisoners and Refuseniks
Tel Aviv Israel Women for Ida Nudel 1981 (c.1980) 2nd printing Wraps Near Fine Illustrated by (design by) Bob Vari 
[minor handling wear, a couple of stress lines in rear cover next to spine]. (B&W photographs) A translated condensation of interviews conducted by Tal Hammel (who began the activity as a high school project in Israel in 1980), which ultimately came to serve as "a moving record of oral contemporary history which documented the incredible contribution made by Ida Nudel to the renascent Jewish national movement in the Soviet Union." Repeatedly denied an exit visa throughout the 1970s and thus unable to join her family in Israel, Ida Nudel became known as the "Guardian Angel" of Soviet Jewish prisoners of conscience and their families; she was herself sent into exile in Siberia in 1978. (Her then-current address is given at the end of the book's introduction; in this copy, it has been altered by hand to a Moscow address.) She was released from her Siberian exile in 1982, and a subsequent international campaign (involving Jane Fonda, Liv Ullman, and others) resulted in her being granted her long-sought exit visa. Arriving in Israel in October 1987, she was greeted as a heroine by high government officials, and later published a best-selling autobiography. 
Price: 35.00 USD
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Raging Bull: My Story, La Motta, Jake, with Joseph Carter and Peter Savage
59 La Motta, Jake, with Joseph Carter and Peter Savage Raging Bull: My Story
Englewood Cliffs NJ Prentice-Hall, Inc. 1971 (c.1970) 0-13-752527-3 / 9780137525270 2nd printing Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good+ dj Illustrated by (dj) Murray Olderman 
[bottom corner bumped, a couple of small stains at bottom edge of rear cover; jacket a little worn at extremities, short closed tear and associated crease at bottom front hinge, very light soiling to rear panel]. (B&W photographs) Autobiography of the Italian slum kid who battles his way, in and out of the ring, to get to the top of the fight game -- and never quite makes it. Brilliantly adapted for the 1980 Martin Scorsese film, which was nominated for but did NOT win the "Best Picture" Academy Award that year. (Quick, what film did? That's right, "Ordinary People." A perfectly respectable piece of work -- but are people still gettin' a thrill out of it -- or even talking about it -- 30 years later? That's my point.) 
Price: 50.00 USD
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Show and Tell: New Yorker Profiles, Lahr, John
60 Lahr, John Show and Tell: New Yorker Profiles
Woodstock & New York The Overlook Press 2000 1-58567-062-6 / 9781585670628 First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Near Fine dj 
[faint soiling to fore-edge, otherwise a tight unworn book, apparently unread; jacket shows a bit of surface-scratching, mostly to rear panel]. Reprints fifteen of the author's New Yorker profiles of entertainment personalities: Woody Allen, David Mamet, Frank Sinatra, Arthur Miller, Liev Schreiber, Roseanne, Irving Berlin, Wallace Shawn, Eddie Izzard, Neil LaBute, Bob Hope, Ingmar Bergman, Mike Nicholas, Bert Lahr and Mildred Lahr. 
Price: 8.00 USD
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