| Nov 27, 2011
She rejected the title by which posterity knows her, preferring always to conceal her steely ambition and regal pride under a mask of modesty and service. Yet "Catherine the Great" was indeed an apt sobriquet for the subject of Robert K. Massie's latest...
| Dec 10, 2010
| 2:30 PM
"I am submitting the enclosed short story 'LIFE-LINE' for either 'Astounding' or 'Unknown,'" Robert A. Heinlein wrote to editor John Campbell in 1939, "because I am not sure which policy it fits the better."
The former magazine published science fiction,...
| Mar 23, 2011
| 8:15 AM
It was a simple white slip – an everyday undergarment for women in the 1960s. But in "Butterfield 8," one of Elizabeth Taylor's most memorable films, the violet-eyed actress – playing the tragic, fiery Gloria Wandrous -- made the staple seem...
| Jul 29, 2012
Since her death on Aug. 5, 1962, hundreds of books about Marilyn Monroe have been published by various writers, ranging from famous names such as Norman Mailer, Gloria Steinem and Joyce Carol Oates, to people who worked with her on movie sets. With so...
| Jul 29, 2012
Marilyn Monroe certainly achieved fame in the course of her 36-year lifetime, but in the five decades since her death, she's become such a celebrity-branding superstar, it often feels as if America's proto-platinum pinup never really left the building...
| Nov 7, 2010
Little, Brown: 370 pp., $29.99
You think 21st century culture is celebrity-obsessed? Try Mediterranean society at the dawn of the first millennium, when politics were entirely personal, and rulers' romantic...
| Apr 26, 2012
Detroit: A Biography
Chicago Review Press: 288 pp., $24.95
In February 1863, Thomas Faulkner, a Detroit saloon owner of mixed-race background, was arrested on the charge of raping a 9-year-old white girl. Despite his protestations of...
| May 6, 2012
The Passage of Power
The Years of Lyndon Johnson
Alfred A. Knopf: 736 pp., $35
"The Passage of Power," the fourth volume in Robert Caro's epic biography of Lyndon Baines Johnson, encompasses the period of LBJ's deepest humiliation and...
| Apr 30, 2012
NEW YORK — Judy Garland, often drunk and occasionally disheveled, in Peter Quilter's biographical drama "End of the Rainbow," is rummaging for booze in her suite at the Ritz hotel. She's wired, and not simply because of the pills she can't seem to...
| Oct 31, 2010
It's a peculiar person — if not an unabashed sadist — who takes pleasure in someone's stuttering, particularly at a public event. Yet when filmmaker Tom Hooper heard that Colin Firth couldn't stop stammering while accepting an acting honor for...
| Nov 8, 2011
There seemed to be no doubt that Mike Adams was a productive journalist, even if his beat was a bit obscure: the Central Basin Municipal Water District.
In recent months, he churned out more than 20 stories on the water wholesaler based in southeast...