King of Comedy: The Life and Art Of Jerry Lewis [EPUB]
27 July 2016, 05:56
2016 | EPUB | 2.4MB
Shawn Levy's fascinating biography King of Comedy - the product of vast research and interviews with contemporaries, admirers, foes, and even, briefly, Lewis himself - traces the story of a man who defines High American Show Biz. At points along the time line of his career, Lewis has been the highest-paid performer in history in film, on television, and (in 1995!) on Broadway.
With partner Dean Martin, he was half of the most successful comedy duo of all time. He was the first director who debuted in talkies to direct himself. He was a direct, acknowledged influence on giants from Woody Allen to Lenny Bruce to David Letterman to Jim Carrey. He is a Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor, has raised over $1 billion in charity, and was once nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. And, since the 1950s, he has been one of the most recognized faces on earth.
For almost that long, though, people have argued over what Jerry Lewis means. Is he a talented comedian or a grotesque mimic? A startlingly original director or a pretender to Chaplin's throne? A multifaceted entertainer or a megalomaniacal egoist? A tireless champion of the disabled or a tireless self-promoter who has confused America's charitable impulses with affection for him as a performer?
The Impossible Has Happened: The Life and Work of Gene Roddenberry, Creator of Star Trek [EPUB]
27 July 2016, 04:57
2016 | EPUB | 0.59MB
8 September 2016 will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the debut of the world’s most successful science fiction television series: Star Trek. In this new biography Lance Parkin, author of Aurum’s acclaimed Magic Words: The Extraordinary Life of Alan Moore, will go in search of the show’s creator, Gene Roddenberry.
This book will reveal how an undistinguished writer of cop shows set out to produce ‘Hornblower in space’ and ended up with an optimistic, almost utopian view of humanity’s future that has been watched and loved by hundreds of millions of people around the world.
Along the way Lance will examine some of the great myths and turning points in the franchise’s history, and Roddenberry’s particular contribution to them. He will look at the truth in the view that the early Star Trek advanced a liberal, egalitarian and multi-racial agenda, chart the various attempts to resuscitate the show during it’s wilderness years in the 1970s, explore Roddenberry’s initial early involvement in the movies and spin-off Star Trek: The Next Generation (as well as his later estrangement from both), and shed light on the colourful personal life, self-mythologising and strange beliefs of a man who nonetheless gifted popular culture one if its most enduring narratives.
Mr Smith Goes to Prison: What My Year Behind Bars Taught Me About America's Prison Crisis [EPUB]
27 July 2016, 04:54
2015 | EPUB | 0.62MB
The fall from politico to prisoner isn't necessarily long, but the landing, as Missouri State Senator Jeff Smith learned, is a hard one.
In 2009, Smith pleaded guilty to a seemingly minor charge of campaign malfeasance and earned himself a year and one day in Kentucky's FCI Manchester. Mr. Smith Goes to Prison is the fish-out-of-water story of his time in the big house; of the people he met there and the things he learned: how to escape the attentions of fellow inmate Cornbread and his friends in the Aryan Brotherhood; what constitutes a prison car and who's allowed to ride in yours; how to bend and break the rules, whether you're a prisoner or an officer. And throughout his sentence, the young Senator tracked the greatest crime of all: the deliberate waste of untapped human potential.
Smith saw the power of millions of inmates harnessed as a source of renewable energy for America's prison-industrial complex, a system that aims to build better criminals instead of better citizens. In Mr. Smith Goes to Prison, he traces the cracks in America's prison walls, exposing the shortcomings of a racially-based cycle of poverty and crime that sets inmates up to fail. Speaking from inside experience, he offers practical solutions to jailbreak the nation from the financially crushing grip of its own prisons and to jumpstart the rehabilitation of the millions living behind bars.