Dearie by Bob Spitz
The Remarkable Life of Julia Child

89%

15 Critic Reviews

An engrossing biography of a woman worthy of iconic status.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

It’s rare for someone to emerge in America who can change our attitudes, our beliefs, and our very culture. It’s even rarer when that someone is a middle-aged, six-foot three-inch woman whose first exposure to an unsuspecting public is cooking an omelet on a hot plate on a local TV station.  And yet, that’s exactly what Julia Child did.  The warble-voiced doyenne of television cookery became an iconic cult figure and joyous rule-breaker as she touched off the food revolution that has gripped America for more than fifty years.

Now, in Bob Spitz’s definitive, wonderfully affectionate biography, the Julia we know and love comes vividly — and surprisingly — to life.  In Dearie, Spitz employs the same skill he brought to his best-selling, critically acclaimed book The Beatles, providing a clear-eyed portrait of one of the most fascinating and influential Americans of our time — a woman known to all, yet known by only a few.

At its heart, Dearie is a story about a woman’s search for her own unique expression.  Julia Child was a directionless, gawky young woman who ran off halfway around the world to join a spy agency during World War II.  She eventually settled in Paris, where she learned to cook and collaborated on the writing of what would become Mastering the Art of French Cooking, a book that changed the food culture of America.   She was already fifty when The French Chef went on the air —  at a time in our history when women weren’t making those leaps.  Julia became the first educational TV star, virtually launching PBS as we know it today; her marriage to Paul Child formed a decades-long love story that was romantic, touching, and quite extraordinary.

A fearless, ambitious, supremely confident woman, Julia took on all the pretensions that embellished tony French cuisine and fricasseed them to a fare-thee-well, paving the way for everything that has happened since in American cooking, from TV dinners and Big Macs to sea urchin foam and the Food Channel.  Julia Child’s story, however, is more than the tale of a talented woman and her sumptuous craft.  It is also a saga of America’s coming of age and growing sophistication, from the Depression Era to the turbulent sixties and the excesses of the eighties to the greening of the American kitchen.  Julia had an effect on and was equally affected by the baby boom, the sexual revolution, and the start of the women’s liberation movement.

On the centenary of her birth, Julia finally gets the biography she richly deserves.  An in-depth, intimate narrative, full of fresh information and insights, Dearie is an entertaining, all-out adventure story of one of our most fascinating and beloved figures.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Bob Spitz

See more books from this Author
Bob Spitz is an American journalist and author best known for his celebrity biographies, including the New York Times best seller The Beatles: The Biography. Articles by Spitz appear regularly in The New York Times Magazine, GQ, Conde Nast Traveler, Men's Journal, In Style, Esquire and The Washington Post. Some of his non-fiction titles include The Saucier's Apprentice: One Long Strange Trip through the Great Cooking Schools of Europe, Barefoot in Babylon: The Creation of the Woodstock Music Festival and Dylan: A Biography. His title Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child made the New York Times Best Seller List for 2012.
 
Published August 7, 2012 by Vintage. 576 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Cooking. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
icon12
Peak Rank on Sep 02 2012
icon5
Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Dearie
All: 15 | Positive: 13 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Excellent
Jul 01 2012

An engrossing biography of a woman worthy of iconic status.

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NY Times

Excellent
Reviewed by PARUL SEHGAL on Aug 17 2012

“Dearie” describes just how profoundly Child changed the culinary landscape, but her public persona made her beloved.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
Nov 26 2012

Interweaving anecdotes, family history, and historical events, he tells the tale of Child’s remarkable life... to her rise to prominence as a television personality and everything in between.

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Examiner

Excellent
Reviewed by Amy Goodfellow Wagner on Sep 26 2012

Read “Dearie” to get to know more about a genuine American character. Like Bob Spitz you're bound to develop a crush on this woman who was at once larger-than-life yet endearingly down to earth.

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NY Journal of Books

Excellent
Reviewed by Penny Pleasance on Aug 07 2012

Julia Child was the real deal. And while Dearie may not always live up to the greatness of the woman herself, it certainly reinforces why we loved her so.

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Book Reporter

Below average
Reviewed by Michael Magras on Sep 14 2012

Overwriting is a problem throughout DEARIE. Spitz uses clichés on almost every page

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Washington Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Priscilla Taylor on Aug 24 2012

It’s easy to see why Mr. Spitz fell for the remarkable Julia Child, and he has done her justice in this mammoth, inspiring biography.

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Christian Science Monitor

Excellent
Reviewed by Elizabeth Toohey on Aug 14 2012

...it’s sure to satisfy those with appetites whetted by the memoir turned film, "Julie and Julia," who crave more of Child’s early life and later success.

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Huffington Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Rozanne Gold on Aug 06 2012

Julia has never been more alive in the hearts and minds of those who grew up with her and ate and drank her dreams. Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child is then, a much-appreciated, well-timed gift to us all.

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The Boston Globe

Below average
Reviewed by Devra First on Aug 11 2012

...Spitz is often a clunky storyteller, prone to redundancies, dangling modifiers, and ham-handed turns of phrase.

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San Francisco Chronicle

Excellent
Reviewed by Ashley Nelson on Aug 13 2012

...endearing anecdotes abound in the new biography ...an unabashed celebration of the mistress of haute cuisine published on the centennial of her birth.

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Tampa Bay Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Janet Keeler on Aug 19 2012

Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child travels some familiar terrain but also unearths new details, especially about her early days and her love of pranks.

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Newsday

Excellent
Reviewed by LAUREN CHATTMAN on Aug 09 2012

Spitz gives us plenty of the wacky one-liners that endeared Child to her television audience, and a warm, nuanced portrait.

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The Washington Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Becky Krystal on Sep 07 2012

...by the end of his book, anyone with a heart, and a stomach, probably will have a crush on her

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Bookmarks Magazine

Excellent
Reviewed by Jon on Aug 29 2012

An in-depth, intimate narrative, full of fresh information and insights, Dearie is an entertaining, all-out adventure story of one of our most fascinating and beloved figures.

Read Full Review of Dearie: The Remarkable Life o...

Reader Rating for Dearie
83%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 487 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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