Kate by William J. Mann
The Woman Who Was Hepburn

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 4 Critic Reviews



The first major Katharine Hepburn biography independent of her control reveals the smart, complicated, and sophisticated woman behind the image
Onscreen she played society girls, Spencer Tracy's sidekick, lionesses in winter. But the best character Katharine Hepburn ever created was Katharine Hepburn: a Connecticut Yankee, outspoken and elegant, she wore pants whatever the occasion and bristled at Hollywood glitter. So captivating was her image that she never seemed less than authentic. But how well did we know her, really? Was there a woman behind the image who was more human, more driven, and ultimately more triumphant because of her vulnerability?
William J. Mann--a cultural historian and journalist, a sympathetic admirer but no mere fan--has fashioned an intimate, often revisionist, and truly unique close-up that challenges much of what  we think we know about the Great Kate. Previous biographies--mostly products of friends and fans--have recycled the stories she hid behind, taking Hollywood myths at face value. Mann goes deeper, delivering new details from friends and family who have not been previously interviewed and drawing on materials only available since Hepburn's death.
With affection, intelligence, and a voluminous knowledge of Hollywood history, Mann shows us how a woman originally considered too special and controversial for fame learned the fine arts of movie stardom and transformed herself into an icon as durable and all-American as the Statue of Liberty.

About William J. Mann

See more books from this Author
WILLIAM J. MANN is the author of Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn, which was named a New York Times Notable Book, as well as several other acclaimed works of fiction and nonfiction. He divides his time between Provincetown, Massachusetts, and New York City.
Published October 30, 2007 by Henry Holt and Co.. 676 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Kate

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

The author also takes risks, acknowledging the frequent speculations about Hepburn’s lesbianism and the sexual ambiguity of her wide yet closely knit inner circle of friends.

| Read Full Review of Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn

USA Today

Mann asks in the preface to Kate, his fascinating and provocative new look at the legend who died at age 96 in 2003.The answers aren't going to please everybody, and despite the book's extensive research and interviews, may be met with skepticism.But Mann has made Kate a page-turner and a revelat...

| Read Full Review of Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn


(The 621 page tome includes almost 90 pages of footnotes.) For those willing it to slog it through, Mann does paint a detailed overview of Hollywood sexual politics of the 1930s and 1940s, and an intermittently compelling look at Hepburn's circle of friends, Cukor especially.

Oct 22 2006 | Read Full Review of Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn

Campus Circle

On wry blues rumination “Robert Johnson Knew,” Mann wonders about her musical prospects: “I haven’t sold my soul to the devil yet/But I think that I just might/Does forever mean forever, or just until I get tired?” During country-hued and downhearted “In a Movie,” Mann reflects how real life diff...

Mar 16 2009 | Read Full Review of Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn

Reader Rating for Kate

An aggregated and normalized score based on 70 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review