Marilyn by Lois Banner
The Passion and the Paradox

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Banner seldom takes sides, concentrating instead on the “geography of gender” that shaped Marilyn’s early development, her subsequent relationships and the ambivalent bombshell she would become.
-NY Times

Synopsis

Like her art, Marilyn Monroe was rooted in paradox: She was a powerful star and a childlike waif; a joyful, irreverent party girl with a deeply spiritual side; a superb friend and a narcissist; a dumb blonde and an intellectual. No previous biographer has recognized-much less attempted to analyze-most of these aspects of her personality. Lois Banner has. With new details about Marilyn's childhood foster homes, her sexual abuse, her multiple marriages, her affairs, and her untimely death at the age of thirty-six, Marilyn is, at last, the nuanced biography Monroe fans have been waiting for.
 

About Lois Banner

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Lois Banner is a founder of the field of women's history and cofounder of the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians, the major academic event in the field. She was the first woman president of the American Studies Association, and in 2006 she won the ASA's Bode-Pearson Prize for Outstanding Contributions to American Studies. She is the author of ten books, including her acclaimed American Beauty and most recently MM -- Personal, which reproduces and discusses items from Marilyn Monroe's personal archive. In addition to her books on Monroe, Banner is a major collector of her artifacts. Banner is a professor of history and gender studies at USC and lives in Southern California.
 
Published July 17, 2012 by Bloomsbury USA. 528 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Marilyn
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by ZoË Slutzky on Aug 03 2012

Banner seldom takes sides, concentrating instead on the “geography of gender” that shaped Marilyn’s early development, her subsequent relationships and the ambivalent bombshell she would become.

Read Full Review of Marilyn: The Passion and the ... | See more reviews from NY Times

The Hindu

Good
Reviewed by VAISHNA ROY on Mar 11 2013

At the end, we get a Marilyn who is fascinating, annoying and infinitely sad. And a wealth of nuance and detail that makes it impossible to attribute her actions simply to a damaged personality or to being victimised.

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