The Genius and the Goddess by Jeffrey Meyers
Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe

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Synopsis

The 1956 wedding of Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller surprised the world. The Genius and the Goddess presents an intimate portrait of the prelude to and ultimate tragedy of their short marriage. Distinguished biographer Jeffrey Meyers skillfully explores why they married, what sustained them for five years, and what ultimately destroyed their marriage and her life.

The greatest American playwright of the twentieth century and the most popular American actress both complemented and wounded one another. Marilyn craved attention and success but became dependent on drugs, alcohol, and sexual adventures. Miller experienced creative agony with her.  Their marriage coincided with the creative peak of her career, yet private and public conflict caused both of them great anguish.

Meyers has crafted a richly nuanced dual biography based on his quarter-century friendship with Miller, interviews with major players of stage and screen during the postwar Hollywood era, and extensive archival research. He describes their secret courtship. He also reveals new information about the effect of the HUAC anti-Communist witch-hunts on Miller and his friendship with Elia Kazan. The fascinating cast of characters includes Marilyn's co-stars Sir Laurence Olivier, Yves Montand, Montgomery Clift, and Clark Gable; her leading directors John Huston, Billy Wilder, and George Cukor; and her literary friends Dame Edith Sitwell, Isak Dinesen, Saul Bellow, and Vladimir Nabokov.

Meyers offers the most in-depth account of the making and meaning of The Misfits. Written by Miller for Monroe, this now-classic film was a personal disaster. But Marilyn remained Miller's tragic muse and her character, exalted and tormented, lived on for the next forty years in his work.
 

About Jeffrey Meyers

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Jeffrey Meyers has written extensively on literature, film, and art. He is the author of forty-seven books, including biographies of Humphrey Bogart, Gary Cooper, and George Orwell. Meyers is one of twelve Americans who are Fellows of the Royal Society of Literature and in 2005 received an Award in Literature "to honor exceptional achievement" from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in Berkeley, California.
 
Published January 25, 2010 by University of Illinois Press. 384 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction

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Meyers dismisses as “wildly implausible” the conspiracy theories about her death and repeatedly assails both her acting coach Paula Strasberg and her final psychiatrist, Dr. Ralph Greenson, who was “more disturbed and dangerous than the patient.” Meyers recognizes that Miller truly loved Monroe b...

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The Washington Times

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During this time, she attended the famous Actors Studio in New York and received critical praise for her acting in “Bus Stop.” The influence of the Strasbergs, Lee and Paula and their daughter Susan, plus that of her drama coach, Natasha Lytess, would continue, not always to her benefit, for the ...

May 07 2010 | Read Full Review of The Genius and the Goddess: A...

Bookmarks Magazine

Their marriage coincided with the creative peak of her career, yet private and public conflict caused both of them great anguish. Meyers has crafted a richly nuanced dual biography based on his quarter-century friendship with Miller, interviews ...

Mar 22 2010 | Read Full Review of The Genius and the Goddess: A...

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