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"Inventor of the modern gossip column in the 1920s, pioneer in the mass culture of celebrity and a political opportunist who turned from populism to Red-baiting with the prevailing winds, Walter Winchell (1897-1972) changed 20th-century journalism and society, asserts Gabler (An Empire of Their Own). His thorough biography stylishly tells of Winchell's tortured personal life and high-flying career. Born to Russian-Jewish immigrants in Harlem, Winchell drew on deprivation for his drive, which took him from vaudeville to writing Broadway gossip with a jaunty slang that matched "the syncopated rhythm of the twenties." By the 1930s, he had become a "journalistic entertainer" on radio, on the stage and in movies; he helped establish the new, glamorous cafe society. In 1934, he injected himself into the trial of Bruno Richard Hauptmann, who was eventually convicted of the kidnap-murder of the Lindbergh baby; he became a prominent New Deal supporter and a mouthpiece for the Roosevelt administration. After the war, however, Winchell foundered in both family and professional life; he fought his enemies in public feuds, and proved too hot for the "cool" medium of television. His radio broadcasts ended in 1959; his column, after 38 years of association with Hearst, in 1967. Winchell's legacy, Gabler notes, is today's mania for gossip."
- Publishers Weekly (US)

Very favourable reviews on

Large format (trade) paperback 1996.

681 pages.

Good condition.

The cost of shipping is $4.95 (ordinary post) or $5.95 (tracked mail).

There is of course no charge for shipping if you collect this book from my shop in Palmerston North following the auction.

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  • NZ Post$4.95
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  • Seller allows pick-ups
  • Seller location: Palmerston North, Manawatu, NZ

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