Howard Hughes was a true American original: legendary lover, record-setting aviator, award-winning film producer, talented inventor, ultimate eccentric, and, for much of his lifetime, the richest man in the United States.
His desire for privacy was so fierce and his isolation so complete that even now, 25 years after his death, inaccurate stories continue to circulate, and many have been published as fact. Hughes explodes the illusion of his life and exposes the man behind the myth. He was a playboy whose sexual exploits with Hollywood stars were legendary. He was a man without compassion; an entrepreneur without ethics; an explorer without maps; and ultimately, an eccentric trapped by his own insanity, sealed off from reality, who died a lonely and - until now - mysterious death.
Newly uncovered personal letters, over 110,000 pages of sealed court testimony, recently declassified FBI files, never-before-published autopsy reports and exclusive interviews reveal a man so devious in his thinking, so perverse in his desires, and so influential that his impact continues to be felt even today.
From entertainment to politics, aviation to espionage, the influence and manipulation of this billionaire has left an indelible and unique mark on the American cultural landscape.
Was ever a life more incredible than that of Howard Hughes? Record-setting aviator, fabled lover, celebrated film director and producer, genius financier and industrialist, the nation's first billionaire. who at one time or another owned TWA, RKO Studios and most of Las Vegas, Hughes (1905 1976) also suffered from severe psychological afflictions that led him to spend his last years in isolation, naked in blacked-out rooms on several continents, devoting days at a time to screening grade-Z movies, dictating long memos to his staff about the proper procedures to keep his room and person free of germs, mostly through the liberal use of Kleenex as a prophylactic, even as he ingested titanic amounts of codeine, his hair and fingernails growing to grotesque length and his back running with untreated sores. Hughes's story has been told before, of course, but never with the overview, insight and, most important, extraordinarily diligent research applied by Hack in this riveting biography. The author of bios of Ron Perelman and Michael Jackson, Hack has his own second-degree connection with Hughes; he co-wrote the autobiography of Hughes's longtime lieutenant, Robert Maheu. To separate fact from rumor in detailing Hughes's life, Hack read more than 8,000 pages of Hughes's private papers, 2,500 pages of recently declassified FBI and CIA documents, over 100,000 pages of previously sealed legal briefs, corporate papers and inventories, and spoke with hundreds of players, key and minor, in Hughes's drama.What Hack has uncovered is an astonishing tale of rampant ambition, obsession and madness. While his prose doesn't match the poetic heights of, say, a Nick Tosches, he presents his chronicle with bold certitude, not only illumining the amazing events of Hughes's life in a captivating manner but penetrating deep into the billionaire's twisted psyche. Readers will be nailed to these pages as, in the most exciting bio of the year, Hack presents the American dream curdling into the American nightmare, personified in a legend who at last has an accounting worthy of him. Simultaneous New Millennium Audio. (On-sale: Sept. 11)
Customer ReviewsSee All
Best autobiography I've ever read. Couldn't put it down.
An honest approach to Hughes' Life.