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In his remarkable memoir, at once frank, audacious, canny, and revealing, Michael Korda, the author of Charmed Lives and Queenie, does for the world of books what Moss Hart did for the theater in Act One, and succeeds triumphantly in making publishing seem as exciting (and as full of great characters) as the stage.Another Life is not just an adventure--the engaging and often hilarious story of a young man making his career--but the insider's story of how a cottage industry metamorphosed into a big business, with sometimes alarming results for all concerned. Korda writes with grace, humor, and a shrewd eye, not only about himself and his rise from a lowly (but not humble) assistant editor reading the "slush pile" of manuscripts to a famous editor in chief of a major publishing house, but also about the celebrities and writers with whom he worked over four decades. Here are portraits--rare, intimate, always keenly observed--of such larger-than-life figures as Ronald Reagan, affable and good-natured but the most reluctant of authors, struggling with his "ghosted" presidential autobiography; Richard Nixon, seen here as a genial, if bizarrely detached, host; superagent Irving Lazar, pursuing his endless deals and dreams of "class"; retired Mafia boss Joseph Bonanno, the last of the old-time dons, laboring over his own version of his life in his desert retreat; Joan Crawford, giving Korda her rules for successful living; and countless other greats, near greats, and would-be greats. Here too are famous writers, sometimes eccentric, sometimes infuriating, sometimes lost souls, captured memorably by someone who was close to them for years: Graham Greene, in pursuit of his FBI file and a Nobel Prize; Tennessee Williams, wrestling unsuccessfully with his demons; Jacqueline Susann, facing and conquering the dreaded "second-novel syndrome" after the stunning success of Valley of the Dolls; Harold Robbins (who had to be guarded under lock and key and made to finish his novels), struggling to keep the IRS at bay from the deck of his yacht; Carlos Castaneda, at his most sorcerously charming, described--at last--in detail, as he really was, by one of the few people who knew him well; not to mention Richard Adams, Will and Ariel Durant, Susan Howatch, S. J. Perelman, Fannie Hurst, Larry McMurtry, and many, many more. Parts of this book that have appeared in The New Yorker over the years have brought Korda great acclaim--the chapter about Jacqueline Susann has been made into a major motion picture. Here at last, entertaining and provocative and always hugely readable, is the whole story--a book as engaging and full of life as Korda's highly acclaimed memoir of his family, Charmed Lives, about which Irwin Shaw wrote: "I don't know when I have enjoyed a book more."ates. Parts of this book that have appeared in The New Yorker over the years have brought Korda great acclaim--the chapter about Jacqueline Susann has been made into a major motion picture. Here at last, entertaining and provocative and always hugely readable, is the whole story--a book as engaging and full of life as Korda's highly acclaimed memoir of his family, Charmed Lives, about which Irwin Shaw wrote: "I don't know when I have enjoyed a book more."From the Hardcover edition.
The life story of one who eventually becomes successful in the world of book authoring and publishing.
With characteristic wit, self-effacing charm and sheer, exuberant love of a good cat story, New York Times bestselling author Michael Korda and his wife Margaret Korda recount their lives as "cat people," beginning with Margaret's passion for cats (and Michael's reluctant mid-life transformation into a cat person), and introducing readers to a hilarious assortment of people whose life revolves--often to an extraordinary degree--around their cat, or cats, from Cleopatra a transatlantic traveler who found happiness in Paris to Wally, the epitome of feline dignity. Here are people who just can't say no to another cat, who "world-travel" with their cat, who build their social life around their cats--and of course the cats themselves, for the Kordas celebrate the beguiling power of cats, including many of their own, who have complemented, complicated and changed their lives together over the years. Here are charming, often hilarious and sometimes sad portraits of such cats as Margaret's beloved Irving, whose favorite abode was the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, and Mumsie, who arrived unexpectedly at the door with her two kittens, and special cats like Jake and the gentle Chutney, as well as "difficult" cats like Chui and poor Mrs. Bumble, and Mr. McT., the bully who found love late in life. Here are graceful cats and cats like Kit-Kat that never look before they jump, in short, countless cats the reader will never forget, even those with many cats of their own.
A Rolls Royce Silver Cloud drove him to airports; the British film industry kowtowed to his power; the great Hollywood studios fawned at his feet. Sir Alexander Korda, one of the world's most flamboyant movie tycoons, rose from obscurity in rural Hungary to become a legendary filmmaker. With him were his brothers, Zoltan and Vincent, all living charmed lives in circles that included H. G. Wells, Sir Lawrence Olivier, Marlena Dietrich, Vivien Leigh, and Merle Oberon, who was soon to be Alex's wife. But along with Alex's flair for success was an equally powerful impulse for destruction. Now, Vincent's son, Michael Korda, in the first book of his memoirs, recalls the enchanted figures of his childhood...the glory days of the Korda brothers' great films...and then their heartbreaking, tragic end.
In Clouds of Glory: The Life and Legend of Robert E. Lee, Michael Korda, the New York Times bestselling biographer of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ulysses S. Grant, and T. E. Lawrence, has written the first major biography of Lee in nearly twenty years, bringing to life America's greatest and most iconic hero. Korda paints a vivid and admiring portrait of Lee as a general and a devoted family man who, though he disliked slavery and was not in favor of secession, turned down command of the Union army in 1861 because he could not "draw his sword" against his own children, his neighbors, and his beloved Virginia. He was surely America's preeminent military leader, as calm, dignified, and commanding a presence in defeat as he was in victory. Lee's reputation has only grown in the 150 years since the Civil War, and Korda covers in groundbreaking detail all of Lee's battles and traces the making of a great man's undeniable reputation on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line, positioning him finally as the symbolic martyr-hero of the Southern Cause.
With his inimitable sense of humor and storytelling talent, New York Times bestselling author Michael Korda brings us this charming, hilarious, self-deprecating memoir of a city couple's new life in the country.At once entertaining, canny, and moving, Country Matters does for Dutchess County, New York, what Under the Tuscan Sun did for Tuscany. This witty memoir, replete with Korda's own line drawings, reads like a novel, as it chronicles the author's transformation from city slicker to full-time country gentleman, complete with tractors, horses, and a leaking roof.When he decides to take up residence in an eighteenth-century farmhouse in Dutchess County, ninety miles north of New York City, Korda discovers what country life is really like:Owning pigs, more than owning horses, even more than owning the actual house, firmly anchored the Kordas as residents in the eyes of their Pleasant Valley neighbors. You may own your land, but without concertina barbed wire, or the 82nd Airborne on patrol, it's impossible to keep people off it! It's possible to line up major household repairs over a tuna melt sandwich. And everyone in the area is fully aware that Michael "don't know shit about septics." The locals are not particularly quick to accept these outsiders, and the couple's earliest interactions with their new neighbors provide constant entertainment, particularly when the Kordas discover that hunting season is a year-round event -- right on their own land! From their closest neighbors, mostly dairy farmers, to their unforgettable caretaker Harold Roe -- whose motto regarding the local flora is "Whack it all back! " -- the residents of Pleasant Valley eventually come to realize that the Kordas are more than mere weekenders. Sure to have readers in stitches, this is a book that has universal appeal for all who have ever dreamed of owning that perfect little place to escape to up in the country, or, more boldly, have done it.
Felicia Lisle and Robert Vane--she the Oscar-winning star of the world's greatest epic motion picture, he the greatest English actor--are the perfect couple, until Vane's moody genius and Felicia's private demons begin to tear them apart.
Michael Korda's Hero is the story of an epic life on a grand scale: a revealing, in-depth, and gripping biography of the extraordinary, mysterious, and dynamic Englishman whose daring exploits and romantic profile--including his blond, sun-burnished good looks and flowing white robes--made him an object of intense fascination, still famous the world over as "Lawrence of Arabia." An Oxford scholar and archaeologist, one of five illegitimate sons of a British aristocrat who ran away with his daughters' governess, Lawrence was sent to Cairo as a young intelligence officer in 1916. He vanished into the desert in 1917 only to emerge later as one of the greatest-and certainly most colorful-figures of World War One. Though a foreigner, he played a leading and courageous part in uniting the Arab tribes to defeat the Turks, and eventually capture Damascus, transforming himself into a world-famous hero, hailed as "the Uncrowned King of Arabia." In illuminating Lawrence's achievements, Korda digs further than anyone before him to expose the flesh-and-blood man and his contradictory nature. Here was a born leader who was utterly fearless and seemingly impervious to pain, thirst, fatigue, and danger, yet who remained shy, sensitive, mod-est, and retiring; a hero who turned down every honor and decoration offered to him, and was racked by moral guilt and doubt; a scholar and an aesthete who was also a bold and ruthless warrior; a writer of genius-the author of Seven Pillars of Wisdom, one of the greatest books ever written about war-who was the virtual inventor of modern insurgency and guerrilla warfare; a man who at the same time sought and fled the limelight, and who found in friendships, with everyone from Winston Churchill to George Bernard and Charlotte Shaw, from Nancy Astor to NoËl Coward, a substitute for sexual feelings that he rigorously-even brutally and systematically-repressed in himself. As Korda shows in his brilliantly readable and formidably authoritative biography, Lawrence was not only a man of his times; he was a visionary whose accomplishments-farsighted diplomat and kingmaker, military strategist of genius, perhaps the first modern "media celebrity" (and one of the first victims of it), and an acclaimed writer-transcended his era. Korda examines Lawrence's vision for the modern Middle East-plans that, had they been carried through, might have prevented the hatred and bloodshed that have become ubiquitous in the region. Ultimately, as this magisterial work demonstrates, Lawrence remains one of the most unique and fascinating figures of modern times, the arch-hero whose life is at once a triumph and a sacrifice and whose capacity to astonish still remains undimmed.
In Horse Housekeeping, Margaret and Michael Korda (she is a successful novice- and training-level eventer and he is the author of Horse People) provide everything you need to know to set up a barn of your own and care for your horse (or horses) at home. Authoritative, inspirational, highly accessible, full of common sense and down-to-earth advice, all of it based on twenty-five years of experience, the Kordas' book is a basic resource for anybody who wants to keep horses in a safe, content, healthy, and cost-effective way at home, from detailed lists of things you need to have on hand to the basic (and not so basic) dos and don'ts of horse care. Divided into such useful chapters as "Fencing and Paddocks," "The Barn Routine," "The Care of the Horse," "People," "Feeding and Caring for the Horse," "Tack," "Horse Clothing," "Equipment," and "Care for the Aging Horse," it is helpfully illustrated and written in a voice that is at once informative, supportive, and full of funny (and not so funny) stories about horse housekeeping. The Kordas offer a unique and reliable guide to horse care that not only will be invaluable to beginner and experienced horse owners alike, but also is astonishingly readable. They take you through the steps of deciding if having a horse barn is practical for you, including helpful suggestions on space-saving barn designs, creating pastures, building fences, sample exercise routines, the right feed, the basics of horse health care, and the equipment needed for both horse care and property maintenance. This detailed, user-friendly compendium of down-home wisdom, entertaining stories, and straightforward horse sense will help you to set up a barn the right way, so you will have time to actually ride your horse.
Bestselling author Michael Korda's Horse People is the story -- sometimes hilariously funny, sometimes sad and moving, always shrewdly observed -- of a lifetime love affair with horses, and of the bonds that have linked humans with horses for more than ten thousand years. It is filled with intimate portraits of the kind of people, rich or poor, Eastern or Western, famous or humble, whose lives continue to revolve around the horse. Korda is a terrific storyteller, and his book is intensely personal and seductive, a joy for everyone who loves horses. Even those who have never ridden will be happy to saddle up and follow him through the world of horses, horse people, and the riding life.
Ike is acclaimed author Michael Korda's sweeping and enthralling biography of Dwight David Eisenhower, arguably America's greatest general and one of her best presidents--a remarkable man in an extraordinary time, the hero who won the war and thereafter kept the peace.
The Hungarian Revolution of 1956 was perhaps the most dramatic single event of the Cold War and a major turning point in history. Though it ended unsuccessfully, the spontaneous uprising of Hungarians against their country's Communist party and the Soviet occupation forces in the wake of Stalin's death demonstrated to the world at large the failure of Communism. In full view of the Western media--and therefore the world--the Russians were obliged to use force on a vast scale to subdue armed students, factory workers, and intellectuals in the streets of a major European capital. In October 1956, Michael Korda and three fellow Oxford undergraduates traveled to Budapest in a beat-up Volkswagen to bring badly needed medicine to the hospitals--and to participate, at street level, in one of the great battles of the postwar era. Journey to a Revolution is at once history and a compelling memoir--the author's riveting account of the course of the revolution, from its heroic beginnings to the sad martyrdom of its end.
As seen through the annual bestseller lists of Publishers Weekly
Although prostate cancer is a disease that strikes nearly 200,000 men every year, it is a disease that has been shrouded in silence, in part because it strikes at the very core of masculine identity. But in Man to Man, bestselling author Michael Korda breaks that silence, turning the story of his illness and recovery into a candid and instructive book that speaks not only to every man and woman whose life has been touched by prostate cancer but to everyone who lives in fear of it.With unsparing frankness, Korda describes how he survived the ordeal of prostate surgery and its painful and humiliating aftereffects. He tells us how tumors are graded, evaluates different treatments, and makes sense of prostate cancer's mystifying "numbers." Practical, immensely readable, filled with information, and, above all, hopeful, Man to Man is literally a life-saver.From the Trade Paperback edition.
The purpose of this book is to show you how to use, recognize and live with power, and to convince you that the world you live in is a challenge and a game, and that a sense of power--your power--is at the core of it.
A lavishly illustrated edition of Michael Korda's acclaimed biography of the man who ended the Civil War, served two terms as president, and wrote one of the most successful military memoirs in American literature Ulysses S. Grant was the first officer since George Washington to become a four-star general in the United States Army, and the only president between Andrew Jackson and Woodrow Wilson to serve eight consecutive years in the White House. In this succinct and vivid biography, newly conceived with twenty-four pages of full-color art and many black-and-white illustrations throughout, Michael Korda offers a dramatic reconsideration of the man, his life, and his presidency. Ulysses S. Grant is an evenhanded and stirring portrait of a flawed leader who nevertheless ably guided the United States through a pivotal juncture in its history.
Grant said: I read but few lives of great men because biographers do not, as a rule, tell enough about the formative period of life. What I want to know is what a man did as a boy." Yet, we do not know a lot about the genuine boyhood of Ulyses Simpson Grant. Corda tells us why and provides a readable and interesting biography of this U.S. President and famous General. This book is part of the Immenint Lives series.
In the summer of 1940, fewer than three thousand young fighter pilots of the Royal Air Force stood between Hitler and the victory that seemed almost within his grasp. In this superb history of three epic months that saved the world, Michael Korda brilliantly re-creates the intensity of combat in "the long, delirious, burning blue" of the sky above southern England--while tracing, perhaps for the first time, the entire complex web of political, diplomatic, scientific, industrial, and human decisions during the 1930s that inexorably led to the world's first, greatest, and most decisive air battle. With Wings Like Eagles brings to vivid life the extraordinary men and women on both sides of the conflict--from Winston Churchill, Neville Chamberlain, and Reichsmarschall Hermann GÖring to the ground crews, the German pilots, the American volunteers, and the courageous airmen and airwomen of the RAF.