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The Good Frenchman: The True Story of the Life and Times of Maurice… (1993)
von Edward Behr
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"To the rest of the world, he was France." "Suave, sophisticated, and a renowned lover, Maurice Chevalier was a legend - the ultimate embodiment of romance in the most romantic country in the world." "Now, Edward Behr, distinguished journalist and author of The Last Emperor, Hirohito, and Kiss the Hand You Cannot Bite, delves behind the legend to tell the story of a fascinating and complex man as well as of an even more complex and extraordinary era." "Mr. Behr captures every dimension of Chevalier's roller-coaster life: his childhood in a Paris slum; his ascension to the international entertainment pantheon; the political controversies that he was embroiled in at middle age; the late, great successes; and his embittered last days." "Here is the dashing vaudeville performer who was catapulted into Hollywood superstardom in the early 1930s as the world's number one heartthrob, with a private life to match his screen image. Here, too, is the fading star in France during World War II, accused, amid great controversy, of collaborating with the Nazis and, ironically, later blacklisted in the United States in the 1950s for supposedly having communist sympathies." "We then watch a vindicated Chevalier returning to America to enjoy perhaps his greatest success of all time in the hit movie musical Gigi. Ultimately, we observe his final haunted years - almost a summation of the dark side of a personality writ large on the stages and silver screen of modern times." "Much more than merely a chronicle of a show-business giant, The Good Frenchman tells the story of a country whose personality, tragedies, and triumphs seem to parallel the life and career of one of its most famous sons. This is not just the history of a song-and-dance man but the history of French music-hall tradition. It is not merely the story of a movie star but a chronicle of the early days of Hollywood, with all its bombast and extravagance and cruelty. It is not only the tale of one man who lived through two wars, political persecution, and extraordinary social upheaval; it is a social and political study, definitively portraying the scope and breadth of life in twentieth-century France." "Edward Behr's The Good Frenchman is entertainment of the top order as well as a work of historical and psychological distinction."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
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