Leap of Faith is the dramatic and inspiring story of an American woman's remarkable journey into the heart of a man and his nation.
Born into a distinguished Arab-American family and raised amid privilege, Lisa Halaby joined the first freshman class at Princeton to accept women, graduating in 1974 with a degree in architecture and urban planning. Two years later, while visiting her father in Jordan, she was casually introduced on the airport runway to King Hussein. Widely admired in the Arab world as a voice of moderation, and for his direct lineage to the prophet Muhammad, Hussein would soon become the world's most eligible bachelor after the tragic death of his wife. The next time they met, Hussein would fall headlong in love with the athletic, outspoken daughter of his longtime friend. After a whirlwind, secret courtship Lisa Halaby became Noor Al Hussein, Queen of Jordan.
With eloquence and candor, Queen Noor speaks of the obstacles she faced as a naive young bride in the royal court, of rebelling against the smothering embrace of security guards and palace life, and of her own successful struggle to create a working role as a humanitarian activist In a court that simply expected Noor to keep her husband happy. As she gradually took on the mantle of a queen, Noor's joys and challenges grew. After a heartbreaking miscarriage, she gave birth to four children. Meshing the demands of motherhood with the commitments of her position often proved difficult, but she tried to keep her young children by her side, even while flying the world with her husband in his relentless quest for peace. This mission would reap satisfying rewards, including greater Arab unity and a peace treaty with Israel, and suffer such terrible setbacks as the Gulf War and the assassination of Prime Minister Rabin.
Leap of Faith is a remarkable document. It is the story of a young American woman who became wife and partner to an Arab monarch. It provides a compelling portrait of the late King Hussein and his lifelong effort to bring peace to his wartorn region, and an insider's view of the growing gulf between the United States and the Arab nations. It is also the refreshingly candid story of a mother coming to terms with the demands the king's role as a world statesman placed on her family's private life. But most of all it is a love storythe intimate account of a woman who lost her heart to a king, and to his people.
Hollywood has given us no greater director than John Ford. Between 1917 and 1970, Ford directed and/or produced some 226 pictures, from short silent films to ambitious historical epics and searingly vivid combat documentaries. His major works-- such as "Stagecoach," "The Grapes of Wrath," "How Green Was My Valley," "They Were Expendable," "The Quiet Man," "The Searchers," and" The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance"-- are cinematic classics. Ford's films about American history are profound explorations of the national character and the crucibles in which that character was forged. Throughout his long and prolific career, Ford became best known for redefining the Western genre, setting his dramas about pioneer life against the timeless backdrop of Monument Valley.
Ford's films earned him worldwide admiration. As a man, however he was tormented and deliberately enigmatic. He concealed his true personality from the public, presenting himself as an illiterate hack rather than as the sensitive artist his films show him to be. He shrewdly guided the careers of some of Hollywood's greatest stars, including John Wayne, Henry Fonda, James Stewart, Maureen O'Hara, and Katharine Hepburn, but he could be abusive, even sadistic, in his treatment of actors. He began his life steeped in the lore of Irish independence and progressive politics; by the end a hawkish Republican and rear admiral in the U.S. Navy, he was lionized by Richard Nixon for creating films that extol the "old virtues" of heroism, duty, and patriotism. Little wonder that those who have written about Ford have either strained to reconcile the daunting paradoxes of his work and personality or avoided them entirely. They have printed the legend and ignored the facts-- or printed the facts and obscured the legend.
In its depth, originality, and insight, "Searching for John Ford" surpasses all previous biographies of the filmmaker. Encompassing and illuminating Ford's complexities and contradictions, Joseph McBride comes as close as anyone ever will to solving what Andrew Sarris called the "John Ford movie mystery." McBride traces the whole trajectory of Ford's life, from his beginning as "Bull" Feeney, the near-sighted, football-playing son of Irish immigrants in Portland, Maine, through to his establishment as America's most formidable and protean filmmaker. The author of critically acclaimed biographies of Frank Capra and Steven Spielberg, McBride interviewed Ford in 1970 and co-wrote the seminal study "John Ford" with Michael Wilmington. For more than thirty years, McBride has been exploring the interconnections between Ford's inner life and his work. He interviewed more than 120 of the director's friends, relatives, collaborators, and colleagues. Blending lively and penetrating analyses of Ford's films with an impeccably documented narrative of the historical and psychological contexts in which those films were created, McBride has at long last given John Ford the biography his stature demands." Searching for John Ford" will stand as the definitive portrait of an American genius.
Sir John Gielgud's acting career was among the most distinguished of his generation. In a lifetime that lasted nearly a century, he appeared in hundreds of theatrical productions and films, receiving virtually every acting honor given, including an Academy Award for his performance as Hobson the butler in the film Arthur. Now, in this insightful authorized biography, written with unprecedented access to Gielgud's diaries and personal letters, author Sheridan Morley traces not only the actor's career, but gives a refreshingly frank look into Gielgud the man, and how his professional success as an actor often came at the expense of his personal happiness.
Here is the original story of a true original, the celebrated and internationally renowned director, playwright and screenwriter Arthur Laurents, whose creative genius continues to energize American stage and screen today. Say his name, and images of West Side Story, Gypsy, Anastasia, The Turning Point, and The Way We Were appear. Laurents' highly praised memoir is a dazzling portrait of his life - as he recounts the great moments, the trials and the joys of his incredible career. He takes us into his world, peopled with the creative artists, directors, actors and personalities who came of age in the theatre and in Hollywood after WWII. Later, back in New York, he writes about jump-starting Barbra Streisand's career by casting her in I Can Get It for You Wholesale. He writes about the creation of Gypsy with Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim. And he writes about coming together in a complex, fraught collaboration with his three old pals, Jerome Robbins, Leonard Bernstein and Sondheim for West Side Story. Throughout, Laurents is funny, fierce, and frank - a life recounted as richly as it was lived. "This is a historic work. A 'must' for show biz mavens." - LIZ SMITH, Newsday & Syndicated
I still feel a lot of bitterness. It's been a long time, but to me it was just yesterday. I'll never forgive him. I don't believe the truth has been told. I don't know the truth. None of us knows the truth. It's still a mystery . . . . There was just too
much deception, too much double talk and cover up.
-- Joseph Kopechne, Women's News Service
This then is the real horror of the case. Mary Jo in the
bottom of that upside-down car, wedged in, clawing, clutching and straining for
air and for life in the total blackness at the bottom of Poucha Pond with water
creeping higher and higher. Completely terrified, she waited for help from
Senator Kennedy - who was on the phone seeking help not for Mary Jo, but for
From Death at Chappaquiddick
On July 19, 1969, Senator Edward Kennedy drove off a bridge on
Chappaquiddick Island, leading to the death of his young female companion and,
the authors contend, an extensive cover up to protect Kennedy's political
The Tedrow recreates the unexplained events of that fateful night, examine
the self-admitted panic of a U. S. senator, and point by point puncture
Kennedy's sieve-like account of the tragedy.
The authors' exhaustive investigation produces solid answers to curious
questions. Most damning of all, they present evidence that Kennedy fled the
scene in panic, then spent hours telephoning cronies seeking political
protection while a helpless Mary Jo Kapechne slowly suffocated in a pocket of
air inside the submerged auto.
Richard L. Tedrow served for 17 years as Chief Commissioner of the U. S.
Court of Military Appeal and is the author of the standard reference for U. S.
military court martials. Thomas Tedrow is a freelance writer in Houston, Texas.
Star Trek Memories, William Shatner's personal "Captain's Log," captivated legions of fans with its abundance of backstage lore from their favorite TV show. Now, in Star Trek Movie Memories, Shatner picks up where he left off and advances at warp speed from 1969 to the present, relating in equally explicit detail what went into the making of all six "classic" Star Trek movies, while including on-the-scene reporting from the set of the brand-new film, Star Trek: Generations.
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year"Easily the best book on Orson Welles." --The New Yorker Orson Welles arrived in Hollywood as a boy genius, became a legend with a single perfect film, and then spent the next forty years floundering. But Welles floundered so variously, ingeniously, and extravagantly that he turned failure into "a sustaining tragedy"--his thing, his song. Now the prodigal genius of the American cinema finally has the biographer he deserves. For, as anyone who has read his novels and criticism knows, David Thomson is one of our most perceptive and splendidly opinionated writers on film. In Rosebud, Thomson follows the wild arc of Welles's career, from The War of the Worlds broadcast to the triumph of Citizen Kane, the mixed triumph of The Magnificent Ambersons, and the strange and troubling movies that followed. Here, too, is the unfolding of the Welles persona--the grand gestures, the womanizing, the high living, the betrayals. Thomson captures it all with a critical acumen and stylistic dash that make this book not so much a study of Welles's life and work as a glorious companion piece to them. "Insightful, controversial, and highly readable--Rosebud is biography at its best." --Cleveland Plain Dealer
Bringing together recent essays, classic pieces by Andrew Sarris and James Agee, as well as two Huston short stories and an interview with the filmmaker, this book explores the ideology, social and political backdrop, and vision of the American male in such films as The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and The Maltese Falcon.
Drawing on his own personal experiences and those of others, the author explains how to overcome seemingly insurmountable problems and challenges and advocates living life fully with gratitude, zeal, and curiosity.