Charlie Chaplin and His Times

By Kenneth S. Lynn
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21.27 Hours 01/01/2006 unabridged
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With the psychologically penetrating insight that marked his award-winning Hemingway, Kenneth Lynn probes beneath the mystique of the “Little Tramp,” the first true worldwide celebrity. This landmark, full-scale biography reveals the inner man whose unmatched comic genius masked a complex, sometimes tragic life. Lynn delves into Chaplin’s childhood and family, as well as his early appearances on the stages of English music halls and his inspired creation of the silent screen’s most memorable and beloved character, the Tramp, who spoke—in pantomime—to millions, making Chaplin the most famous man in the world. Lynn also examines Chaplin’s often controversial relationships with four wives and a slew of mistresses and his associations with British music hall impresario Fred Karno and silent screen star and pal Douglas Fairbanks. He addresses Chaplin’s political influences and convictions and brings a keen, critical intelligence to the meaning to Chaplin’s films to illuminate his elusive genius. Presenting new and deeper understanding of both the bright and dark sides of this extraordinary man, Charlie Chaplin and His Times is a towering achievement.

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Summary

Summary

With the psychologically penetrating insight that marked his award-winning Hemingway, Kenneth Lynn probes beneath the mystique of the “Little Tramp,” the first true worldwide celebrity. This landmark, full-scale biography reveals the inner man whose unmatched comic genius masked a complex, sometimes tragic life.

Lynn delves into Chaplin’s childhood and family, as well as his early appearances on the stages of English music halls and his inspired creation of the silent screen’s most memorable and beloved character, the Tramp, who spoke—in pantomime—to millions, making Chaplin the most famous man in the world. Lynn also examines Chaplin’s often controversial relationships with four wives and a slew of mistresses and his associations with British music hall impresario Fred Karno and silent screen star and pal Douglas Fairbanks. He addresses Chaplin’s political influences and convictions and brings a keen, critical intelligence to the meaning to Chaplin’s films to illuminate his elusive genius.

Presenting new and deeper understanding of both the bright and dark sides of this extraordinary man, Charlie Chaplin and His Times is a towering achievement.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“An enormous, often fascinating, prodigiously researched book that goes off in all directions in search of the man behind the myth.” New York Times Book Review
“Comprehensive…the book provides a vivid portrait…Lynn’s book is a splendid popular biography, witty, engaging, and informative.” Publishers Weekly
“Chaplin’s life is truly an enormous subject, embracing, as it does, the rapid rise of the movie industry, issues of censorship, the birth of Communism and the virulent anti-Communist backlash, and all manner of familial and gender-based conflicts, and Lynn does a magisterial job of knitting it all together, allowing Chaplin to emerge as fresh and evocative as the Little Tramp in his first incarnation.” Booklist (starred review)
“Lynn deftly interweaves Chaplin’s life with the events and personalities of his era…Lynn has done meticulous research…All a biography should be, this is enthusiastically recommended.” Library Journal
“Accomplished and highly readable…has all the pacing, sense of character, and narrative verve of a good novel.” Kirkus Reviews
“Without a trace of either sentimental indulgence, polemical animus, or academic obfuscation, Kenneth Lynn puts before us both the creative genius and the inner coldness of the greatest and most paradoxical figure that the movies have seen… combine[s] diligent research, aesthetic discrimination, broad historical understanding, and psychological shrewdness…The definitive biography of Charlie Chaplin.” Frederick Crews,, author of The Memory Wars
“A compelling study in paradox: foremost in Chaplin himself, the authoritarian man of the people, but also in the guady world and brutal times Chaplin brought radiantly to life…social history at its controversial, provocative best…[A] superb biography.” Brenda Wineapple, author of Sister Brother: Gertrude and Leo Stein

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Kenneth S. Lynn

Kenneth S. Lynn is the Arthur O. Lovejoy Professor Emeritus of History at Johns Hopkins University. Previously he had been a professor of English and chairman of the American Civilization Program at Harvard University, where he obtained his BA, MA, and PhD degrees. The author of Mark Twain and Southwestern Humor and William Dean Howells: An American Life, he won the Los Angeles Times Book Award for biography in 1987 for Hemingway. He lives with his wife in Washington, DC, and is the father of three children.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/Drama/Performing Arts
Runtime: 21.27
Audience: Adult
Language: English