Description

From Donald Bogle, the award-winning author of Hollywood Black and leading authority on Black cinema history, this is a first-of-its-kind comprehensive and lavish biography of Hollywood’s first African American movie goddess.

Lena Horne’s life and career are truly remarkable in American film history. She was the first Black performer to become a true star—to receive the kind of glamour treatment at the fabled MGM that the studio had previously given to the likes of Greta Garbo, Jean Harlow, Lana Turner, and Ava Gardner. At the same time, Horne dealt with endless indignities, not the least of which was the fact that her roles in films was often as a musical performer, which allowed her numbers to be easily stripped out of films without affecting the narrative when played to audiences that would find her presence undesirable.

At long last, Lena Horne: Goddess Reclaimed gives the star her due. Through a highly informed and insightful narrative based on interviews, press accounts, studio archives, and decades of research, the book sheds new light on the star’s compelling life and complicated career: her activism; her accomplishments and heady triumphs in movies, television, and nightclubs as she broke down long-standing barriers for Black individuals—especially Black women—and her solemn, sometimes bitter disappointments, both professional and personal. Illustrated by stunning photos (some published for the first time), this is the ultimate book on the icon.

What's Inside

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Praise

“Bogle offers up a lush portrait of Horne . . . accompanied by stunning photographs in this coffee table-style book that allows for never-before-published images of Horne to shine.”
  —Entertainment Weekly
"A richly detailed depiction of the life of singer and actress Lena Horne . . . Using archival interviews and newspaper articles, Bogle presents fascinating details about Horne’s personal and professional lives, including her fierce political and social activism as she handled racism in Hollywood and later took part in the civil rights movement . . .  An immensely enjoyable and comprehensive look at one of the most glamorous stars of her time." —Library Journal
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