Motown: Music, Money, Sex, and Power
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Motown: Music, Money, Sex, and Power

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  89 ratings  ·  10 reviews
In 1959, twenty-nine-year-old Berry Gordy, who had already given up on his dream to be a champion boxer, borrowed eight hundred dollars from his family and started a record company. A run-down bungalow sandwiched between a funeral home and a beauty shop in a poor Detroit neighborhood served as his headquarters. The building’s entrance was adorned with a large sign that imp...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published October 11th 2005 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published 2002)
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Elaine
A highly fascinating subject, and Posner unearths some goodies, but unfortunately, he writes like an investigative journalist and not a literary one. He does not build suspense well and fails to weave the FASCINATING characters together with much depth; rather, he seems to feel like he has a laundry list of Motown dysfunction to go through with each person he covers, from Temptations lead singer David Ruffin to spurned Supreme Flo Ballard. I wish instead, Posner could re-create what it would hav...more
Jeff Crosby
Gerald Posner's book was hard to put down, but not always for good reasons. The book made very plain that the "family feeling" Motown Music attempted to convey to the public was largely a mirage, especially after the mid-60s. His work may also make it hard to ever listen to Diana Ross's music again without pausing to consider how self-absorbed she was both durng the era with the Supremes and throughout her solo career. A fascinating tale of a man who started something with a few hundred dollars...more
Barbara
After seeing Motown the Musical I wanted to learn more about Motown and it's history.
Lindsay
I really enjoyed this book it was a lot of fun to read! Did I believe everything I read in this book ? NO! Was it a blast to read about Diana Ross allegedly trying to run over one of the Marvelette's with her car ...YES!
Pat
Read this book because I live in the Detroit area and am a fan of Gerald Posner, particularly his Case Closed book on the JFK assassination. Plenty of juicy gossip about Motown stars.

Posner is out of his depth when writing about music. He lacks a certain appreciation for how these songs changed American pop culture. Still, the book is useful if you haven't read any others, and could be revelatory for the younger generation unfamiliar with the various Motown stars and their early days.
Susanne
Fascinating!
Frank Taranto
A very interesting look at Motown from it's beginnings to it's end. The book focuses on Berry Gordy, as it should.
I was surprised by how much Gordy shortchanged his artists on the financial side.
Michael Karol
Good reporting but, honestly, not enough backstage gossip, which is why I bought it. Motown's my favorite music, and this doesn't really add any insights, except financial ones.
Aeron
Not stellar, but a good book that showcased some of the behind-the-scenes drama that went on during the heyday of the iconic record label.
Tasha
This book made me look at Motown in a totally different way. If the play/movie Dreamgirls were a book, this would be it.
Richard
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Jul 07, 2014
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Lots of insight 1 3 Mar 12, 2008 07:58PM  
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Gerald Posner (b. 1954) is a renowned investigative journalist. Born in San Francisco, California, he attended the University of California, Berkeley, and went on to a career in law. Posner earned international acclaim with Case Closed (1993), an exhaustive account of the Kennedy assassination that debunked many conspiracy theories. Case Closed was a finalist for the Pulitzer for history. Posner h...more
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