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Citizen Hughes: The Power, the Money and the Madness of the Man portrayed in the Movie THE AVIATOR

3.74  ·  Rating Details  ·  190 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio in the Martin Scorsese movie The Aviator, Howard Hughes is legendary as a playboy and pilot—but he is notorious for what he became: the ultimate mystery man. Citizen Hughes is the New York Times bestselling exposé of Hughes’s hidden life, and a stunning revelation of his “megalomaniac empire in the emperor’s own words” (Newsweek).

At the heigh
Paperback, 544 pages
Published November 2nd 2004 by Broadway Books (first published January 1st 1985)
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This book covers a narrow time period, the Vegas years (1966-1970) and the immediate aftermath, and is based largely on memos stolen from Hughes's Romaine Street headquarters in 1974. Drosnin also wrote The Bible Code, that's not a good sign, but still, this book is valuable for direct, extensive quoting of Hughes memos from the relevant time frame. Many of the memos are between Hughes and Bob Maheu. Drosnin is pretty hard on the Mormons.

Best/unique things about this book: Most detailed coverag
When I was a really little kid one of my brothers brought home a Mad Magazine. I picked it up and read it. I was intrigued with a page called "What's Inside Howard Hughes' Wallet". There was a picture of a man with a pencil thin moustache with a long black rectangle over his eyes. I thought about this strange man who some people believed was actually dead. I wondered what he did in his self-imposed seclusion.

Over the years I've picked up biographies of Howard Hughes but they only focused on his
Oct 28, 2009 Jamie rated it liked it
This may sound stupid...but a bio of Howard Hughes is kind of a downer....the political info on how he was involved with Johnson and Nixon is great...but overall I can only take so much crazy.
Klaus Metzger
Apr 16, 2015 Klaus Metzger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: klaus
Selten ist eine Biographie abenteuerlicher und mysteriöser als die von Howard Hughes. Hughes kontrollierte mit seinem Imperium von Firmen, seinen Kontakten zu den Geheimdiensten, zu Politik und zur Mafia zeitweilig die amerikanische Öffentlichkeit. Mithilfe tausender handgeschriebener Aufzeichnungen regierte er sein Reich.
Ich bin auf Howard Hughes über sein ausgestelltes großes Wasserflugzeug "Sprooze Goose" 1985 (in der Nähe der Queen Mary I) in Long Beach/USA aufmerksam geworden. Seit 1992 ste
Dec 01, 2013 Brian rated it liked it
Read the first third, then toss it aside. The first third is riveting. The last two thirds are torture....
Mar 29, 2015 Brandon rated it liked it
Shelves: books-read-2015
In the cannon of Howard Hughes bios this book is highly regarded because it's. source is derived from the many memos Howard Hughes wrote to his various minions on the yellow legal tabs that he was never without. Basically the book claims to be Hughes story in his own words and for the most part it is. The trouble is that the book is not a complete story of this iconic American it is only the last part of his extraordinary life; and than only a small part of those years.

It book focuses during th
Elijah Christopher
I'll begin by saying that Drosnin is an exceptional author, he kept me pulled in and loving the story of Howard Hughes. His style and dynamic were impressive. From Howard Hughes we can learn this: People seem to always be looking for power in order to get things done. So they work to obtain that power. This is good, but where do we go after having obtained that power, being in any form, (knowledge, military, intelligence, wisdom, etc.), where do we go from there. Hughes' downfall was that he had ...more
Oct 25, 2013 Luke rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Well, a disappointment. I had thought that after Barlett and Steele's compendium on Howard Hughes, Drosnin's book would provide a bit of light relief in a kind of SHOCK! HORROR! way.

Unfortunately, given that it focuses solely on the part of Hughes's life where he was writing a lot of notes (or dictating them to his Mormon minions) it comes across as kind of flabby and boring. There's a lot of he-said, no-he-didn't back-and-forth that ends up removing the shocking nature of Hughes's decline. The
Charlene Gordon
Aug 16, 2014 Charlene Gordon rated it it was amazing
Awesome book! I worked for Hughes Aircraft for many years and knew people that had met Hughes. I found this history of his time in Las Vegas fascinating. It was amazing that such a brilliant and charismatic man could go so far over the edge. Seeing so much of the book in Hughes' own handwriting gave it an extra look into the man. Well worth reading if you can find it.
Bill Hurlbut
Jul 15, 2015 Bill Hurlbut rated it liked it
I need a shower. In the past few years I have read some books about politics that made me cringe, but this one made me wonder whether this particular field of human endeavor will ever achieve the noble ends we commoners seem to wish for it. Here we get the tale of how Hughes applied his vast wealth to self-serving political ends. He set out to purchase a President and he succeeded with Richard Nixon, whose grasp of ethics and morals was subservient to his craving for power. The mess this ultimat ...more
Nov 22, 2013 Ted rated it it was amazing
Hughes must be one of the most fascinating people to ever live. This superbly-written book opens a window into his truly bizarre life. But that's just one side of the book. The reader also learns many little-known details about Watergate and the politics of the late 60s/early 70s. The author presents a compelling case that Hughes unwittingly played a very significant part in the Watergate scandal.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Hughes or Watergate. However, I would also reco
David Nichols
Very fascinating book. The fact that it is composed of the man's own words gives a unique insight into his psychosis and how it was closely tied to the events of his day.
Jul 22, 2016 Linda rated it really liked it
This book was similar to watching a train wreck. You couldn't take your eyes away even if you didn't want to "see" the results. This was an intriguing book about the political workings of the 1970's and of the mental issues with Hughes.
Apr 10, 2009 Angie rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who like to read huge thick books about crazy people with lots of money
Having a lot of money not only does not make you happy, it can stop people from telling you the things they need to tell you to keep you from going absolutely bat-shit insane.

However it can help you control a vast empire from a completely blackened filthy vegas hotel room.

And Howard Hughes loved Mormons. At least he loved having them as servants.
Steve Higgins
May 31, 2016 Steve Higgins rated it it was amazing
A fascinating look at the later life of Howard Hughes. I just wonder what happened to his Mormon aides who robbed and manipulated him?
Daniel Klein
Jan 10, 2008 Daniel Klein rated it really liked it
Who knew Howard Hughes was this involved in politics and world events. A wonderful way to see how government was run and who had the power in the 50's, 60's and 70's. This is a critical book of hughes, but the content can be connected to many men of the time and today.
May 14, 2007 Josh rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: booksread
Wow, wow and wow again! Every American should read this book if they desire to fully understand the catalyst behind Watergate, as well as the mysteries of a very wealthy man who held the world at his fingertips, while his mind went steadily by the wayside.
Dec 02, 2007 Jan rated it really liked it
What a better place to learn about someone than from their own writing. Howard Hughes own handwritten notes are used the basis to tell the story of this bizaree and reclusive man, who, by virtue of his wealth held great power in his hands.
Jan 09, 2010 Steven rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book, though it was a bit creepy. Gave new context to the impetus behind the Watergate break-in, as well as nice insight into the psyche of this very disturbed individual.
Nov 30, 2010 Melissa rated it really liked it
While I read this book such a long time ago, I can't really comment on how well the book was written, I do remember clearly that it was a fascinating book. A must read for any Las Vegan.
Brian Leach
Oct 14, 2013 Brian Leach rated it liked it
Lots of details in this book that I had never heard about Howard Hughes. My gripe is the author's writing ability. In parts it is downright atrocious.
Transgender Bathroom
If you'd like to know what I thought of this book, please contact me directly and I'd be happy to discuss it with you.

All the best,

- TB
Apr 22, 2008 Arwen rated it it was amazing
Luckiest reporter on earth stumbles upon storage unit filled with every last one of Howard Hughes' secret memos. Fantastic!
mary brand
Jun 07, 2009 mary brand rated it liked it
Liked it but got bored half way through, maybe will pick it up later
Eric Kane
Nov 02, 2012 Eric Kane rated it it was amazing
An incredible look into the secretive life of Howard Hughes!
Kevin Wellen
Jun 02, 2008 Kevin Wellen rated it liked it
An interesting read from a very different perspective.
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KATHLEEN FOULK rated it it was amazing
Aug 15, 2016
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Aug 09, 2016
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Aug 06, 2016
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