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When Hollywood Had a King When Hollywood Had a King When Hollywood Had a King
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When Hollywood Had a King When Hollywood Had a King When Hollywood Had a King

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  58 ratings  ·  8 reviews
In "When Hollywood Had a King, " the distinguished journalist Connie Bruck tells the sweeping story of MCA and its brilliant leader, a man who transformed the entertainment industry-businessman, politician, tactician, and visionary Lew Wasserman. The Music Corporation of America was founded in Chicago in 1924 by Dr. Jules Stein, an ophthalmologist with a gift for bookingba...more
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Published June 3rd 2003 by Random House (first published January 1st 2003)
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Alex
I waited a long time to read this, and thoroughly enjoyed it. There are other Wasserman bios, but I'm pretty confident this is the best. The prose feels measured and authoritative. As I remarked to a friend, it's too bad The Mob hasn't opened its archives, yet. Then Bruck wd have had all the info at hand. Nick Tosches has his own, mesmerizing take on Sidney Korshak & Co., but, well, props to Bruck for taking a slightly straighter approach. No endnotes or footnotes, and I must say: I'm enviou...more
Donna
My mother once said that a handful of men or people run the world. After reading this book…I have proof! Lew Wasserman sure did in his time!

He even made a President – Ronald Reagan. Lew aligned himself with the Mob, Hollywood (his reinvented version away from the moguls) and Washington.

Shrewd, never wrote anything done, stayed out of the public eye and was a total shark in business. Not someone I would ever wanted to know. And apparently he didn’t have friends. Although his friendship with Alfr...more
Timothy Hallinan
A fascinating look at the only Hollywood executive who could claim to have wielded power equal to that of the early moguls -- Mayer, Schenck, Zukor, Thalberg, Warner, etc. The problem with the book is its subject. Both Wasserman and his mentor, Jules Stein, were ice-cold, incredibly opaque, immensely secretive (especially about their mob ties, which are detailed in Gus Russo's blistering SUPERMOB). Here's how cold Stein was: his daughter, Jean, wanted desperately an antique music box on his desk...more
Chris
Lew Wasserman may have been the "King of Hollywood" in terms of business deals, but there is nothing in this book about filmmaking or the people who made movies during his career. People like Bette Davis, Jimmy Stewart, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg are only briefly mentioned.
Bucky K.
I'm not sure if I would recommend this book to people who aren't interested in the wheelings and dealings of Hollywood. I found it to be incredibly thorough and amazing. Lew Wasserman essentially ran Hollywood for many years... and this is his biography.
Patricia
Must read for anyone interested in the marriage of media and politics.
Sergio GRANDE films
An exceptionally interesting and unusual life turned into an average book.
Doug
We learn from history.
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