Michelle's Reviews > Oprah

Oprah by Kitty Kelley
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's review
May 27, 2010

liked it
Read in May, 2010 — I own a copy

Jezebel referred to this as “stuff you already knew about Oprah” and it’s true, pretty much.

I never read Kitty Kelley’s other books and the subjects of them don’t interest me, so I probably won’t. I did read that she’s well known for not citing her sources, having people she spoke say they never spoke to her or that they never said what she attribute to them, etc.

I know Oprah is upset by this biography but I can’t really see why, to be honest. A lot of it is either public knowledge or common sense. And truth behold, she’s not really painted in that bad of light. Even in moments where Kitty brings up negative things, a smart reader can see the other view point. One case would be when one of Oprah’s foundations fail. Kitty criticized her for not sharing the reason or structure of operations with others but Oprah’s right when she was questioned: It was her foundation, ran by all her own money. If she wants to seal the records, it’s her business.

The biggest theme of the book is that Oprah is a control freak: her weight, her business, her relationships. But again, it makes logical sense if you think it over.

Which brings me to what I think the reasons is she doesn’t want it to get out: Are Oprah followers really thinkers? Are they really the type to read between the lines or form their own opinions? Was Oprah afraid they would read it and turn against her? Who knows, but I think that was the problem.

Or maybe she just didn’t want a biography to be published about her. She pulled her own autobiography in the 90s. Maybe its all part of her struggle between her private and public life.

This book made me like Oprah more. I want her to write a career guide book. She got where she is through hard work, smarts, intuition and luck. And that’s fascinating.

I did go and buy an O Magazine in response to this book. I will say that while Oprah is a little vain to have herself on the cover, that’s what sell. The content itself is not Oprah heavy. It really is smart, deep and fluffly at times. In a world where print is dying and magazines are ignoring books in favor of other media, it’s nice to read a magazine that has a section dedicated to books.

In the end, I think Oprah has many good intentions. She may think less of her audience (and I stress the may) but she certaintly thinks they can be more. I have to admire her for that.

I wouldn’t recommend buying this book at it’s $30 cover price but I did enjoy it.
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