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Hope: Entertainer of the Century

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  741 ratings  ·  143 reviews
The first definitive biography of Bob Hope, featuring exclusive and extensive reporting that makes the persuasive case that he was most important entertainer of the twentieth century.

Born in 1903, and until his death in 2003, Bob Hope was the only entertainer to achieve top-rated success in every major mass-entertainment medium, from vaudeville to television an
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Hardcover, 576 pages
Published November 4th 2014 by Simon Schuster
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Gary Schantz I thought the same thing especially in light of the fact that the book is basically a history of his career and little else. Unfortunately when a man…moreI thought the same thing especially in light of the fact that the book is basically a history of his career and little else. Unfortunately when a man lives 100 years, it does take quite a few pages to cover every step of the way.(less)

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Average rating 3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  741 ratings  ·  143 reviews


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James
Dec 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Zoglin's chronicle of the life and career of comedian Bob Hope is one of the only works, I think, you can find that analyzes and dissects this masterful genius of comedy, without being a totally reverential and partisan portrayal. Hope was not only a genius of comedy timing, acting, and wit, but also an innovator of many parts of comedy's very beginnings as we know them today. There is much here to prove he "invented" the idea and blueprint of stand-up comedy after the demise of vaudeville. He i ...more
Pamela
My parents were consummate Bob Hope fans. Especially my father. When I was fairly young, I remember seeing Bob Hope perform during a dedication event at Stars and Stripes Park in Oklahoma City. Good memories! Too bad I didn't fully appreciate what a grand opportunity it was to see/hear an American legend.

My husband is also an enthusiastic fan of Hope. During the Vietnam war Dail served as a Navy Corpsman, and was fortunate to attend a 1967 USO show in Chu Lai, Vietnam. The key performers were A
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Louis
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the highest compliments I can offer a biography is to say that it made me realize how necessary it was. This occurs when the subject may be well-known but not properly evaluated. Bob Hope is certainly such a figure. If you doubt that, pick up this bio. Zoglin makes an effective argument that Hope is one of the major figures not only of 20th-century entertainment but American cultural history as well. Too many dismiss Hope because his longevity (he lived to the age of 100) caused him to re ...more
Raquel
Jul 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Hope: Entertainer of the Century by Richard Zoglin was a terrific read. It's a long one and there will be some trudging to do especially during the Vietnam War era which is covered extensively in the book. The 500+ pages are well-worth the effort. You'll learn a lot and will be glad you did.

And don't you think that cover is so striking? Bob Hope's profile and ski-slope nose was so iconic! I love this line from Bob Hope:

"It's not true my nose is the way it is as a result o
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Katrina Knittle
Aug 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Received from goodreads.

I was very interested in receiving this book. I have heard of Bob Pope but never knew too much about him. I was so happy to see how thorough this book was on his life and career. The book took me a little time to get through being 500 pages and having other books I was trying to get through. This author did a great job at putting together this work. I can see myself reading more from this author.
Paul Pessolano
Sep 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
“Hope” by Richard Zoglin, published by Simon and Schuster.

Category – Biography Publication Date – November 04, 2014

Most of us know Bob Hope from his Christmas Military Tours where he gave up his holiday with his family to entertain American troops in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Iraq War. Hope’s legacy goes way beyond these tours; he was a standout in vaudeville, radio, TV, and the movies. Hope was a leader and innovator in these mediums.
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Lori
Oct 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
I was a goodreads first reads winner of "Hope:the Entertainer of the Century" this is an advanced reader copy of this book. I found the book a pretty interesting read. I learned a lot about Bob Hope. I liked the way the author set up this biography.The first part is called "the Making of an Entertainer" this part talks about his birth in England and moving the America at four years old. for many years he was known by his birth name of Leslie or Les for short. it also takes us through his work on ...more
Harley
Nov 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I did not grow up a Bob Hope fan — not because I didn't like him but because we did not have a TV in our house and rarely went to movies. Hope was by all rights a significant and important entertainer during the 20th century. He could make people laugh and make them feel better about their lives, even soldiers in the midst of war.

Hope was a successful entertainer in vaudeville, on Broadway, on radio, on television, in movies and at live concerts. He spent his life making people smile
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Malcolm Frawley
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
The tragedy of Bob Hope is that this man, almost certainly the most successful entertainer of the 20th century, is completely unknown to modern audiences. And the author identifies why. Although Hope starred on television for decades during the 50s, 60s, 70s, & even 80s, he specialized in variety shows. He never appeared in, or even flirted with, the sitcom. Through endless repeats many of his contemporaries (Jackie Gleason, Lucille Ball, Jack Benny, etc) have never been off air. But variety ...more
Don
Nov 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
The title of this book is a good choice. From his start in vaudeville in the 1920's through his TV specials that ran into the 1990's no other entertainer had the span of popularity as Bob Hope.

Although he was born in England, his family moved to Cleveland when he was 4 years old. As a young boy he sold newspapers from the curbside and once sold a paper to John D. Rockefeller, his first association with the rich and famous. He wasn't much of a student and never attended school past th
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JoAnne McMaster (Any Good Book)
Aug 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biographies
There are three people that come to mind as being for the masses, and for the ages: John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart...and Bob Hope. Having read the definitive John Wayne, still waiting for the Humphrey Bogart; I turned my attention to the soon-to-be-released biography Hope. It is a volumnious work, nearly 500 pages, and the most thorough account of Bob Hope's life and career.

He was not an easy man to know; it isn't even clear whether he knew himself or not. For it appears that Bob Hope w
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Andy Miller
Sep 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
The introduction was addressed to readers like me, people whose impression of Bob Hope was fixed by his being at odd with the times in the sixties and seventies whose jokes seemed to be based not in humor but in sarcasm and anger and were stale compared to the hip new comics.

But this biography is of Hope's entire life, how he overcame an early poverty like life largely due to very hard work and a willingness to change with the times. He started in vaudeville, was actually a good sing
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Graceann
Jun 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Bob Hope Fans
Richard Zoglin is incredibly thorough and very even-handed in his treatment of this legendary performer from vaudeville, theatre, radio, film and television. The man was with us for 100 years, and active for a great deal of that time, so there's a lot of ground to cover. He wasn't a monster, but he wasn't an angel, either, so if I were looking to this book for either hagiography or character assassination, I would have been bitterly disappointed. While I believe the editing could have been a bit ...more
Randall Smith
Apr 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Entertainer of the century? I tend to agree with that subtitle. (Although my wife probably thinks Prince is.) When you think of how long a career Bob Hope had and how important he was to several generations, it’s hard to think of anyone else who fits that bill. He lived a full century, from 1903 to 2003. And he was tremendously successful in every form of mass entertainment. He worked his way to the top in Vaudeville, Broadway, movies, radio and television. His books were best-sellers. And he ev ...more
Simon
Dec 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Even-handed. Hope was too opaque a personality to make conventional biography easy, but Zoglin does as good an estimation of his career as we are likely to get. He divides the book by stages in Hope's work, with exhaustive descriptions of radio, television, live concerts and movies. With the exception of Monsieur Beaucaire and the Road pictures, Hope never really made a decent film --- and never worked with a first-rate director. His reputation rests primarily upon his radio work, the carefully spaced television ...more
Mary
Feb 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
I am not sure why I read this book. Bob Hope was pretty much at the end of his entertainment career as I was growing up, but I remember watching his specials as he entertained the troops. Also, I would really like to see the inside of spaceship house he built in Palm Springs.

I enjoyed this book and the author tells you right up front that if you are reading to learn about Bob Hope's personality, you will be disappointed. He was a very private man who didn't share his inner thoughts and feelings
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John Behle
Jan 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Watching Bob Hope specials as a kid made me feel grown up. Bob Hope spanned every demographic group, toured the globe and literally spanned a century (he passed at 100 in 2003). He told me what could be lampooned. Here was the American comedian laureate, joining us, as he always said, "right in our living room."

Zoglin's book takes us by the hand down this tireless man's life. We meet his wife, Delores, the writers (who were on constant phone call alert), the four adopted children (a
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Jeffrey
Mar 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This long-awaited, definitive biography is subtitled, ENTERTAINER OF THE CENTURY, and that is the persuasive case that author Richard Zoglin makes: that Bob Hope was indeed the most important entertainer of the twentieth century.

Hope lived for a century, from 1903 until 2003, and is the only entertainer to achieve top success in every field of show business, from vaudeville, to film and television and everything else in between.

He actually invented stand-up comedy and wha
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Shawn Thrasher
Feb 17, 2015 rated it liked it
Really well done, well written biography of Bob Hope. Zoglin's thesis that Hope invented modern stand up comedy and as the entertainer of the last century rings true. And while this isn't a hatchet job (Zoglin had the cooperation of Hope's daughter, which I imagine dulled the hatchet somewhat), Hope doesn't come out of this sitting pretty. A friend of mine who works in Hollywood once described a reletively famous actress he worked with on a daily basis: "she's a professional who hits her marks, ...more
Mal
Sep 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
good reads have sent me amazing books.this is a comprehensive book of the life of bob hope...the good and the bad..but who is perfect? my uncles during the world war could not rave about him more..he went continually to entertain the troops where no one else would. he was applauded as one of the best entertainers and rose to the top..but during the vietnam war slid down much to his surprise. he was best friends with spiro agnew and richard nixon...actually he was good friends with many president ...more
Kai
Nov 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
An excellent, sympathetic yet balanced biography of an iconic entertainer. His image in the public mind is probably similarly distorted as that of his contemporary (and associate) Bing Crosby - both are only dimly remembered by today's audiences and if they are, it's for the waning years of their lives, when they were far from top form. In Hope's case, this means his contributions to vaudeville, radio, movies, and television are largely forgotten and his tireless globetrotting to entertain the t ...more
Terry Collins
Jan 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Having read other Hope biographies, I went into this one with open eyes and previous knowledge and was amazed at the both the audacity of the thesis (Hope was the entertainer of the century) and the proving of same. Exhaustive, but not exhausting. Kind, but not a puff piece. Hands down the most balanced portrait of Hope, with extra attention paid to his vaudeville days, his journeys overseas, and his sad decline during the last decade of his NBC specials. The kind of book that makes you look at ...more
Brenda Osborne
Dec 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
I grew up watching Bob Hope on television and movies, yet I really didn't know much about him. This well-written and even-handed book changed that. I loved reading about his early days in vaudeville. His trips to entertain the troops were more extensive and altruistic than I had imagined. This book didn't shy away from talking about his womanizing, temper or shameless self-promoting. Even so, I came away from this book admiring the entertainer as well as the man.
Al Berry
May 19, 2016 rated it liked it
A decent read that should have been 700 pages rather than 450, as some parts of his life and career are looked at unde a microscope and some parts are completely glossed over. All in all a decent look at one of the 20th Century's most prominent entertainer.
Felix
Jul 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A must read for any Bob Hope fan. Shows the man basking in the glory of celebrity & the warts of being a man. Well worth your time...
Nikki
Jun 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Entertaining and eye opening.
Nicole Marble
Mar 01, 2015 rated it liked it
A really long, and clear, bio of Bob Hope.
Mark
May 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a very enjoyable book about a genuinely funny man. While reading this book I rented from Netflix "Sorrowful Jones" a movie with Bob Hope and Lucille Ball (1948). It was hilarious.
Trav S.D.
Dec 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Hope: Entertainer of the Century http://t.co/Xvq2rM2oQ0
Chad Malkamaki
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Where I work we recently hosted an exhibition on Bob Hope curated by the World Golf Hall of Fame and that's why I picked up a copy of this book. The book and exhibit helped me better understand one of the people that created stand-up comedy, the monologue delivered by late night television host, the spectacle of the Academy Awards, and his exhaustive work with the USO entertaining troops around the world for over 50 years. Also, Hope is a favorite son of the city where I live having a street and ...more
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