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Cagney by Cagney

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  328 ratings  ·  23 reviews
This book is for the true fan of James Cagney. Mr. Cagney tells his story as no one can.
Paperback, 202 pages
Published March 1st 2005 by Doubleday (first published 1976)
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4.04  · 
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 ·  328 ratings  ·  23 reviews

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Jan 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Screen legend James Cagney tells a fascinating bit about his life before, during, and after his wonderful film career, though he (like many film stars in their autobiographies) doesn't think people will be interested much in the details of picture making (he's wrong about that). I could have read this book with joy if it had had three times the material. But Cagney thought of himself purely as a song-and-dance man, and didn't make much of his career. So he tells a few interesting tales, pontific ...more
Jun 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
there are many biographies on James Cagney. This book, "Cagney by Cagney" is an autobiography written by James Cagney himself. I have always preferred autobiographies. this is a good one. Mr. Cagney is up front about himself. Takes the readers from his birth in 1899 up to the mid 1970s. he grew up poor in a large family. He learned how to protect himself fighting on the streets of NYC. A short stint in the services and soon after a movie career. I liked how he talked about learning how to dance ...more
Oct 31, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Cagney uses the expression: "that little bit of gutter in us" to describe his lifelong connection to his neighborhood friends from Yorkville. His voice comes through clearly and his humor and charm ooze right off the page. Enjoy a taste for vaudeville, sports and entertainment figures of Cagney's day. Recite passages from his witty poems and thoroughly enjoyable recounting of his life.

Can you picture horse drawn carriages on First Avenue? Maybe that would be a good idea! Today, south of Yorkvil
Jan 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Seriously one of my favorite autobiographies. James Cagney doesn't spare a detail in this book. He goes through his childhood stories and it gives behind the scenes details about what happened in the movies he was in and the people he met.

I recommend this book to anyone who knows of his movies and enjoys his work.
Oct 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Since this was written unassisted by Cagney himself it has a conversant style so you can hear the actor's voice throughout as if he were telling you a story. That helps pull the reader in, along with the fact that he didn't suffer from any complexes just seeing himself as a journeyman actor and not a star. An easy, enjoyable read.
George Lowery
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I heard of this on the O'Rielly web sight from Steve Miller, glad that I heard about it, this was a great inlook at movie industry along with the hardships of the people who worked their in the early years. Cagney was candied and funny. Really enjoyed the book.
Edward Fenner
An interesting, candid reflection on his life. I learned a few things about Cagney and earned some new respect.
Derek Solomon
Aug 27, 2017 rated it liked it
A tour of a great actor and environmentalist from the man himself!
Jul 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
#59 of 120 books pledged to read during 2018
Nov 12, 2007 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book, but it is definitely not for everyone. For me, it was like sitting with my Pop and listening to him tell stories. He had some similar experiences growing up as my Dad and a noticable contempt for method actors, with which I agree. It is not your typical autobiography, no "I was born here and did all these fabulous things." More like "I was dirt poor and needed a job so I acted for 50 years so I could buy the farm I always wanted and retire to live happily ever after. ...more
Feb 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
James Cagney is one of my favorite, if not the favorite, actors of all time. This memoir was written in such a heartfelt manner and all the stories that he tells are written beautifully. I could have never imagined that a man who, for the most of his career, played gangsters
actually prefered playing movies with singing and dancing in them
In this book, James Cagney talks about his life, career and everything that happens after camera stops rolling. This memoir is a great example of remarkable wr
May 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Really good book. Wish I knew more of the people he wrote about. Interesting to find out he was very into conservation. Was a country boy at heart, even though he grew up in NYC, and was never attracted to the glitz of Hollywood. One anecdote that I enjoyed was about his buying his mother a little cottage and her eventually telling him she would be happier having an apartment in NYC with a big window so she get watch what's going on.
Jan 01, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: big fans of James Cagney
Much as I love classic film star James Cagney (my very favourite Hollywood actor!), I found this ghost-written autobiography quite annoying. It doesn't have very much about his films and is supposed to be written how he spoke, eg with "gal" for girl, etc - I think it was transcribed from tapes. Still a must for Cagney fans, though.
Sep 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biographies
This introduced me to person I would have enjoyed knowing. Granted his career in film and dance are legendary and entertaining his background and ambitions were inspiring. And his view of Hollywood and life insightful.
Jul 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Yes
An honest and open auto biography from someone who always considered himself, "a song and dance man". Must read if you enjoy the old movies from the 1930's and 40's.
Aug 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Cagney's a pretty good writer and storyteller. Fun.
Tom Newth
Jan 22, 2013 rated it it was ok
a very singular man, rough and sweet, and determinedly simple
Apr 23, 2015 rated it liked it
As only he can tell it-raw, gritty, and up front. Always loved watching his movies for his dancing, acting as well. Love his candor.
Vaibhav Mehdiratta
Great read for actors and fans of old Hollywood
Jan 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-read
The title alone was enough to make me want to read it. Loved it.
Mary Tuley
Aug 21, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Movie buffs.
I'm fond of him, but he's lacking for ego, is he?
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