Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Heart That Bleeds or Molly Brown

The Heart That Bleeds: Latin America Now

Author: Alma Guillermoprieto

An extraordinarily vivid, unflinching series of portraits of South America today, written from the inside out, by the award-winning New Yorker journalist and widely admired author of Samba.

Publishers Weekly

First published in the New Yorker, Guillermoprieto's 13 essays reveal the fragile political life and culture in Latin America. (Apr.)

Interesting textbook: Todays Public Relations or Experiencing Human Resource Management

Molly Brown: Unraveling the Myth

Author: Kristen Iversen

When Margaret Tobin Brown arrived in New York City shortly after her perilous night in Titanic's Lifeboat Six, a legend was born. Through magazines, books, a Broadway musical, and a Hollywood movie, she became "The Unsinkable Molly Brown," but in the process her life story was distorted beyond recognition. Even her name was changed--she was never known as Molly during her lifetime. Kristen Iversen's Molly Brown: Unraveling the Myth is the first full-length biography of this American icon, and the story it tells is of a passionate and outspoken crusader for the rights of women, children, mine workers, and others struggling for their voice in the early twentieth century. In the end, the real "Molly" Brown was far more fascinating than her myth, and Kristen Iversen has captured her in all her brilliance.

Publishers Weekly

Molly Brown--the gun toting, vulgar saloon-girl-made-good--has become a staple of American myth through the Broadway and Hollywood musical The Unsinkable Molly Brown and the hit film Titanic. In this extensively researched biography--the first serious work on Brown--Iversen, an editor at Westcliffe Publishers and an independent scholar, reveals that Brown was a far more fascinating and important figure than her stage or screen portrayals suggest. True to her legend, Margaret Tobin Brown was born in 1867 to poor Irish immigrants in Hannibal, Mo., became the grande dame of Denver society after her husband hit pay dirt in his silver mine and survived the sinking of the Titanic. She was also, however, a prominent philanthropist and social reformer focusing on the rights of children; an ardent suffragist who contemplated several runs for Congress; a frequent liberal spokesperson for women's, labor and race issues; and, late in life, an actress of some note. A devout Catholic, Brown publicly challenged her church's stand on women's suffrage; invited Jewish women to work on her high-society fund-raising events; and, although she was a mine owner, defended the unionization of miners. Iversen is particularly adept at placing Brown in the context of her times, making the most of this opportunity to reexamine the Gilded Age and early 20th century through the lens of feminism and economic and social change. (July) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews

The real Margaret (she was never called Molly) Brown revealed in a biography long on both dramatic reconstructions of the Titanic disaster and mundane family scrapbooks As Iversen, an editor at Westcliffe Publishers, has it, Margaret (she was sometimes called Maggie) Brown was never the high-kicking vulgarian with a heart of gold portrayed by Debbie Reynolds in The Unsinkable Molly Brown or even the flamboyant dowager queen of the West (with a heart of gold) portrayed by Kathy Bates in the film Titanic. She was educated, culturally aware, multilingual, and comfortable in Paris, Newport, New York, Denver, and Leadville, Colo., society. She did have a heart of gold, and it was often dedicated to such sophisticated activities as organizing successful fund-raising events for building Denver's Roman Catholic cathedral, adding a wing to a Denver hospital, aiding families of miners left destitute by disaster, and, with her friend "Kids Judge" Benjamin Lindsey, organizing and subsidizing programs for indigent children. Her courage and organizational abilities were evident in the Titanic disaster, when she not only helped row Lifeboat #6 to safety but also went on to raise money and social support for the surviving immigrants, who had lost everything when the ship went down. Margaret was also a feminist, putting herself forth as a candidate for Congress. Her marriage to miner J.J. Brown had collapsed by then, due probably to both his womanizing and her activism. Margaret and her two children vied in court over J.J.'s will but eventually reconciled. Before she died in 1932 at age 65, Margaret was awarded the French Legion of Honor for her work in France during WWI. A pastiche of reminiscencesand newspaper clippings that tries to set the record straight and certainly suggests that, as important as the myth of the golden-hearted Western girl may be, the real Margaret was far more interesting than the cinematic versions. (b&w photos, not seen)

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