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Bob Hope: A Life In Comedy [Paperback]

William Robert Faith
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

1 May 2003
Reporter: "What's it like to be Bob Hope?" Hope: "I wouldn't have it any other way." From Bob Hope's early career as an upstart among professionals like Jack Benny and Milton Berle in the rollicking world of traveling comedians, to his blazing success as a radio, television, and film star, this completely revised and updated version of William Faith's acclaimed biography takes a straightforward, appreciative, and very funny look at Hope's life and times on the occasion of his 100th birthday. Filled with anecdotes, photographs, and plenty of jokes, the book reveals the real Bob Hope from his boyhood in England and youth in Cleveland to his present status as a living legend-a full-blooded, authentic appraisal of the man and his humor, a comic institution who is also a brilliant businessman, manipulator of the media, and politically influential figure. And of course Hope is the man who brought laughter and cheer (and long-legged beauties) to GIs throughout the world. At a time when patriotic fervor has never been running higher it's worth recalling the singular tribute paid Hope by none other than John Steinbeck: "When the time for recognition of service to the nation in wartime comes to be considered, Bob Hope should be high on the list.... He gets laughter wherever he goes from men who need laughter." Happy 100th, Bob!

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Product details

  • Paperback: 474 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; New Ed edition (1 May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030681207X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306812071
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 549,112 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

William Robert Faith worked as Bob Hope's public relations representative for fourteen years. A professor at the University of Southern California's School of Journalism, he lives in Burbank, California.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
In the winter of 1890-91, James Hope, a contractor and master stonemason, decided to take his son William Henry (called Harry by family and friends) with him to join a work crew building the new stone docks at Barry, across the Bristol Channel on the southeast coast of Wales. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bob Hope 11 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bought this for my elderly father. However the print is too small and he has difficulty reading this. Dont you think that books about veteran actors or suchlike will be mostly read by the older generation. Maybe the publishers should take this into account.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.7 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well researched, average writing, average book 15 Feb 2010
By Sean Claycamp - Published on
William Robert Faith's bio of Bob Hope was OK but I wouldn't break down the Barnes and Noble door to go get it. The author did a great job detailing the details of Hope's career, specifically his work with the USO and his work in film. Faith also did a great job in detailing Hope's early career on the road working for next to nothing in small comedy clubs.

My biggest hangup with the book is Faith didn't detail or analyze Hope's personal relations to the degree he should have. Infedility in his marriage and strain with his four adopted children are often referenced but there is no real in depth analysis of how this effected Hope. There is also no judgement passed which suggests to me that Faith may have been too close to Hope personally and didn't want to pass judgement while Hope was still alive.

The biggest shortcoming in the book was Faith's lack of commitment when it came to Hope's philandering. It was suggested that Hope wasn't unfaithful to Delores throughout the book and that Delores didn't mind but just how wide spread was it and who was it with. There was only one time where Faith suggests a specific woman that Hope may have had a relationship with. I wasn't looking for some Hollywood tell-all but I was looking for more of a definite stance on just how much Hope played around. For instance, I read a bio of John Wayne and it did detail Wayne's relationships but did so in a way that said... this is what the guy did and here is who he "messed around with" and it was wrong.

Again, not looking for Faith to muck rake but to me it was just vague when it came to Hope's personal relationships. It also talked about how several of his kids had issues with Hope and his constant travel or his celebrity. The book didn't really talk about what this was all caused by and how it effected Hope. It just mentioned "strain" with his kids.

To an extent, the book was almost a very long wikipedia article that detailed Hope's life's work and his love of the military and the USO but didn't really offer the sort of in depth analysis that you normally get from a bio.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best bio since Grant 22 Mar 2008
By Robert Kozlowski - Published on
This was the best bio I have read since Grant's two volume bio. The author gets into Mr. Hope, and I understand the man who brought so many laughs to us through the years. This was a book I couldn't down. Would wake up in the middle of the night and HAVE to start reading it. If you enjoyed Bob Hope you need to read this book.

Bob Kozlowski
1.0 out of 5 stars NOT New 2 Feb 2014
By Marie Evans - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The product description was "New" and yet when it was received, it was torn, very ripped, and looked like it had been run over by a few dump trucks. Unfortunately I was not aware of the product faults until now, February, as it was a Christmas gift for someone else. How disappointed I am. The description for the book should not have been listed as "New." It should have been listed as "Completely Destroyed."
5.0 out of 5 stars Englands greatest export to the Colonies. 17 Nov 2013
By Dutch - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What is there to say about Bob Hope that has not been said? I read in bed it helps me to sleep, this book really did the job, not because it was boring, it is not, but Hope was so active that just reading of his activities wears one out..
Bob Hope loved to entertain, and Bob Hope loved to entertain military personnel and every veteran loved him for it.Bob went around the world in some very bad places to entertain troops, if they were there so was Bob. When Bob Hope showed up you knew you had not been forgotten...When Bob returned to the states he had pockets full of telephone numbers of troops who wanted him to call their families, Bob would take time out, days and make the calls..
At no time was there a reported active attempt on his life. One Marine summed it up this way, "Even the enemy liked
Bob Hope".
I also just finished Johnny Carson by Bushkin, this is the difference between these two men..
Carson was a man who happened to be a comedian, when the camera light went out Johnny did not want to be bothered anymore,and wanted to return to a being a private citizen.
Bob Hope was a comedian who happened to be a man, and entertaining was his lifes blood. Laughter is what kept his heart beating. If at all possible he would not turn down a request. It was said that Bob passing a mirror and seen his reflection he would stop and do a 5 minute show... There is one story about Bob showing up at 2AM at a radio station because he had told the dj he would...
Bob loved this country and the veterans. In later years he went to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, and stood for a long time just looking at the Wall...
Enough said, a great book about a GREAT AMERICAN......

5.0 out of 5 stars true icon 21 Oct 2013
By Pasquale Rombola - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
did not know Bob Hope was such a trailblazer in all forms of the entertainment medium. also very patriotic and giving of his time to entertain the troops in faraway places.
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