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Evita: The Real Life of Eva Peron [Paperback]

Nicholas Fraser , Marysa Navarro
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (10 Oct 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393315754
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393315752
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 14 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 545,515 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most balanced view of Evita I have found. 22 Jun 1999
By A Customer
This book is very well written and balanced. The authors are interested in Evita but they never choose sides or let their personal biases get in the way of being objective and separating fact from fiction.
This book has the ingredient most Evita biographies miss, it details how much Evita loved her husband and shows that her love for him was the motivating force behind her actions. As the book says, "of all the exaggerations made of Evita's life, the one that can never be doubted is that she would willingly die for her cause." Anyone who wants to understand Evita must take into account that her love for Peron was her motivation. If you don't realize that, you will never understand Evita.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I would recommend this book because it is a very detailed book and contains alot of information about Evita and the political life of Argentina. Her childhood and teenage years were not what I expected. And I was surprised that someone from that kind of background could have the political influence that she had.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This was an enjoyable way to hear a true story. 30 July 1999
By A Customer
After seeing a documentary on Evita, I thought I knew everything about her. This book added more interesting parts of her life (as well as what happened after she died). I'd read it again. I can't see how anyone could not enjoy it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! 15 April 1998
By A Customer
This really is a well rounded book. Although I would not recomend it for research purposes you will find a lot of factual info. in this book. The text is interesting, and in parts you are swept up into the life of Eva Peron. Keep a dictionary handy when reading if you didn't score perfect on the verbal SAT.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  29 reviews
95 of 96 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Balanced & Engrossing. A brilliant biography. 1 Feb 2004
By E. Valero - Published on Amazon.com
This biography was originally released over 20 years ago when the stage version of "EVITA" was a worldwide smash. At the time, this book was definately the best book ever released on the subject (along side Julie Taylor's EVA PERON: THE MYTHS OF A WOMAN) mainly because of it's fair treatment of Eva and also due to the fact that it was well researched and balanced. Twenty years later and nothing has changed since it remains the BEST biography ever written in the English language about the brilliant but controversial Maria Eva Duarte de Peron. Somehow the writers managed to write a biography that is engrossing, informative and extremely helpful especially in understanding the late Evita's character and personality. It also digs deep into her life and it gives us great insight into her charitable works. I had originally read this book over 10 years ago and was delighted to see it re-issued in 1996 (to co-inside with the release of the film "Evita"). The new re-issued version includes a NEW INTRO and an epilogue which includes some insight into the stage musical.
What impressed me about this book is that it's written in a non-biased manner. Unfortunately (for Eva) many of the books written about her in the English language are maliciously one-sided and hostile to her character and morals. On the flipside, most of the books written about her in Spanish are extremely sugary and convert her into some sort of madonna (NO, not that MADONNA!!). Either way, the reader is given a prejudiced account of Eva's life history and the reader will end up either loathing her or venerating her. This book displays Eva's life as it should be seen and it portrays Eva as a flawed but still exceptional human being. Both her admirers and her enemies agree that the woman was anything but dull. Yet they all convert her into an utterly dreary, one dimensional being with solely one purpose in life and totally lacking in realistic qualities. Even Evita's beauty is treated differently by her different audiences. She is either a blonde sex fiend who used her sex and beauty as a viscious weapon or she's a saintly, sexless deity whose loveliness is to be admired in the most asexual manner. Nicholas Fraser and Marysa Navarro show us the human Eva Duarte with all of her flaws and strenghts, and although she still comes across as a larger than life Goddess, the author's portrayal of her is fair and consistant and back up their claims with witness testimony and historical fact. I have seen several interviews with Marysa Navarro and you can tell she is absolutely intrigued by Eva Peron and always refers to her in a positive light. One must keep in mind that she has spent a lifetime researching this enigmatic woman and has published several books on her in spanish - her spanish biography EVITA is also excellent and is probably the greatest in-depth account of Eva ever published in any language. The only minor complaint I have regarding the book is the lack of photographs. Don't get me wrong because there are several photos included of the lovely leading lady but when we're dealing with someone who was as glamorous as Eva Peron was, the more the better.
This book is highly recommended to anyone who is interested in the subject. Let me put it this way, if you have to get JUST ONE BOOK on Evita, then this is definately the book to buy. Revealing, absorbing and surprisingly accurate, this IS THE BEST BIOGRAPHY EVER WRITTEN on the subject.
Eva Peron would be proud.
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive biography of Evita 16 Jan 2003
By Andrew Parodi - Published on Amazon.com
EVITA: THE REAL LIFE OF EVA PERON is the definitive biography of the woman most famously known as the subject of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. What this book has that all other biographies lack is: research. The authors visited Argentina in the process of their writing, and interviewed dozens of people who knew and worked with Evita.
The other key ingredient to the success of this book is the neutrality of the authors. They don't have anything invested in what the reader thinks of Eva Peron. They do not want to sway the reader in any particular direction. The authors are neither "pro" nor "anti"-Evita. In the preface to the book they make the promise to try to present Eva as a human being, but concede that this is not as simple a task as it sounds. Evita, they claim, is buried beneath more myth and fantasy than any other historical figure of modern times.
Originally published in 1980 as EVA PERON, this re-issue, made to coincide with the release of the movie starring Madonna, contains a new introduction and epilogue in which Nicholas Fraser comments on the odd re-emergence of Evita as a late 20th Century phenomenon. Astonishingly, the re-emergence was predicted by Evita, who said, "I will return and I will be millions," shortly before she died. Though her story is at last a part of history in her homeland, "In the rest of the world," writes the author, "she has attained the condition of apotheosis." Fraser theorizes that the return may have to do with the fact that we live in a celebrity obsessed era where actors are paid more attention than politicians, making Evita - an actress-turned-politician who was accused by her opponents of turning national political life into show business - the perfect minor deity.
I would recommend EVITA: THE REAL LIFE OF EVA PERON to anyone interested in a somewhat scholarly rendering of Evita's life, as opposed to sensational pop biography (such as EVA PERON by Alicia Dujovne Ortiz).
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This was an enjoyable way to hear a true story. 30 July 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
After seeing a documentary on Evita, I thought I knew everything about her. This book added more interesting parts of her life (as well as what happened after she died). I'd read it again. I can't see how anyone could not enjoy it.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The legend lives on 17 Mar 2006
By Yiren - Published on Amazon.com
The book is written with a rather academic tone of detached interest. There are few personal opinions, and the position regarding Evita is neutral. This could be either an advantage or a drawback, for Evita was both worshipped and hated by millions. In the words of one Life reporter at her death, "They were genuine and deep and demonstrated that Evita, who had contributed so strongly to the totalitarianism and bankruptcy of her country, had also won its love." There's been a lot of controversy regarding her actions during the Peron presidency. She campaigned for her husband; she chaired numerous organizations to help the poor, and appeared on one end to be the giver of goodwill. On the other end of the spectrum, she got rid of all political enemies, spent lavishly.

In account of what she achieved in her life, it's really surprising to think that Eva had no education past the 8th grade; she arrived in Buenos Aires at the age of 15 with nothing but the clothes on her back, endured years of misfortune as an actress, to be permanently entombed as the savior, the termagant, the heroine, and villain, but always, Evita, the legend. In fact, at her death, the phrase, "permanently entombed" became rather literal. She was embalmed by Dr. Pedro Ara, Professor of anatomy, who specialized in what, at the time, he called, "the art of death". Years later, as Peron was ousted from power, her body, a monument of the age of Peronism, a symbol from which her supporters could rally, was hidden away by political rivals. The entire process increased the enigma that had always shrouded Eva, and will continue to do so into eternity.

As much as her biography does her no justice, it highlighted the main points in her life, gave information regarding her ambiguous past and even more ambiguous future, and was a wholly well written, well documented book. It's not a book for pleasure reading, even less for research. It's simply a book for a person who is curious about a subject and truly wants to learn. Because it has no plot, nor any high points of drama, it's not a book that has you "racing through the pages", but plowing stolidly through it. Eva Peron is strangely reminiscent of both "From Emperor to Citizen", the autobiography of last emperor of China, and "the Stories of my experiments with truth", the final work of Ghandi. Although both are written from different perspectives, both reflect the lives of national leaders, who during their time changed themselves and others. Today, Eva lays in an unmarked tomb in Recoleta Cemetery, supposedly bomb-proof, fire proof, and buglar proof. It reflects a fear, a fear that the body of the woman who had inspired so much hate, and love, would disappear, while the woman herself, or rather her insuppressible myth, would live on.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely not Evita the musical 3 Aug 2005
By Deborah Geary-aks - Published on Amazon.com
This book puts into perspective many of the myths and half-truths surrounding the life and death of Eva Peron. If you believe that she was 1/4 of what the musical and the movie said she was, for heaven's sake, read this book! This is the fifth book I've read on this subject and it is by far the best. I would encourage you to follow it up with "Evita In My Own Words" - which is her alleged deathbed manuscript.
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