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MM--personal: From the Private Archive of Marilyn Monroe [Hardcover]

Lois W. Banner , Mark Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Mar 2011
Marilyn Monroe is the most famous, ubiquitous, and idolized woman of our modern age. An icon of physical beauty, sexuality, and the quintessentially American dream, Marilyn's legend continues to grow four decades after her death. MM:Personal is a new and illuminating look behind the veil of that legend, reproducing artifacts and documents - thought to have been lost since 1962 and never before revealed to the public - to clarify, qualify, or reverse many common conceptions about the blond bombshell.A" Selected from more than 10,000 largely unseen and heretofore unpublished items that were stored in Marilyn's two personal file cabinets - the Rosetta Stones of Marilyn Monroe scholarship - the collection also draws from the important collections of Greg Schreiner and Scott Fortner. These documents, snapshots, letters, memorabilia, and ephemera are joined by the first account of Monroe's life since Gloria Steinem's Marilyn to be written by a feminist historian, bringing a depth of understanding previously unavailable to her life. New answers come to light, such as what the dimensions were of Marilyn's personal management of her public persona, Marilyn's relationship to the photographers with whom she worked, how sensitive she was to her fans, and the tenor of her marriages to Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller. MM:Personal promises to completely refocus how we view Marilyn's private life, personal relationships, and legacy.

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MM--personal: From the Private Archive of Marilyn Monroe + Marilyn Monroe: Metamorphosis + My Story
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Abrams (1 Mar 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810995875
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810995871
  • Product Dimensions: 29 x 22 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 271,797 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Lois Banner is professor of history and gender studies at the University of Southern California. She is the author of numerous biographies and studies of women, including the classic American Beauty (Knopf, 1983). She was awarded the American Studies Association's Bode-Pearson Prize for lifetime achievement in 2005. Mark Anderson is an internationally known editorial and commercial photographer. He has contributed to domestic and international editions of Vanity Fair, Elle, Esquire, Gentlemen's Quarterly, and Vogue, and his work has appeared in major photograph exhibitions and books, most recently Dolce and Gabanna's Hollywood (Assouline, 2003).

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Essence of Marilyn.... 5 May 2011
This book does what many before have tried but fallen short. It gives the reader a look into the real life of the iconic movie star and sex symbol. The basis of the documents presented in this book are the contents of her file cabinet . There are photographs, letters mementoes she had saved. The author presents the items with scholarly insight but not a lot of narrative, letting the documents a photos speak for themselves. Much is mundane, but there are surprises and you do get a glimpse of what is must have been like to forge her iconic image and keep that image intact. If you are a Marilyn fan the book is worth the price for the photographs alone, many or which have never been published before. This is a must have for any fan. For an introspective look at the making of Marilyn's final film I recommend "Misfits Country."
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book 7 Jun 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have been a fan of Marilyn Monroe since I was 16 years old. I'm not sure what it is about her but I could look at photos of her and read about her forever! She is a sex symbol, she is beautiful, sensitive and vulnerable. Maybe she appeals to such a broad range of people because she was 'real'. Behind the image of the movie star was the transparent view of a vulnerable woman.

This collection of documents and items from her life was a joy to read - especially the letters she wrote to Arthur Miller's children in the style of their dog Hugo. They showed how much she cared for Arthur's children and how imaginative she was.

I doubt that anything will shed light on how she died but what we do know is that it was a tragic loss to the film industry, to her fans and to her personal friends.

If you are like me, then you will enjoy reading and taking in the photographs in this book and gaining some more snippets of the woman who was Norma Jean Baker.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MUST READ 6 Nov 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I love every page, every image, everything. The first time you will see so many papers, books, MM personal objects coming to life. I love that is so nicely written and it emanates a deep respect for MM.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, but sad. 2 Mar 2011
A most beautifully put together book with stunningly re-produced copies of a vast array personal paper items of Marilyn Monroe.
As a huge, long-time fan of Marilyn Monroe, I will naturally purchase every new book and study it cover to cover. And MM: Personal was going to be no exception.

With these hundreds of pictured articles meticulous in their photographed state and having been locked within Marilyn's 2 filing cabinets for the 40 years following her death, I must admit I feel a little bit bad!
Certainly the book is amazing and the author appears to have a thorough understanding of Marilyn. But the book begs the question 'When will this fascination with Marilyn Monroe end, thus precluding such shameless and intrusive eyes into her most private life'? I suspect never. And that's a shame. There's nothing here wildly intrusive, but one must question would She really want this stuff put onto the world stage? We all know that the answer would be no.
In modern life, we are advised constantly to shred any paper relating to our identity, our privacy and our finances, yet this woman is afforded none of the given privacy we all expect today.
Again, this is a most beautiful book, wonderfully put together and you can sense, almost lovingly sent for publication. But as a step too far. I think we will all still purchase it, with our keen interest in her life, and sadly her death. But I must ask myself, when will it stop? I have bought this book. But for me, it's a sad one. Another treasure. But a sad piece of it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Smart Blonde 5 Feb 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a side to Marylin that was never promoted, the beatiful mind, heart and soul, of the beatiful physical being. Anyone who's even vaguely interested in Marylin should read this, she was a deep thinker, an intelligent person with a heart of gold. MM really was one of a kind.
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