Price of Fame: The Honorable Clare Boothe Luce by Sylvia Jukes Morris

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Read Price of Fame: The Honorable Clare Boothe Luce Online Free - “I hope I shall have ambition until the day I die,” Clare Boothe Luce told her biographer Sylvia Jukes Morris. Price of Fame, the concluding volume of the life of an exceptionally brilliant polymath, chronicles Luce’s progress from the early months of World War II, when, as an eye-catching Congresswoman and the only female member of the House Military Affairs Committee, she toured the Western Front, captivating generals and GIs. She even visited Buchenwald and other concentration camps within days of their liberation. After a shattering personal tragedy, she converted to Roman Catholicism, and became the first American woman to be appointed ambassador to a major foreign power. “La Luce,” as the Italians called her, was also a prolific journalist and magnetic public speaker, as well as a playwright, screenwriter, pioneer scuba diver, early experimenter in psychedelic drugs, and grande dame of the GOP in the Reagan era. Tempestuously married to Henry Luce, the powerful publisher of Time Inc., she endured his infidelities while pursuing her own, and remained a practiced vamp well into old age.
Price of Fame begins in January 1943 with Clare’s arrival on Capitol Hill as a newly elected Republican from Connecticut. The thirty-nine-year-old beauty attracted nationwide attention in a sensational maiden speech, attacking Vice President Henry Wallace’s civil aviation proposals as “globaloney.” Although she irked President Franklin D. Roosevelt by slanging his New Deal as “a dictatorial Bumbledom,” she impressed his wife Eleanor.
Revealing liberal propensities, she lobbied for relaxed immigration policies for Chinese, Indians, and displaced European Jews, as well as equal rights for women and blacks. Following Hiroshima, the legislator whom J. William Fulbright described as “the smartest colleague I ever served with” became a passionate advocate of nuclear arms control. But in 1946, she gave up her House seat, convinced that politics was “the refuge of second-class minds.”
After a few seasons of proselytizing on the Catholic lecture circuit, Clare emerged as a formidable television personality, campaigning so spectacularly for the victorious Republican presidential candidate, Dwight D. Eisenhower, that he rewarded her with the Rome embassy.
Ambassador Luce took an uncompromising attitude toward Italy’s Communist Party, the world’s second largest, and skillfully helped settle the fraught Trieste crisis between Italy and Yugoslavia. She was then stricken by a mysterious case of  poisoning that the CIA kept secret, suspecting a Communist plot to assassinate her. The full story, told here for the first time, reads like a detective novel.
Price of Fame goes on to record the crowded later years of the Honorable Clare Boothe Luce, during which she strengthened her friendships with Winston Churchill, Somerset Maugham, John F. Kennedy, Evelyn Waugh, Lyndon Johnson, Salvador Dalí, Richard Nixon, William F. Buckley, the composer Carlos Chávez, Ronald Reagan, and countless other celebrities who, after Henry Luce’s death, visited her lavish Honolulu retreat. In 1973, she was appointed by Nixon to the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, a position she continued to hold in the Ford and Reagan administrations.
Sylvia Jukes Morris is the only writer to have had complete access to Mrs. Luce’s prodigious collection of public and private papers. In addition, she had unique access to her subject, whose death at eighty-four ended a life that for variety of accomplishment qualifies Clare Boothe Luce for the title of “Woman of the Century.”

Title : Price of Fame: The Honorable Clare Boothe Luce
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0679457119
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 752 pages


Mark rated it ★★★★☆

November 11, 2014

I previously had scant knowledge of Claire Boothe Luce and this book provided me with all I needed to know and more. Born in 1903 in Manhattan’s Spanish Harlem at 533 West 124th Street, as an illegitimate child, Luce evolved quickly into an unabashed social climber seeking fame and fortune. Attra...

Mark rated it ★★★★★

September 15, 2014

"Price of Fame: The Honorable Clare Boothe Luce," by Sylvia Jukes Morris (wife of Edmund Morris, the Reagan biographer) is the second volume of a voluminous biography of the famous and attractive congresswoman, playwright, ambassador, and wife of Henry Luce (Time magazine publisher). The previous...

Chantay rated it ★★☆☆☆

September 09, 2015

Maybe if the biographer weren't so closely associated with Clare, I would have gotten a more in-depth portrait of her. All that was written were just repeated platitudes, overtures, and how lovely she looked in outfits. No real look into her working as a congressperson; only that it entirely seem...

Jack rated it ★★★★☆

September 21, 2014

This was a long read. Certainly a very deep dive into the life of a most prominent 20 th century figure. It is difficult to gain a comfortable and easy understanding of this women because the narrative obscures your line of insight with so much detail. At times it was a challenge to stay with it....

Mary rated it ★★★★☆

September 12, 2014

Well written biography of a remarkable although deeply flawed woman. From congresswoman to ambassador she commanded a reputation in Washington as being outspoken and quite intelligent in spite of her lack of formal education. She was extremely narcissistic and insecure but the author allows for h...

Edithandersen rated it ★★★★☆

March 22, 2015

Clare Boothe Luce was ahead of her time in her outspokenness and behavior. She was not a follower and stood up for what she believed. She gained power, contacts, wealth and great influence, yet felt she had never accomplished anything special. It's hard to wrap your head around her perception, bu...

P.e. rated it ★★★★☆

December 28, 2014

This is a very through look at the life of Clare Booth Luce. She was a person that I had never heard of when reading history books from the 40’s through the 60’s, bur her life was amazing nun the less. She wrote 4 Broadway comedies, 3 of those became hits and were made into movies. She wrote a sc...

David R. rated it ★★★☆☆

July 20, 2016

Morris presents a chatty but insightful biography of a rather outsized member of the political order from the 1940s to the 1980s. Luce married well (to Time-Life magnate Henry Luce) and won a pair of terms in the US House of Representatives in her thirties, and from that beginning gamed the syste...

Jane rated it ★★★☆☆

December 26, 2014

This was the second volume in this biography of Clare Boothe Luce. It was very interesting reading about her role as a US Ambassador to Italy in the early 1950's but it also revealed how truly shallow a person Clare was and how nothing would make her very happy in the second half of her long life...

Barbara rated it ★★★★☆

March 22, 2016

Extremely interesting 2nd of 2 volume biography of a very ambitious woman - Clare Booth Luce. I knew little about her. She rose from little to become quite accomplished over her lifetime. She had difficulty though finding happiness and satisfaction in most of her quests and relationships. She was...

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