Boulevard of Broken Dreams: The Life, Times, and Legend of James Dean

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This is the first biography of James Dean to look beyond the Hollywood-manufactured cliché to the volatile polarities, conflicted sexuality, and childhood trauma of the person himself. James Dean's legendary status as a Hollywood icon is reconsidered in Boulevard of Broken Dreams, which explores the process by which he became the electric and exciting actor who came to stand for a whole generation's feelings of rebellion. What no one knew at the highlight of his career was that Dean had suffered agonies of torment over his own sexual ambivalence and the concealment that Hollywood studio mores made necessary. Author Paul Alexander talks to Dean's contemporaries, unearths all available source material, and re-creates not only the closed and closeted world of Hollywood in the '50s but the bucolic serenity of Dean's hometown in Indiana as well. This revisionist, passionate portrait, based on many new and documented sources and featuring shocking photographs, argues that Dean's angst-ridden compliance—in public—with rigid sexual expectations helped fuel the fury and electricity of his acting. Its conclusions will be a revelation to film buffs, gay readers, pop-culture aficionados, and everyone concerned with the ethics of image versus reality.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dbsovereign - LibraryThing

Trashy but fun - being the only book I know of that has a picture of JD wanking up in a tree. Now whether or not the photograph is authentic is another story... Read full review

BOULEVARD OF BROKEN DREAMS: The Life, Times, and Legend of James Dean

User Review  - Kirkus

Alexander, whose last book was a biography of Sylvia Plath (Rough Magic, 1991), takes on another promising but doomed artist- icon. Dean, Alexander claims in the first of many debatable assertions ... Read full review

Contents

A Lost Boy
1
Jimmy Dean
10
Ten Thousand Horses Singing
54
Copyright

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About the author (1997)

Paul Alexander has published two books about Sylvia Plath and regularly contributes to The New York Times Magazine, New York magazine, The Nation, Cosmopolitan, Premiere, The Village Voice, ARTnews, and The Guardian. He lives in New York City.

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