Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child

Front Cover
Knopf, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 557 pages
2 Reviews
It's rare for someone to emerge in America who can change our attitudes, our beliefs, and our very culture. It's even rarer when that someone is a middle-aged, six-foot three-inch woman whose first exposure to an unsuspecting public is cooking an omelet on a hot plate on a local TV station.  And yet, that's exactly what Julia Child did.  The warble-voiced doyenne of television cookery became an iconic cult figure and joyous rule-breaker as she touched off the food revolution that has gripped America for more than fifty years.

Now, in Bob Spitz's definitive, wonderfully affectionate biography, the Julia we know and love comes vividly -- and surprisingly -- to life.  In Dearie, Spitz employs the same skill he brought to his best-selling, critically acclaimed book The Beatles, providing a clear-eyed portrait of one of the most fascinating and influential Americans of our time -- a woman known to all, yet known by only a few.

At its heart, Dearie is a story about a woman's search for her own unique expression.  Julia Child was a directionless, gawky young woman who ran off halfway around the world to join a spy agency during World War II.  She eventually settled in Paris, where she learned to cook and collaborated on the writing of what would become Mastering the Art of French Cooking, a book that changed the food culture of America.   She was already fifty when The French Chef went on the air --  at a time in our history when women weren't making those leaps.  Julia became the first educational TV star, virtually launching PBS as we know it today; her marriage to Paul Child formed a decades-long love story that was romantic, touching, and quite extraordinary.

A fearless, ambitious, supremely confident woman, Julia took on all the pretensions that embellished tony French cuisine and fricasseed them to a fare-thee-well, paving the way for everything that has happened since in American cooking, from TV dinners and Big Macs to sea urchin foam and the Food Channel.  Julia Child's story, however, is more than the tale of a talented woman and her sumptuous craft.  It is also a saga of America's coming of age and growing sophistication, from the Depression Era to the turbulent sixties and the excesses of the eighties to the greening of the American kitchen.  Julia had an effect on and was equally affected by the baby boom, the sexual revolution, and the start of the women's liberation movement.

On the centenary of her birth, Julia finally gets the biography she richly deserves.  An in-depth, intimate narrative, full of fresh information and insights, Dearie is an entertaining, all-out adventure story of one of our most fascinating and beloved figures.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dbsovereign - LibraryThing

Fundamentally this is a lesson in how doing what you enjoy can make a life worth living. This is a great biography of the woman who, against some odds, made an indelible mark on the face of cooking ... Read full review

A curl up wcup of cocoa book

User Review  - sooththesoul - Overstock.com

I wanted to refresh my memory of Ms. Child after watching the movie Julie & Julia ... Read full review

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Contents

Prologue
3
Our Paradise
21
Two On Her Way
37
Thm Julia of the Almost Spring
63
Four Onlya Butterfly
79
FM Kccpcr ofthc Secrets
97
Sewn A Diamond in the Rough
129
Eight Lucky to Be Alive
145
law What Shed Gotten I lcrsclf Into 2 lI
231
Founccn This Elephant of Ours
265
Sixteen Taking Everything in Stride
307
Nineteen The Mad VVomen of La Peetch
359
Twenty A Household Name
379
Twentyone We Are Not All Eternal
399
Twentyjlmr The End of an Era
459
Sources amlAcla1mvledgn1mts
531

Nine Devouring Paris Vhole
161

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About the author (2012)

Bob Spitz is the award-winning author of The Beatles, a New York Times best seller, as well as seven other nonfiction books and a screenplay. He has represented Bruce Springsteen and Elton John in several capacities. His articles appear regularly in magazines and newspapers, including The New York Times Magazine; The Washington Post; Rolling Stone; and O, The Oprah Magazine, among others. He can be reached at dearie@bobspitz.com.

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