Judy Garland: A Biography
Praised as "undoubtedly the best of the many books on Judy Garland" by no less a critic than John Lahr (the son of Bert Lahr, the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz), Anne Edwards's biography attempts to present a complete picture of the late actress, and not just the boozing, drug-addicted caricature of a woman that is central to lesser biographies. From Edwards's account we learn, for example, that Garland saw it as her duty to provide for her family financially, a generosity that her mother Ethel exploited with disastrous results. A student of great poets--Shelley, Keats, and Browning in particular--she often tried her own hand at verse; surviving poems are reproduced here. Above all Judy Garland sought to please, whether it was an audience or a studio head, and therein lies her powerful and heartbreaking story.