Cleveland Amory: Media Curmudgeon & Animal Rights Crusader

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University Press of New England, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 252 pages
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In this, the first comprehensive biography of Cleveland Amory, Marilyn Greenwald applies her considerable journalistic skills to a searching account of the complex life and times of this successful writer turned dedicated animal-rights activist--what shaped his beliefs in social responsibility, and how his own intense commitment to his chosen cause, ignited by the spectacle of a Mexican bullfight he covered as a young journalist, permeated every aspect of his life. Amory's bestselling books included three classic social history critiques, The Proper Bostonians, The Last Resorts, and Who Killed Society?, and his popular series on "Polar Bear," a cat that he rescued from the streets of Manhattan on Christmas Eve 1978, now available as The Compleat Cat. In the 1960s and 1970s, Amory wrote prolifically for TV Guide (for which he was chief critic for over a decade), Saturday Review, Parade, and other publications. He was a regular commentator on the Today Show until 1963, when he was summarily fired for a story on animal abuse that greatly disturbed NBC's breakfast audience. In 1967 Amory founded the charity Fund for Animals, and as an animal-rights activist he employed his charm, intelligence, and understanding of human nature to garner national publicity for a movement that was, in the 1960s, relatively obscure. He was the first to use celebrities to help get support for the Fund for Animals, including Mary Tyler Moore, Doris Day, Grace Kelly, Dick Cavett, and Jack Paar. Amory's Fund merged with the Humane Society in 2005. As the Fund for Animals grew, the organization gained international notoriety with high profile and daring animal rescues, including the airlifting of burros from the Grand Canyon, the rescues of wild goats in San Clemente, the spray painting of baby harp seals in Canada. In 1980 he opened his Black Beauty Ranch animal sanctuary east of Dallas, Texas. For all of this and more, Amory's name today remains renowned in animal-rights activist circles. Throughout his life, Amory reinvented himself several times, and Marilyn Greenwald follows him every step of the way with an outstanding narrative and penetrating analysis of the man, his career, the animal-rights movement, the times, and the extraordinary legacy of Cleveland Amory.

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About the author (2009)

MARILYN GREENWALD is professor of journalism at the E. W. Scripps School of Journalism, Ohio University. An experienced journalist, her book credits include The Secret of the Hardy Boys: Leslie McFarlane and the Stratemeyer Syndicate and A Woman of the Times: Journalism, Feminism and the Career of Charlotte Curtis, a New York Times Notable Book in 1999.

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