A Deed of Death: The Story Behind the Unsolved Murder of Hollywood Director William Desmond Taylor

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Knopf, 1990 - Social Science - 275 pages
9 Reviews
Three unpublished typescripts of A Deed of death submitted to Alfred A. Knopf, publishers, New York, 1989, two of which bear the title The Taylor murder case with half-title A deed of death which became the published title. All copies include editorial notations. Three additional unpublished typescripts on the death of Taylor were apparently used by Giroux in his research for the book: Who killed William Desmond Taylor? by King Vidor, Who killed Bill (authorship undetermined), and one untitled work by Douglas J. Whitton. All three have notations, apparently by Giroux. These typescripts are included in the papers of Giroux located at Loyola University New Orleans.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - noblechicken - LibraryThing

Decent account of the murder of silent film Director William Desmond Taylor. A bigger picture often bubbles to the surface of the page; the early days of Hollywood. Fascinating subject, and if you're ... Read full review

Review: A Deed Of Death

User Review  - Diane - Goodreads

I finished this book in 2 days - I was completely absorbed into Giroux's meticulous, almost obsessively researched book about the William Desmond Taylor murder. One of the parts that will stick in my ... Read full review


Death in Alvarado Court
The Directors Last Night
Taylors Years of Struggle

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About the author (1990)

Editor and author Robert Giroux was born in Jersey City, New Jersey on April 8, 1914. He dropped out of Regis High School shortly before graduation in order to take a newspaper job with The Jersey Journal. He received a scholarship to Columbia University, became editor-in-chief of The Columbia Review, and graduated in 1936. He joined the public relations department at the Columbia Broadcasting System and worked there for four years before finding his first editing job at Harcourt, Brace, and Company in 1940. During World War II, he served in the Navy. He joined Farrar, Straus and Company in 1955 as editor-in-chief and almost 20 of his writers at Harcourt followed him including T. S. Eliot, Bernard Malamud, and Flannery O'Connor. He became a partner in the publishing company in 1964 and eventually chairman. He also wrote several books including The Book Known as Q: A Consideration of Shakespeare's Sonnets, The Education of an Editor, and A Deed of Death: The Story Behind the Unsolved Murder of Hollywood Director William Desmond Taylor. He was the president of the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures from 1975 to 1982. He received numerous awards for his work including The Alexander Hamilton Medal from the Columbia University alumni association in 1987, the Mayoral Award of Honor for Art and Culture from the City of New York in 1989, and the Philolexian Award for Distinguished Literary Achievement in 2006. He died on September 5, 2008 at the age of 94.

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