Books on Duke

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  • There is some information in Jensen's Ben Johnson bio not readily available on the web, mostly about his parents and Ben's early years in Oklahoma and stunt years prior to meeting John Ford. The errors I've found in it mostly have to do with incorrect movie plot descriptions or some other minor details. But Jensen didn't have an axe to grind with Ben, as far as I can tell.

    The John Wayne bio sounds like another kettle of fish entirely, however. (I haven't read it.)

  • I read the preview of the book available on Amazon, and that was enough for me to decide it was a load of garbage. I did a review of it on my John Wayne fansite, and that got a nasty response (and I do mean nasty) from Richard Jensen (the "author" of the book). So I did a little digging and found out that his publisher, which is Raymond Street Publishers, was founded by some outfit in Oklahoma called "The Writers of the American West." As I dug farther, I found out that both of these are dummy corporations started by Jensen himself. In other words, there is no Raymond Street Publishers and there is no Writers of the American West. It's all fake. My original review of the book can be found here:…me-fact-true-life-of.html , and my response to Jensen's nasty retort to my review, where I debunk both his book on John WAyne, and also Jensen himself (with documentation), can be found here:…n-my-previous-review.html

    My opinion is that Jensen is a fraud and so is the book.

    "I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I require the same from them" It may be time worn, but it's the best life-creed I know.

  • Another biography of John Wayne is on the way. The author is Scott Eyman, who wrote Print the Legend: The Life and Times of John Ford and many other movie-related books. Publication date is April 1, 2014.

    Drawing on interviews that author Scott Eyman conducted with John Wayne before his death and more than 100 interviews with the actor’s family, co-stars, and close associates, this revelatory biography shows how both the facts and fictions about Wayne illuminate his singular life.

    John Wayne died more than thirty years ago, but he remains one of the five favorite movie stars of contemporary audiences. Yet, there has never been a comprehensive biography worthy of the man as well as the star. Until now.

    The beloved Hollywood icon comes fully to life in this complex portrait by a master biographer whose skillful prose has been hailed as “outstanding” and “compulsive reading” by reviewers from The New York Times to The Hollywood Reporter.

    The Washington Post Book World called Scott Eyman “one of the most distinguished and reliable of popular film historians.” In Eyman’s hands, this enduring symbol of American grit gets the biography he deserves.
    Exploring Wayne’s early life with a difficult mother and a feckless father, Eyman makes startling connections to his later days as an anti-Communist conservative, his stormy marriages to Latina women, and his notorious—and surprisingly long-lived—extra-marital affair with Marlene Dietrich.

    In addition to his interviews with those who knew Wayne best—many of whom had never spoken on the record before—Eyman draws on the actor’s own business records to weave a rich tapestry of American cultural history: the story of a man who went from college football to romantic lead on the silver screen, and who ultimately became the dominant—and often domineering—symbol of his country at mid-century, the quintessential American male against which all other screen heroes are compared.

    Through it all, the author provides a nuanced and sympathetic portrait that is as charming, compelling, and complicated as the Duke himself.

    Product Details

    • ISBN-13: 9781439199589
    • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
    • Publication date: 4/1/2014
    • Pages: 512

  • Thanks Paula for the heads up about this book. It may find a spot on my book shelve.

    Sent from my Galaxy S III using Forum Runner

  • That book sounds good but I take issue with the claim that Duke's story hasn't already been well told up until now. American is pretty much the definitive book on the Duke and for any autobiography to top that it would have to be something spectacular and I can't see how that's possible with sources of information lessening all the time.

  • That book sounds good but I take issue with the claim that Duke's story hasn't already been well told up until now. American is pretty much the definitive book on the Duke and for any autobiography to top that it would have to be something spectacular and I can't see how that's possible with sources of information lessening all the time.

    I agree Gareth, John Wayne: American, I think is as good as it gets,
    and my personal favourite and reference point.
    I also like DUKE: The Life and Image of John Wayne.
    However some of new books, especially
    JOHN WAYNE: The Legend and the Man
    are excellent

    As you say there is only so much information available,
    before it all becomes repetitive

    Best Wishes
    London- England

  • I wonder why there is so much interest in the Duke particularly at the moment, few books were released through the 90's and early 2000's but there seem to be almost a few released a year lately.

    I'm glad there is a renewed interest in John Wayne. I always want to learn more and books are a way to do that. The last 2 books released by Wayne Enterprises are very good books with pics and goodies inside that I have not seen before. But John Wayne: American is still one of the best out there. I wonder what this new book can tell me that the others have not? I'll probably wait to see the reviews or hear from members here about it first.


    "I couldn't go to sleep at night if the director didn't call 'cut'. "

  • May2- A good article, I really enjoyed reading Peter's review of the book and his personal observations. I read everything Peter says about movies and especialy Duke.

    "A people that values their Privileges above it's Principles. Soon looses both." Dwight Eisenhower

  • Keith, I want to commend you on this truly awesome thread/compilation of books related to John Wayne! I can't imagine the hours it must have taken you to complete - thank you so much!

    Colorado Bob, I really appreciate your review of Jensen's poor excuse of a 'biography', and your excellent job of exposing him for what he is - a fraud!

    Mrs. C :angel1:

  • Here's another new book that popped up on Amazon when I was looking around today. If anyone here reads it, would love to hear your review!

    From the publisher's webpage:

    1966. The year of change. The year of division. The middle of the 1960s, the great dividing line between what America had been, and what it became. All of it, in all its color, glory, and ugliness, came symbolically together on a hot, humid weekend in Austin, Texas.

    The protagonist? None other John “Duke” Wayne, the larger-than-life movie hero of countless Westerns and war dramas; a swashbuckling, ruggedly macho idol of America; the very embodiment of what the United States had become—the new Rome: the most powerful military, political, and cultural empire in the annals of mankind. Wayne, like the nation itself, stood astride the world in Colossus style, talking tough. Taking no prisoners.

    In September 1966, John Wayne was in Texas filming War Wagon while the integrated Trojans of the University of Southern California arrived in Austin to do battle with a powerhouse of equal stature, the all-white Texas Longhorns. The Duke, a one-time pulling guard for coach Howard Jones at USC, was there, accompanied by sycophants, and according to rumor, with spurs on.

    Wayne arrived in Austin the night before the game. Dressed to the nines, he immediately repaired to the hotel bar. He had a full entourage who hung on his every word as if uttered from the Burning Bush. So it was when the Duke ordered his first whiskey. Thus surrounded by sycophants, John Wayne bellowed opinions, bromides, and pronouncements. What happened next is subject to interpretation, for this weekend and many other details of the Duke’s “Trojan wars” are revealed and expounded upon by longtime USC historian Steven Travers.

    This book is a fly-on-the-wall exploration of this wild weekend and an immersion into the John Wayne mythology: his politics, his inspirations, the plots to assassinate him, his connections to Stalin, Khrushchev, and Chairman Mao, and the death of the Western.

  • Found American Titan Searching for John Wayne by Marc Eliot in the library this afternoon.

    This book is a mass of stupid errors. Don't they reread things once they've written them. Aren't there fact checkers who go through books? When they are checking spelling and punctuation don't they notice contradictory things that have been written and pass it on to the author he's made a mistake?

    Edited 2 times, last by may2 ().