In this popular history, the creator of You Must Remember This probes the inner workings of Hollywood’s glamorous golden age through the stories of some of the dozens of actresses pursued by Howard Hughes, to reveal how the millionaire mogul’s obsessions with sex, power and publicity trapped, abused, or benefitted women who dreamt of screen stardom.
While fascinating in its past particulars, Seduction is also a very timely book. In recent years the entertainment industry has been rocked by scandal, the #MeToo movement shattering the code of silence around the still-existing 'casting couch' ... The book is a compulsive page-turner, written with a wisecracking style ('[Hughes] had cooked up this cockamamie scheme...') that also manages to be serious and thoughtful ... One look at Longworth's bibliography gives a sense of the scope of her research, as well as her painstaking methodology. She hasn’t just relied on memoirs and official biographies. She has also dug deep into the archives of long-defunct movie magazines, poring through gossip pages, movie scrapbooks and blind items written as the events unfolded in real time ... While Longworth treats Hughes' mental struggles with appropriate sympathy, she never lets you forget the women whose lives were often derailed by their run-ins with him. This is a book about Hollywood and so it is a book about male power run unchecked.
In Seduction: Sex, Lies, and Stardom in Howard Hughes’s Hollywood, Karina Longworth creates a candid portrait of the multifaceted millionaire, revealing the depth of his tendencies toward control, secrecy and manipulation of the women he kept close ... Known for her podcast 'You Must Remember This,' Longworth, with Seduction, strengthens her reputation as one of our most knowledgeable researchers of Hollywood history. Her approach is twofold: Our focus is, of course, on Hughes in Hollywood... but we also gain insight into the lives of the actresses he pursued.
This is a book for Hollywood lovers, especially lovers of the golden age when the studio system cranked out movies like products on assembly lines. The moral of the story is that, when the rich and powerful die, they are just as dead as the poor and oppressed. The final exam is how they are remembered for living their lives when they were above-ground. To hear Karina Longworth tell it, Howard Hughes flunked.