"This is the book to read if you want to try to understand what made Monroe tick." -The Washington Post
Lois Banner is a founder of the field of women's history and cofounder of the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians, the major academic event in the field. She was the first woman president of the American Studies Association, and in 2005 she won the ASA's Bode-Pearson Prize for Outstanding Contributions to American Studies. She is the author of ten books, including her acclaimed American Beauty and most recently MM-Personal, which reproduces and discusses items from Marilyn Monroe's personal archive. Banner is a professor of history and gender studies at USC and lives in Southern California.
Banner presents a rich and often imaginative narrative of Marilyn's life. By the end, Monroe feels at once like an earthly being - an almost-friend - and an enigma, still slightly out of focus and just beyond reach. That seems right. -- Zoe Slutzky The New York Times Book Review This is the book to read if you want to try to understand what made Monroe tick... Banner's methodical approach and refusal to give Monroe praise when the actress doesn't deserve it confer a kind of dignity on the subject. -- Mindy Aloff The Washington Post A dazzling portrait of a fragile but remarkably ambitious and determined personality, as spiritual as she was corporeal. Elle A passion for precision and truth fuels Banner's electrifying portrait of an artist caught in a maze of paradoxes and betrayals. Here is Marilyn as we've never seen her before. -- Donna Seamon Booklist (starred review) For those of us who love Marilyn, [Banner's book] constitutes an invaluable resource, a compendium of the latest discoveries, a settling of long-festering questions, and a thoughtful and thorough revisiting of the subjects we love most. -- Caitlin Flanagan The Atlantic