Cover image for The men in my life : a memoir of love and art in 1950s Manhattan
The men in my life : a memoir of love and art in 1950s Manhattan
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Harper, [2017]

Physical Description:
xvi, 377 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Waking Up -- Focusing -- Making Choices -- Changing.
"An American journalist and biographer discusses what it was like to come of age during the repressive 1950s and how her family's move to New York landed her inside the Actor's Studio with Marilyn Monroe and Paul Newman,"--NoveList.
Personal Subject:


Material Type
Shelf Number
Item Note
Book 070.92 BOSWORTH 1

On Order

Prescott Public Library1Received on 2/8/17



Acclaimed biographer Patricia Bosworth recalls her emotional coming of age in 1950s New York in this profound and powerful memoir, a story of family, marriage, tragedy, Broadway, and art, featuring a rich cast of well-known literary and theatrical figures from the period.

From Bosworth--acclaimed biographer of Montgomery Clift, Diane Arbus, Marlon Brando, and Jane Fonda--comes a series of vivid confessions about her remarkable journey into womanhood. This deeply-felt memoir is the story of a woman who defied repressive 1950s conventions while being shaped by the notable men in her life.

Born into privilege in San Francisco as the children of famous attorney Bartley Crum and novelist Gertrude, Patricia and her brother Bart Jr. lead charmed lives until their father's career is ruined when he defends the Hollywood Ten. The family moves to New York, suffering greater tragedy when Bart Jr. kills himself. However, his loving spirit continues to influence Patricia as she fights to succeed as an actress and writer.

Married and divorced from an abusive husband before she's twenty, she joins the famed Actors Studio. She takes classes with Lee Strasberg alongside Marilyn Monroe, Paul Newman, and others; she works on Broadway opposite Paul Muni, Helen Hayes, and Elaine Stritch; Gore Vidal and Elia Kazan become her mentors. Her anecdotes of theatre's Golden Age have never been told before. At the zenith of her career, about to film The Nun's Story with Audrey Hepburn, Patricia faces a decision that changes her forever.

The Men in My Life is about survival, achieving your goals, and learning to love. It's also the story of America's most culturally pivotal era, told through the lens of one insider's extraordinary life.

Reviews 5

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this moving follow-up to her 1997 memoir, Anything Your Little Heart Desires, Bosworth comes into her own as a memoirist. The earlier book focused on her father, Bartley Crum, best known as a left-wing lawyer who'd represented the Hollywood 10. In this one, Bosworth (Montgomery Clift; Diane Arbus) retraces some of the same material, condensing her father's political life and her parents' personal struggles with absence, alcoholism, and adultery before expanding her own coming of age as an actress and, eventually, as a writer. Perhaps inevitably, many of her decisions were colored by her dysfunctional upbringing: her disastrous marriage in 1952 (she was 19) to an abusive wannabe artist was a thinly veiled escape. Her relationship with Joseph "Pepi" Schildkraut, a married actor her father's age, came just as her father was institutionalized for substance abuse. Her abortion as she was about to film A Nun's Story with Audrey Hepburn unleashed a torrent of suppressed Catholic guilt. The men who haunt Bosworth's raw narrative are her beloved brother, Bart Jr., who killed himself when he was 18, and her father, who killed himself six years later. In the end, Bosworth has no firm answers. They were prey, as she was, to "the ambivalent nature of choices between career and family, between romance and responsibility, between recklessness and restraint." (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Review

The theater world of the 1950s forms the backdrop for a star-studded memoir.Before she became a journalist and biographer, whose subjects include Montgomery Clift and Marlon Brando, Bosworth (Jane Fonda: The Private Life of a Public Woman, 2011, etc.) was an actress who trained at the Actors Studio (along with Marilyn Monroe, Paul Newman, and Steve McQueen) and performed on and off Broadway, on several TV soap operas, and on film as Audrey Hepburns friend in The Nuns Story. The author recounts the glamorous highs and frustrating lows of trying to succeed as an actress, offering juicy anecdotes featuring a large cast of the actors, directors, and playwrights who comprised the important men in her young life. In addition, she revisits some material from her previous memoir, Anything Your Little Heart Desires (1997), focused on her father, Bartley Crum, a lawyer who defended the Hollywood Ten and suffered reprisals during the McCarthy years; and her brother, Bart Jr., who killed himself in 1953. The two Barts are the men who affected her most. She dedicates the memoir to Bart Jr.; unfortunately, she records verbatim her imaginary, rather immature, conversations with him, which persisted long after his death. Bosworth longed to extricate herself from a family full of terrible silences that refused to recognize Barts homosexuality, find help for his depression, and acknowledge her fathers alcoholism and drug dependency. Her father eventually killed himself, as well. Her first act of rebellion was to elope when she was still in her teens. By choosing someone my parents disapproved of, she writes, I found myself released from all traditional expectations. But marriage was not the answer: her husband, a would-be artist, abused her; finally, with her fathers help, she got a divorce. She divulges an affair with an older, married man, who opened some professional doors; a later abortion; and, in 1966, marriage. By then, she had given up acting to become a writer. A forthright memoir of pain and aspirations enlivened by sharp portraits of a host of colorful celebrities. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* An actor, journalist, and arts biographer (of Diane Arbus, Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, and Jane Fonda), Bosworth returns to her own family history, first broached in Anything Your Little Heart Desires (1997), deepening her portraits of her mother, Gertrude Crum, a one-hit-wonder best-selling novelist, and her father, Bartley Crum, a prominent lawyer who risked all to defend the Hollywood Ten. Bosworth is also finally able to unveil the tragic losses that have shadowed and shaped her: her beloved brother's suicide at 18, followed six difficult years later by her adored father's taking of his life. Looking back to her rampaging twenties, Bosworth chronicles how she repressed her grief and guilt, recklessly threw herself into harrowing situations, and embraced exhilarating opportunities, all of which she describes with stunning immediacy and valiant candor. Bosworth endured violent and destructive relationships, an illegal abortion, and depression while pushing herself relentlessly to excel as a model, achieve coveted admission to the Actors Studio, perform on Broadway and in soap operas and film, and learn to write. Lush with tales of Lee Strasberg, Marilyn Monroe, Gore Vidal, Elaine Stritch, Audrey Hepburn, and many more, and spiked with arresting observations about glamour and about toxic sexism and homophobia, Bosworth's riveting memoir brings the covertly wild 1950s into startlingly close focus.--Seaman, Donna Copyright 2016 Booklist

New York Review of Books Review

THE IDIOT, by Elif Batuman. (Penguin, $16.) This loosely autobiographical novel - which our reviewer, Parul Sehgal, called "a hefty, gorgeous, digressive slab of a book" - charts the college life of Selin, a bookish naif at Harvard in the mid-1990s. The story borrows from Batuman's earlier work - heavy on Russophilia and kooky anecdotes - but offers a portrait of the intellectual and emotional development of an irresistible narrator. THE GAMES: A Global History of the Olympics, by David Goldblatt. (Norton, $17.95.) Goldblatt traces the glories and the stumbles of the modern Games, first held in Athens in 1896. Sexism, antiSemitism and racism have all plagued the Olympics for decades, as have scandals over worker conditions and concerns about doping. The book delves into the origins of beloved events like the marathon. SHADOWBAHN, by Steve Erickson. (Blue Rider, $16.) Twenty years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the twin towers inexplicably crop up in the South Dakota badlands, inhabited by Elvis's stillborn twin brother. Our reviewer, Fiona Maazel, compared the novel to "a polyphonic dirge for an America that has perhaps never lived anywhere but in the imagination of those of us who keep fighting for it anyway." WHITE TEARS, by Hari Kunzru. (Vintage, $16.) Seth and Carter, two 20-something New Yorkers, are music-obsessed and imagine themselves as cutting-edge producers. The pair release a track - a recent recording from Washington Square - but pass it off as a relic from Charlie Shaw, a singer of their invention supposedly lost to history. When the hoax gets traction, it sets off a ghost story that touches on appropriation, race and the blues. The novel benefits from Kunzru's cleareyed and canny view of America's cultural shifts. AGAINST EMPATHY: The Case for Radical Compassion, by Paul Bloom. (Ecco/HarperCollins, $16.99.) Bloom, a Yale psychology professor, urges a reconsideration of the roles that emotions play in moral decisions; as he puts it, "I want to make a case for the value of conscious, deliberative reasoning in everyday life, arguing that we should strive to use our heads rather than our hearts." THEMEN IN MY LIFE: A Memoir of Love and Art in 1950s Manhattan, by Patricia Bosworth. (Harper/ HarperCollins, $17.99.) Bosworth is perhaps best known as a biographer of stars like Diane Arbus and Montgomery Clift; her autobiography follows her navigating a glamorous career and sexual coming-of-age. But she doesn't give short shrift to what she calls "the bereaved creature inside me," mourning her brother and father.

Library Journal Review

This extraordinary memoir is set in the 1950s, a time of rigid social and cultural conformity, particularly challenging for women. Bosworth (Jane Fonda: The Private Life of a Public Woman; Montgomery Clift: A Biography) captures the era's essence while telling her own story. She struggles to come to terms with the negative consequences of her father's high-profile legal defense of the Hollywood Ten, the impact of her youthful and abusive marriage, and, above all, the suicide of her beloved brother. Setting her sights on an acting career, -Bosworth studies with Lee Strasberg at the legendary Actors Studio and eventually appears onstage and in films with such luminaries as Helen Hayes and Audrey Hepburn. Her absorbing behind-the-scenes descriptions incisively reflect the inner workings of the theatrical world of Broadway and beyond. Bosworth abandons acting to focus on becoming an award-winning journalist, penning biographies of Marlon Brando, Diane Arbus, and others. Her journey is fascinating, and she presents both people and events with honesty and sensitivity. VERDICT This exceptional account not only provides an in-depth portrait of -the author, it also clearly illuminates a complex yet pivotal period in 20th-century America.-Carol J. Binkowski, Bloomfield, NJ © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Author's Notep. xiii
Prologuep. 1
Part 1 Waking Upp. 7
Part 2 Focusingp. 121
Part 3 Making Choicesp. 219
Part 4 Changingp. 299
Afterwordp. 361
Acknowledgmentsp. 365
Indexp. 367