Thursday, April 16, 2009

"Goodness had nothing to do with it"

Charlotte Chandler's gift at getting legendary show business figures to open up about themselves is unique. For her book, "She Always Knew How," Chandler not only got the last major interview with Mae West -- not long before her death in 1980 at 87 -- but also what is almost certainly the most extensive interview West ever gave.

It's not that "She Always Knew How" is full of surprises, but that its depth and breadth brings West to life as thoughtful, caring and reflective, a woman of resilient character, self-knowledge and shrewdness in regard to human nature and in sustaining a career over eight decades.

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