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The Twelve Lives of Alfred Hitchcock

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Winner of the 2022 Edgar Award for Best Biography
An Economist Best Book of the Year

The Twelve Lives of Alfred Hitchcock is a fresh, innovative biography of the most iconic filmmaker of the twentieth century. In this book, Edward White examines the Hitchcock phenomenon-what it is, how it was invented, and what it reveals about the man at its core.

In the book's twelve chapters, Hitchcock's life and work are explored in depth: "The Boy Who Couldn't Grow Up," "The Murderer," "The Auteur," "The Womanizer," "The Fat Man," "The Dandy," "The Family Man," "The Voyeur," "The Entertainer," "The Pioneer," "The Londoner," and "The Man of God." Hitchcock's life as well as the various versions of himself that he projected, and those he was projected on his behalf, are presented in each of these angles, which reveal something fundamental about the man he was and the mythological creature he has become.

From Hitchcock's early films to his most celebrated films, White expertly analyzes his oeuvre and offers new interpretations. In addition, he examines Hitchcock's views on gender; his complicated relationships with his "women," including Grace Kelly and Tippi Hedren, as well as his female audiences and leading men, including Cary Grant, and his devotion to Alma, his wife and lifelong companion, who played a vital role in numerous classic Hitchcock films, and enriched his mythology. His assessment of Hitchcock's persona is trenchant, so carefully crafted that he became more than a figurehead for his own industry.

In the end, White's portrayal illuminates a vital truth: Hitchcock was more than a Hollywood titan; he was a modern master, whose significance surpassed cinema's borders.

Edward White has written for publications including the Paris Review and The Tastemaker: Carl Van Vechten and the Birth of Modern America.

  • Publisher ‏: ‎ WW Norton (April 13 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
  • Item weight ‏ : ‎ 664 g
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 16 x 3.3 x 23.62 cm

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The Twelve Lives of Alfred Hitchcock


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