Howard Hughes: Power, Paranoia & Palace Intrigue

Overview


One of the most famous and enigmatic Americans of the twentieth century, Howard Hughes challenged Hollywood's conventions and packed theaters with his blockbuster films Hell's Angels, Scarface and The Outlaw. He thrilled the world with his aviation exploits, shattering air speed records, flying around the world in record time and building the world's largest aircraft. Hughes was linked with almost every major film beauty of the 1930s and '40s, making him a favorite subject of the nation's gossip columns. One of ...
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Overview


One of the most famous and enigmatic Americans of the twentieth century, Howard Hughes challenged Hollywood's conventions and packed theaters with his blockbuster films Hell's Angels, Scarface and The Outlaw. He thrilled the world with his aviation exploits, shattering air speed records, flying around the world in record time and building the world's largest aircraft. Hughes was linked with almost every major film beauty of the 1930s and '40s, making him a favorite subject of the nation's gossip columns. One of the world's first billionaires, Hughes transformed his father's small fortune into a vast business empire.But for all his celebrated achievements, Hughes' later years in Las Vegas - when drug addiction, bizarre behavior and a casino buying spree dominated his days - continue to draw the public's fascination. Geoff Schumacher, a veteran journalist and the author of Sun, Sin & Suburbia: An Essential History of Modern Las Vegas, delves into the Las Vegas years of Howard Hughes in this engrossing portrait of a man whose impact on the city is still being felt today.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

This rambling account of the eccentric, reclusive billionaire stresses Hughes's relationship with Las Vegas, where he spent much of his adult life. Vegas reporter Schumacher draws upon research from other books, interviews and a lifetime of covering his native city to produce an entertaining volume about a relentlessly fascinating character. Hughes (1904-1976) became famous as a producer of such Hollywood classics as Hell's Angels, The Front Pageand Scarface. Applying his energy to aviation, he designed planes, broke speed records and founded TWA and Hughes Aircraft. Schumacher swiftly covers these accomplishments, then focuses on the last 30 years of Hughes's life. It is a lively record of business deals, legal battles and personality clashes as Hughes's peculiarities and drug use degenerate into serious addiction and obsessive germophobia. Hughes spent his last decade as a secluded, unwashed, unshaved invalid with attendants who overlooked his best interests. Ignoring chronology, Schumacher's book reads like a series of well-researched, opinionated newspaper articles that include cameos by famous supporting characters like Jane Russell and vignettes about the fight over his estate and Clifford Irving's fake Hughes autobiography. Readers should look elsewhere for an organized biography, but they will find plenty to enjoy in this scattershot collection. Photos not seen by PW. (Feb.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781932173598
  • Publisher: Stephens Press, LLC
  • Publication date: 2/1/2008
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 6.55 (w) x 9.31 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author


Geoff Schumacher grew up in Southern Nevada and has been a reporter, columnist and editor in Las Vegas for nineteen years. Currently, Schumacher is the director of community publications, and a weekly columnist for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He is also the author of Sun, Sin & Suburbia.
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Table of Contents

Preface: The Hughes-Vegas connection     11
Acknowledgments     15
Before Las Vegas: A Howard Hughes primer     17
Early Las Vegas: Hughes' safe haven     29
Bob Maheu, Part 1: Rise of the alter ego     41
Outside Looking In: What Las Vegas saw     51
The Penthouse: In the hermit's kingdom     67
The Landmark: The hard luck hotel     73
The Palace Coup: The manipulation of Howard Hughes     81
The Governors: Dealing with Hughes     89
Jack Real: Hughes' last friend     95
Bob Maheu, Part 2: Aftermath of the palace coup     105
Hank Greenspun: Media friend, media foe     115
Paul Winn: Secretary to Hughes     125
John Meier: Politics, paranoia, and the mining scam     135
Clifford Irving: The hoax and the interview     145
Channel 8: Hughes' movie source     157
Melvin Dummar: Good Samaritan or teller of tales?     163
The Estate: Will and the wills     185
Legacies: Hughes in hindsight     195
Hughesiana
Uncle Rupert: The renaissance man     205
RKO Pictures: How to wreck a movie studio     215
Jane Russell: 'Two good reasons to see The Outlaw'     221
Terry Moore: Hughes' secret wife?     229
Perspectives: Jimmy, Ralph, and Louella on Hughes     239
Weird Tales: Obscure books about Hughes     247
The Fictional Hughes: Movies, novels, and beyond     261
Hughes on Display: He's everywhere in Las Vegas     273
Afterword: Haunted by Hughes     275
Bibliography     285
Index     287
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 8, 2010

    Fascinating exploration of a most brilliant if curious man

    I met the author Geoff Schumacher at an event where he talked about Howard Hughes. Being a veteran Las Vegas journalist, he is especially knowledgeable about Howard's years in the desert and the impact he had -- lasting through the present. Hughes was at times, just plain odd, and at other times, simply a brilliant strategist. The palace intrigue part of the book is especially compelling as people close to Hughes both catered to his peculiar requirements and tried to get their jobs done, despite them. For anyone interested in this endlessly fascinating man, this book is a must-read.

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