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Julie Phillips… in this engaging account of the writing of nine lives, including Frank Lloyd Wright and Salvador Dalí, Secrest reveals that biography in fact requires a very different set of skills. Someone, somewhere, usually knows what really happened. Her problem is to get them to tell her, or let her read the letters or allow the quotes to be published. Her most important tools are not sleuthing and spycraft but tact and sympathy.
— The Washington Post