This Time, This Place: My Life in War, the White House, and Hollywood

This Time, This Place: My Life in War, the White House, and Hollywood

4.0 1
by Jack Valenti
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

With the nation at war in the 1940s, twenty-two-year-old Jack Valenti flew fifty-one combat missions as the pilot of a B-25 attack bomber with the 12th Air Force based in Italy. In the 1960s, with the nation reeling from the assassination of a beloved president and becoming embroiled in a far different kind of war in Vietnam, he was in that fateful Dallas motorcade in…  See more details below

Overview

With the nation at war in the 1940s, twenty-two-year-old Jack Valenti flew fifty-one combat missions as the pilot of a B-25 attack bomber with the 12th Air Force based in Italy. In the 1960s, with the nation reeling from the assassination of a beloved president and becoming embroiled in a far different kind of war in Vietnam, he was in that fateful Dallas motorcade in 1963, flew back to Washington with the new president, and for three years worked in the inner circle of the White House as special assistant to President Lyndon Johnson. Then, for the next thirty-eight years, with American society and popular culture undergoing a revolutionary transformation, Valenti was the public face of Hollywood in his capacity as head of the Motion Picture Association of America.

Been there, done that, indeed. Texas-born and Harvard-educated, Valenti has led several lives, any one of which could have provided ample material for an unforgettable memoir. As it is, This Time, This Place is the gripping story of a man who saw the terrible face of war while fighting with skill and bravery for his country; who was in the room, listening, participating, and remembering, as political decisions were made that would benefit or devastate countless lives in this country and on the other side of the world; and who championed the interest of the vast and globally influential movie industry with tenacity and vision. The list of boldface names whom Valenti knew and with whom he worked is as varied as it is astonishing in number. Aside
from LBJ, there were Jack and Bobby Kennedy, Kirk Douglas, Frank Sinatra, Robert McNamara, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Julia Roberts, Cary Grant, Lew Wasserman, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jack Nicholson, Michael Douglas, Warren Beatty, and Bill Clinton, to begin a very long list.

The life of a man who earned both the Distinguished Flying Cross and his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is inherently intriguing, but Valenti’s warm, sometimes rueful, always engaging account gives this memoir a depth of humanity and a taste of life’s unpredictability that will linger long after you turn the final page. From growing up poor but largely oblivious to that fact in a hardscrabble neighborhood of Greek and Italian immigrants in Houston to rising to the highest summits both of national government and Hollywood, This Time, This Place is a candid and clear-eyed reflection of the joys and sorrows, ambitions and disappointments, of a life fully recognizable in its extraordinary variety. It is also a sweeping and important historical record, written by a brilliantly successful man who helped to shape politics and entertainment in the second half of the twentieth century, and who always found himself in the center of the current storm.


From the Hardcover edition.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Jeanine Basinger
His most enduring legacy from those years was his establishment in 1968 of the motion picture rating system, for which he fought ferociously and which he defended without apology. In the preface to his book Mr. Valenti warns the reader that he is writing for his grandchildren. In other words, he’s going to censor himself. Just as he kept a lid on fear under combat stress, a lid on President Johnson (no doubt a lid the size of Kansas) and a lid on the leaders of Hollywood, Mr. Valenti keeps his memoir firmly under control. He tells only what he wants to tell, disappearing behind platitudes or quotations from Emerson, Faulkner and others when camouflage is needed.
— The New York Times
Library Journal
From LBJ's right-hand man to chair and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Onetime special assistant to LBJ and head of the Motion Picture Association of America pens his memoirs, definitely rated G. It should come as no surprise that when somebody like Valenti (Protect and Defend, 1992, etc.) finally gets around to writing the story of his life, he not only dishes no dirt, but eliminates every hint of grime. As he tells it in a narrative that hops willy-nilly through time, life is peachy, filled well-nigh to bursting with wonderful opportunities, lucky coincidences, helpful friends and memorable dinner parties. Things started out peachy growing up among Greek and Italian immigrants on an unpaved street in Houston and just kept getting better, almost without fail. Sure, serving as a B-25 pilot during WWII had its tough moments, but the GI Bill got him into Harvard Business School, which eventually helped him set up an ad agency back in Houston, so that worked out OK. It was a bummer for this well-connected Lone Star Democrat to have helped arrange JFK's Texas visit in November 1963, but hours after the assassination he was on Air Force One as a special assistant to the new president, so there's a silver lining there too. Valenti accords readers a fascinating and rightfully adoring glimpse of volcanic, passionate LBJ, but his time at the White House ended in 1966, when he was wooed by Hollywood to head up the MPAA. (He finally stepped down in 2004.) It would be nasty to conclude that Valenti comes off here as nothing more than a company man with a toothy Cheshire grin, but it's hard to find anything much more positive to say about a memoir more intent on name-dropping and ticking off plaudits to buddies and bosses than in giving a reckoning of Valenti the man. Abook-length Special Achievement Oscar acceptance speech.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307393487
Publisher:
Crown/Archetype
Publication date:
05/15/2007
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Jack Valenti has written numerous essays for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Atlantic Monthly, Newsweek, and other publications. He lives in Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles.


From the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

This Time, This Place: My Life in War, the White House, and Hollywood 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I came away educated on LBJ and the movie industry from a man that was THERE while it was all happening. It was as if he was sitting in the chair next to me recounting, in man to man language his past and his thoughts of the people and happenings around him. I was impressed and enjoyed it thoroughly.