Barbara Stanwyck was one of this century's finest film actresses. She received three Academy AwardR nominations and won an honorary Oscar, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute, and three Emmys. Author of the excellent William Wyler: The Authorized Biography (Crowell, 1973), Madsen would appear to be an appropriate biographer for such a star. Unfortunately, his results this time are less impressive. He has no penetrating insights to impart, and some questionable statements and infelicities of style detract. Madsen's Stanwyck is about on a par with the identically titled book by Jane Ellen Wayne (LJ 12/85)-which is to say, average. The definitive book on Stanwyck's films is Ella Smith's Starring Miss Barbara Stanwyck (LJ 1/15/74; Crown, 1985. rev. ed.); the definitive book on Stanwyck's life has yet to be written.-John Smothers, Monmouth Cty. Lib., Manalapan, N.J.