Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:
Named one of the best books of 2017 by Time, People, Amazon.com, The Guardian, Paste Magazine, The Economist, Entertainment Weekly, & Vogue
Tina Brown kept delicious daily diaries throughout her eight spectacular years as editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair . Today they provide an incendiary portrait of the flash and dash and power brokering of the Excessive Eighties in New York and Hollywood.
The Vanity Fair Diaries is the story of an Englishwoman barely out of her twenties who arrives in New York City with a dream. Summoned from London in hopes that she can save Condé Nast's troubled new flagship Vanity Fair , Tina Brown is immediately plunged into the maelstrom of the competitive New York media world and the backstabbing rivalries at the court of the planet's slickest, most glamour-focused magazine company. She survives the politics, the intrigue, and the attempts to derail her by a simple stratagem: succeeding. In the face of rampant skepticism, she triumphantly reinvents a failing magazine.
Here are the inside stories of Vanity Fair scoops and covers that sold millions--the Reagan kiss, the meltdown of Princess Diana's marriage to Prince Charles, the sensational Annie Leibovitz cover of a gloriously pregnant, naked Demi Moore. In the diary's cinematic pages, the drama, the comedy, and the struggle of running an "it" magazine come to life. Brown's Vanity Fair Diaries is also a woman's journey, of making a home in a new country and of the deep bonds with her husband, their prematurely born son, and their daughter.
Astute, open-hearted, often riotously funny, Tina Brown's The Vanity Fair Diaries is a compulsively fascinating and intimate chronicle of a woman's life in a glittering era.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
How I got there -- 1983. Dance with me -- 1984. All in -- 1985. Ten thousand nights in a cocktail dress -- 1986. We are three -- 1987. Shake, rattle, and roll -- 1988. Gold dust -- 1989. Art of the deal -- 1990. We are four -- 1991. Natural born woman -- 1992. Rhapsody in blue -- Epilogue. What happened later.
The irreverent diaries of the author's celebrated years as editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair also serves as a vibrant portrait of the 1980s in New York and Hollywood, describing her summons from London in the hopes of saving Conde Nast's troubled periodical and her experiences within the cutthroat world of glamour magazines.
dust jacket housed 20180418 pda MCR-S
Reviews provided by Syndetics
Publishers Weekly Review
The pathbreaking editor records her greatest success and the effervescent media-biz surrounding it in this scintillating memoir. Brown (The Diana Chronicles) collects diary from her editorship at Vanity Fair, which she made into a must-read trendsetter with a mix of glamorous photo spreads (a picture of a nude and heavily pregnant Demi Moore became an icon), high-toned tabloid sagas of celebrities-in-distress like Claus von Bulow and Princess Di, and probing feature articles like William Styron's depression confessional "Darkness Visible." It's a frenzied story of last-minute photo dramas ("There was a problem getting the horse into the elevator"), editing tussles, pilgrimages to beg ads from fashion designers, and wary sparring with the magazine's shy but ruthless owner Si Newhouse. Swirling around the VF narrative is Brown's reportage on countless power lunches and cocktail parties, full of hilariously acid portraits of movie stars, socialites, literary lions and plutocrats, from Wallace Shawn ("a small, anxious hippo" with "a creaky voice and twinkly, creased-up eyes") to Donald Trump (a "sneaky, petulant infant" with a "pouty Elvis face" who poured a drink down a VF staffer's back after she wrote something unflattering about him). The result is a witty, exuberant portrait of print journalism's last golden age. Photos. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
*Starred Review* Oxford graduate Tina Brown was not quite 30 in 1980 when she arrived in New York and took over the editorship of Vanity Fair. It was a bold move for Condé Nast owner Si Newhouse, and it was a stroke of genius. In today's media world, when many have written off the viability of print magazines, especially the high-circulation, glossy variety, the story of how Brown revived the once-grand VF, which was losing millions of dollars a year when she sat down at the editor's desk, has the ring of Camelot to it. What Brown couldn't know as she was composing the diary entries that constitute this utterly compelling look at how she remade Vanity Fair was that the 1980s would mark both the golden age and, to a great extent, the last hurrah of glossy magazines in all their glittery, big-spending, print-centric glory. Brown was right to publish her diaries, written in the heat of battle, rather than writing a memoir about the Vanity Fair years because her real-time musings possess a powerful immediacy, capturing a time when she felt herself to be living in a permanent red-hot present. Making the same point that Terry McDonell, another influential golden-age magazine editor, made in his Accidental Life (2016), Brown stresses the importance of finding the right mix in editorial content between high and low, long and short, a combination designed to attract both readers and advertisers in the largest possible numbers. For Brown and Vanity Fair, the mix meant both hard-news features by top writers (Gail Sheehy and Dominick Dunne were two of her aces) and newsstand-hot celebrity covers (a nude and pregnant Demi Moore; Ronald and Nancy Reagan kissing). Her accounts of creating those covers and working with such photographers as Annie Leibovitz and Helmut Newton are among this book's highlights, but equally intriguing is her take on a different kind of mix the one a high-powered editor must maintain between office, home (Brown is married to another high-powered editor, Harold Evans), and the all-important party circuit. She has revealing and insightful things to say about all three, and although the occasional dishy descriptions of the endless round of parties, charity events, and private dinners will draw the most reader interest (she describes legendary agent Swifty Lazar's bald head and ancient baby neck as looking, from the back, like crinkled foreskin), it is the glimpses of Brown at work writing captions and cover copy, choosing the crucial cover photos, and making on-the-fly decisions about how to reshape a feature that are the real meat of the book, and they offer an indelible sense of what an editor does and why it matters. Yes, but nobody will be able to resist the juicy bits (the book has its own mix), like the time her friend Sally Quinn disinvited her to a birthday party for Quinn's husband, Ben Bradlee, because a VF book review of Quinn's novel Regrets Only, by Christopher Buckley, described the book as cliterature. High and low, perceptive and prescient (in 1987, she speculated that the American public won't be able to resist the crassness of Donald Trump), this is a wildly entertaining, essential look at print journalism before the fall. Let us all pray that Brown also kept diaries of her years in the 1990s as editor of the New Yorker.--Ott, Bill Copyright 2018 Booklist
Kirkus Book Review
Princess Diana, Donald Trump, Nancy Reagan, and other newsy icons come in for critical assessment by a sharp-tongued London transplant who remade two leading magazines. Brown (The Diana Chronicles, 2007) arrived in New York in 1983, in the thick of the Reagan era, and set about revamping a magazine that was off just about anyone's radar. Recruited by Si Newhouse, a tycoon of a literary bent ("Si doesn't know what the fuck is going on on the VF floor," she writes, a tad unappreciatively), she did just that, filling the magazine with serious journalism while chasing after the pop-culture evanescent. This diary is a blend of high and low and in between, especially on the high gossip front, as with her fixation on a certain cluster of royals: "No one is more dismayed about this apparently than Diana, who signed up to marry the royal James Bond." Amid the fluff and the constant fretting about moneypossessed of a healthy sense of self-regard, Brown is also keenly attuned to matters of dollars and pencereaders learn a lot about how a high-toned magazine is put together, work involving schmoozing, partying, and ego-stroking as much as blue-penciling, all of which Brown is clearly very good at. A typical day, she reveals, might involving talking a recalcitrant author into a piece he or she might not really have wanted to do, dealing with one's handlers ("How does two million dollars sound to you?" says superagent Swifty Lazar, shopping a novel by Brown that exists only in the ether), and slotting the David Nivens and the Ahmet Erteguns in for supper. The narrative ends with an upward move to another Newhouse property, the New Yorker, where, as at VF, Brown upset dozens of boats ("I replaced seventy-one of the 120 New Yorker staff with fifty outstanding new talents") while casting a cultural institution in her own image.Entertaining if sometimes mean-spirited and full of valuable lessons in howand sometimes how notto run a magazine. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.