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Books By Bob Spitz
Rock star. Whatever that term means to you, chances are it owes a debt to Led Zeppelin. No one before or since has lived the dream quite like Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, and John Bonham. In Led Zeppelin, Bob Spitz takes their full measure, separating the myth from the reality with his trademark connoisseurship and storytelling flair.
From the opening notes of their first album, the band announced itself as something different, a collision of grand artistic ambition and brute primal force, of English folk music and African American blues. That record sold over 10 million copies, and it was just the beginning; Led Zeppelin's albums have sold over 300 million certified copies worldwide, and the dust has never settled.
The band is notoriously guarded, and previous books provided more heat than light. But Spitz's authority is undeniable and irresistible. His feel for the atmosphere, the context--the music, the business, the recording studios, the touring life, the whole ecosystem of popular music--is unparalleled. His account of the melding of Page and Jones, the virtuosic London sophisticates, with Plant and Bonham, the wild men from the Midlands, in a scene dominated by the Beatles and the Stones but changing fast, is in itself a revelation. Spitz takes the music seriously and brings the band's artistic journey to full and vivid life.
The music, however, is only part of the legend: Led Zeppelin is also the story of how the sixties became the seventies, of how playing clubs became playing stadiums, of how innocence became decadence. Led Zeppelin wasn't the first rock band to let loose on the road, but as with everything else, they took it to an entirely new level. Not all the legends are true, but in Spitz's careful accounting, what is true is astonishing and sometimes disturbing.
Led Zeppelin gave no quarter, and neither has Bob Spitz. Led Zeppelin is the full and honest reckoning the band has long awaited, and richly deserves.
As soon as The Beatles became famous, the spin machine began to construct a myth -- one that has continued to this day. But the truth is much more interesting, much more exciting, and much more moving -- the highs and the lows, the love and the rivalry, the awe and the jealousy, the drugs, the tears, the thrill, and the magic to never be repeated. In this vast, revelatory, exuberantly acclaimed, and bestselling book, Bob Spitz has written the biography for which Beatles fans have long waited.
Spanning Pasadena to Paris, acclaimed author Bob Spitz reveals the history behind the woman who taught America how to cook. A genuine rebel who took the pretensions that embellished French cuisine and fricasseed them to a fare-thee-well, paving the way for a new era of American food—not to mention blazing a new trail in television—Child redefined herself in middle age, fought for women’s rights, and forever altered how we think about what we eat.
Chronicling Julia's struggles, her heartwarming romance with Paul, and, of course, the publication of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and her triumphant TV career, Dearie is a stunning story of a truly remarkable life.
More than five years in the making, based on hundreds of interviews and access to previously unavailable documents, and infused with irresistible storytelling charm, Bob Spitz's REAGAN stands fair to be the first truly post-partisan biography of our 40th President, and thus a balm for our own bitterly divided times.
It is the quintessential American triumph, brought to life with cinematic vividness: a young man is born into poverty and raised in a series of flyspeck towns in the Midwest by a pious mother and a reckless, alcoholic, largely absent father. Severely near-sighted, the boy lives in his own world, a world of the popular books of the day, and finds his first brush with popularity, even fame, as a young lifeguard. Thanks to his first great love, he imagines a way out, and makes the extraordinary leap to go to college, a modest school by national standards, but an audacious presumption in the context of his family's station. From there, the path is only very dimly lit, but it leads him, thanks to his great charm and greater luck, to a solid career as a radio sportscaster, and then, astonishingly, fatefully, to Hollywood. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Bob Spitz's REAGAN is an absorbing, richly detailed, even revelatory chronicle of the full arc of Ronald Reagan's epic life - giving full weight to the Hollywood years, his transition to politics and rocky but ultimately successful run as California governor, and ultimately, of course, his iconic presidency, filled with storm and stress but climaxing with his peace talks with the Soviet Union that would serve as his greatest legacy. It is filled with fresh assessments and shrewd judgments, and doesn't flinch from a full reckoning with the man's strengths and limitations. This is no hagiography: Reagan was never a brilliant student, of anything, and his disinterest in hard-nosed political scheming, while admirable, meant that this side of things was left to the other people in his orbit, not least his wife Nancy; sometimes this delegation could lead to chaos, and worse. But what emerges as a powerful signal through all the noise is an honest inherent sweetness, a gentleness of nature and willingness to see the good in people and in this country, that proved to be a tonic for America in his time, and still is in ours. It was famously said that FDR had a first-rate disposition and a second-rate intellect. Perhaps it is no accident that only FDR had as high a public approval rating leaving office as Reagan did, or that in the years since Reagan has been closing in on FDR on rankings of Presidential greatness. Written with love and irony, which in a great biography is arguably the same thing, Bob Spitz's masterpiece will give no comfort to partisans at either extreme; for the rest of us, it is cause for celebration.
The education of a barbarian in the temples of haute cuisine.
In the blink of an eye, Bob Spitz turned fifty, finished an eight-year book project and a fourteen-year marriage, had his heart stolen and broken on the rebound, and sought salvation the only way he knew how. He fled to Europe, where he hopscotched among the finest cooking schools in pursuit of his dream.Spitz hit the fabled cooking-school circuit in a series of idyllic European villages, and The Saucier’s Apprentice is a chronicle of his exploits. Combining an outrageous travelogue with gastronomic lore, hands-on cooking instruction, hot-tempered chefs, local personalities, and a batch of memorable recipes, Spitz’s odyssey recounts the transformation of a professional writer—and lifelong kitchen amateur—into a world-class cook.
"No other book captures it so well, understands so well.... "—Greil Marcus
Bob Spitz takes his place... among the most able chroniclers of the many myths, poses and postures of the middle-class Jewish boy from Minnesota and his dogged and at times ruthless pursuit of superstardom.—Boston Herald
"The great strength of this biography, apart from the massiveness of Spitz's research, is its respect for Dylan's talent, and an understanding of his social and musical talent."—London Sunday Telegraph
Bob Spitz is best known for Barefoot in Babylon, his eye-opening account of the Woodstock music festival. Before that, he represented Bruce Springsteen and Elton John, for which he was awarded four gold records. The author of hundreds of articles, Spitz has been published in Life, the New York Times Magazine, Esquire, Rolling Stone, Mirabella, and the Washington Post. He lives in New York City with his wife and is currently at work on a novel and two books of nonfiction.