Jane Fonda: The Private Life of a Public Woman
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Bosworth goes behind the image of an American superwoman, revealing Fonda—more powerful and vulnerable than ever expected—whose struggles for high achievement, love, and successful motherhood mirror the conflicts of a generation of women.
As actress, activist, businesswoman, wife, and mother, Jane Fonda has pushed herself to the limit, attempting to please all, excel in every arena, be everything. We’ve read her version of her controversial life, yet nothing can prepare us for this genuinely revelatory account of Jane’s engrossing, sometimes shocking journey.
Supplemented by the psychiatric records of her suicidal, bipolar mother, Fonda’s FBI file, and interviews with her intimates, this perceptive portrait strips away hype and the subject’s own mythmaking. Patricia Bosworth shows us what a toll Jane’s quest to excel (and please her demanding father, Henry) exacted and sheds light on truths she’s glossed over: her rejection of her mother before her suicide; the death threats and self-doubts of her antiwar crusade; her second husband Tom Hayden’s habit of putting her down while spending her fortune; the emotional downfall that led her to stop acting and marry Ted Turner.
Lee Strasberg once said that Jane had "panic in her eyes," and it is this wounded but so familiar woman—human yet still heroic, the embodiment of a generation’s conflicts and triumphs—whom Bosworth captures so utterly and definitively.
Jane Fonda's childhood was not the privileged one the public thinks a child of a famous actor (Henry Fonda) would have but one full of determination to please her cold, unemotional father and rejection of her mother. Her mother commits suicide and this combined with her father's seeming constant disapproval forms Jane into the woman she becomes.
Jane first married Roger Vadim, who molded her into the sex kitten and superstar actress she became. Her second marriage was to Tom Hayden who seems only to want her money. Ted Turner actively pursued Jane until she married him.
Career-wise, Jane has acted and no one who grew up in the sixties can forget Hanoi Jane. Jane visited North Vietnam while the US was at war with them and sat on anti-aircraft guns for a picture and talked to POWs. She was vilified at the time and received death threats. She has since helped many activist organizations.
Next was her career as workout guru. This has been a bonanza that continues to this day.
This book brought Jane to life and gave an insight into her which was very interesting. It is a very large book and at times I did find it a bit sluggish but this is probably due to the shear volume of Jane's achievements. I wonder if because Jane has not been in the limelight for a number of years whether this book will appeal to those who are younger.
Jane is a bundle of energy who never stops. She is constantly in motion and has more careers than anyone would have in several lifetimes. Unfortunately throughout her life she sometimes does things without thinking through the consequences and that gets her into a great deal of difficulty.