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die hard: AN ORAL HISTORY
In the late 1970s, long before an optimistic era of popcorn fare invaded theaters with the likes of steroidal heroes such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, a young bartender from south Jersey named "Bruno" had worked the service bar at Cafe Central on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Eventually, the barkeep-turned-actor would grace the small screen opposite Cybill Shepherd in the ABC series Moonlighting and, with a few turns of luck, the big screen in the unlikely role of John McClane.
Bruce Willis would then forever be recognized as the world's ultimate anti-hero, a blue-collar Everyman with the worst luck, always surrounded by terrorists taking over something or other. And, in Die Hard: An Oral History, writers, actors, producers, and studio executives reveal behind-the-scenes stories, from the curious origins of the film's title, to the script's evolution from a depressing ‘70s character study to an optimistic Reagan-era blockbuster, to the seminal negotiations between 20th Century Fox and Willis's then-agent which sent his client's career into the stratosphere, to details of moguls Lawrence Gordon and Joel Silver’s famously tumultuous relationship while developing some of the '80s most successful franchises.
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GAWKER: AN ORAL HISTORY
At last, the definitive history of the most infamous, controversial and successful gossip website in the world. Thirteen years after the birth of Gawker in 2002, Nick Denton’s flagship property remains at the forefront of a revolution that modernized American media and resuscitated a fearless tabloid sensibility deemed all but lost after Spy magazine and The Tattler went to magazine heaven.
In this extensive oral history of Gawker Media’s news and gossip network, the bloggers, videographers, and reporters who’ve worked for Denton reveal the inner-workings of his media empire — from inter-office romances to rampant attacks on New York’s rich and famous, from its halcyon days as a shoestring operation run out of coffee shops to its current status as a $44 million business.
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Party Like a President: True Tales of Inebriation, Lechery, and Mischief from the Oval Office
There’s the office: President of the United States. And then there’s the man in the office—flesh-and-blood, prone to temptation, and looking to unwind after a long day running the country. Celebrating the decidedly less-distinguished side of the nation’s leaders, Party Like a President: True Tales of Inebriation, Lechery, and Mischief from the Oval Office offers a compelling, hilarious, and true American history on the rocks—a Washington-to-Obama, vice-by-vice chronicle of how the presidents liked to party.
From explicit love letters to slurred speeches to nude swims at Bing Crosby’s house, reputations are ruined and secrets bared. George Washington brokered the end of the American Revolution over glasses of Madeira. Harry Truman threw back a shot of Old Grand-Dad each morning “to get the engine running.” Ulysses S. Grant rarely drew a sober breath when he was leading the North to victory. And it wasn’t all liquor. Some preferred their narcotics—Nixon, the early architect of America’s war on drugs, was a pill-popper. Others chased women instead—both the professorial Woodrow Wilson (aka “Tiger”) and the good ol’ boy Bill Clinton. Though neither could hold a candle to John F. Kennedy, who was also a patient of the infamous “Dr. Feelgood,” the celebrated 1960s’ dispenser of “vitamin” injections of pure amphetamine.
Illustrated with infographics (James Garfield’s attempts at circumnavigating the temperance movement), comic strips (George Bush Sr.’s infamous vomiting incident at a state dinner in Japan), caricatures, and fake archival documents, the book has the smart, funny feel of Mad magazine meets The Colbert Report. Plus, it includes recipes for 44 cocktails inspired by each Partier-in-Chief.
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AND NOW...An Oral History of "Late Night with David Letterman," 1982-1993
In the early 1980s, before the dawn of cable television, the fresh and ironic obsessions of a charismatic young standup comic named David Letterman transformed comedy forever. In this definitive oral history of Late Night, Letterman’s NBC 12:30 am talk show that aired from 1982 to 1993, writers, producers, executives and actors share revealing stories — from the origins of the "Top 10" lists and "Stupid Pet Tricks" to the battle over who would replace Letterman’s mentor, Johnny Carson, as host of The Tonight Show, to Letterman’s final days at 30 Rock before moving to CBS for The Late Show.
AND NOW…An Oral History of "Late Night with David Letterman," 1982-1993 is an insider’s look into late-night TV, and straight from the people who lived it. Network execs Fred Silverman and Warren Littlefield offer never-before-heard commentary on operations and comedy development at NBC. Staffers recall the hiring and firings of major talents, many of whom went on to make lasting impacts on important series such as Seinfeld and The Simpsons. And don’t expect for anyone to agree on who gets credit for coming up with the “Top Ten.” Revisit on-set moments like the “Monkey Cam” and the 360° image-rotation episode as well as behind the scenes, where the famous dispute for Johnny Carson’s chair erupted into the first of the late night wars.
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