Molly Ivins

Molly Ivins

A Rebel Life

Book - 2009
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She was a groomed for a gilded life in moneyed Houston, but Molly Ivins left the country club behind to become one of the most provocative, courageous, and influential journalists in American history. Presidents and senators called her for advice; her column ran in 400 newspapers; her books were bestsellers. But despite her fame, few people really knew her: what her background was, who influenced her, how her political views developed, or how many painful struggles she fought. This is a comprehensive, definitive narrative biography, based on intimate knowledge of Molly, interviews with her family, friends, and colleagues, and access to her personal papers. It is at once the saga of a powerful, pugnacious woman muscling her way to the top in a world dominated by men; a look behind the scenes of national media and politics; and a sobering account of the toll of addiction and cancer.--From publisher description.
Publisher: New York :, PublicAffairs,, [2009]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2009
ISBN: 9781586489052
Branch Call Number: 070.92 I958M
Characteristics: xv, 335 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Smith, W. Michael


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Jul 04, 2011

Molly Ivins was a pistol. She was smart, sassy, and captivating. Her political writings were treasured by liberals around the country. I appreciate that the authors felt she deserved a biography but, sadly, this biography fails to be as interesting as she was.
The first 50+ pages are tedious, full of detail after detail about her parents. The book then segues into a discussion of a man alleged to be Molly Ivins' great love a rich, rapacious, Ayn Rand-adoring, Republican. Friends assumed they were soul mates who would eventually marry but he died in a motorcycle accident. I don't think the book adequately explained how Molly Ivins metamorphosed from an Ayn Rand type to the wild & wonderful progressive she became. The authors seem to think she did it just to rebel against her father. I'd like to think that she learned liberalism from life and from reading (she was a serious bibliophile).
I confess I was surprised (and yes, disappointed) to learn that when Molly Ivins was feeling low, she read murder mysteries and romance novels. Arrgh; I would've preferred not to know.
The authors insist on adding irrelevant details. Why would readers care that her 20th birthday was the day after the movie “Mary Poppins� was released? The very last sentence of the book, referring to the day she died, illustrates this irritating tendency: “It was the anniversary date of Congress passing an amendment to the US Constitution to abolish slavery.� Although she had periodically written and spoken about racism, it was not her major theme by any means so why is the last sentence of the book about this esoteric coincidence regarding the date of her death?
You'd be better off re-reading her own books if you want to spend time with Molly Ivins. Don't waste your time on this book.


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