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Oprah: A Biography by Kitty Kelley

Oprah: A Biography

by Kitty Kelley

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It was like watching a trainwreck! The book was written in a subjective manner. Trivial rumors and suspicions concerning Oprah's early life dominated the book and it seems the author wanted to overshadow the good that Oprah has done with her alleged haunted past.
  t2creech | Apr 11, 2011 |
I was impressed by the thoroughness and depth of Kitty Kelley's research, and I found the resulting biography very readable and very credible. Highly Recommended! ( )
  Sandra305 | Mar 6, 2011 |
I normally wouldn't read this kind of book, any more than I would read magazines with celebrity gossip. But I've been curious about the Oprah phenomenon and for some reason really wanted to give it a go.

Having started, I'm not even sure why I persisted until the end (it is NOT a short book!). The writing may be "objective" but somehow it's also cold and judgmental. Reporting facts with no human context just doesn't quite play well for me. The book didn't convert me to an interest in reading "the dirt" about anyone and I've still no idea why I made the effort! ( )
  mandochild | Feb 9, 2011 |
I put this book on my summer reading list because Oprah fascinates me. Reading Kelley's book was like reading a 500 page Enquirer, but I couldn't put down her account of Oprah's life and career path.I had one major issue with the book. Kelley interviewed a wide swath of people from Oprah's life, almost all of them from her past since she has a gag order on current employees and guests, and all the people from her life before her move to Chicago all claimed that they "made" her, and seemed to take it personally that she wasn't calling every week. I have a hard time believing that a biography on Bill Gates or Warren Buffet would include such a condemnation. Even though Oprah has transcended a lot of our cultural expectations on race, class, religion and lifestyle, we still expect her to nurture her past co-workers. How many people are you in touch with from 30 years ago? ( )
4 vote gmmoney | Sep 8, 2010 |
Forget T.M.I. ("too much information.") Kitty Kelley's bulky opus on Oprah subjects readers to T.M.O. Unless you're among the most devoted Winfrey groupies, this book delves into way too much minutia and subjects readers to way too much redundancy. Having said this, the book also shines a glaring (and largely unflattering) spotlight on one of the true media icons of the the century. Kelley depicts Oprah as a vindictive, thin-skinned egotist with an amazing mind for business. There are some interesting insights offered, including her foray into politics (via her passionate support for Obama). There are also some fascinating vignettes that will delight students of the media regarding the changing face of talk shows and other trends. Finally, business buffs will enjoy Kelley's documentation of the rise of the Harpo empire. Still, the book has a scarcity of what Kelley described in one chapter as J.D.M's ("jaw-dropping moments.") Much of what's contained in this "tell-all" book has been told many times before. ( )
  brianinbuffalo | Aug 26, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
However unsportingly, Oprah has locked up tight most of the people who get whatever it is about her that we don’t. Kelley’s pen is not dripping poison so much as slightly curdled milk.
And so what if the most damaging truths about Winfrey have originated not with her but with her disgruntled family of origin? This at least has the benefit of making Kitty Kelley's latest book more scrupulously sourced than some of its predecessors.
An impeccably researched and well-organized look into the unlikely life of a self-made woman... Kelley might not have spoken to her subject, but she gets her just the same.
Ms. Kelley cannot explain why Ms. Winfrey is so enduringly popular. After some hollow authorial claims of respect and admiration, “Oprah” just aims for the jugular. It doesn’t draw blood.
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Oprah Winfrey blew into Chicago from Baltimore in December 1983 when a dangerous cold wave plunged the Windy City temperatures to twenty-three degrees below zero.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307394867, Hardcover)

For the past twenty-five years, no one has been better at revealing secrets than Oprah Winfrey. On what is arguably the most influential show in television history, she has gotten her guests—often the biggest celebrities in the world—to bare their love lives, explore their painful pasts, admit their transgressions, reveal their pleasures, and explore their demons. In turn, Oprah has repeatedly allowed her audience to share in her own life story, opening up about the sexual abuse in her past and discussing her romantic relationships, her weight problems, her spiritual beliefs, her charitable donations, and her strongly held views on the state of the world.

After a quarter of a century of the Oprah-ization of America, can there be any more secrets left to reveal? Yes. Because Oprah has met her match.

Kitty Kelley has, over the same period of time, fearlessly and relentlessly investigated and written about the world’s most revered icons: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Reagan, England’s Royal Family, and the Bush dynasty. In her #1 bestselling biographies, she has exposed truths and exploded myths to uncover the real human beings that exist behind their manufactured facades.

Turning her reportorial sights on Oprah, Kelley has now given us an unvarnished look at the stories Oprah’s told and the life she’s led. Kelley has talked to Oprah’s closest family members and business associates. She has obtained court records, birth certificates, financial and tax records, and even copies of Oprah’s legendary (and punishing) confidentiality agreements. She has probed every aspect of Oprah Winfrey’s life, and it is as if she’s written the most extraordinary segment of The Oprah Winfrey Show ever filmed—one in which Oprah herself is finally and fully revealed.

There is a case to be made, and it is certainly made in this book, that Oprah Winfrey is an important, and even great, figure of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. But there is also a case to be made that even greatness needs to be examined and put under a microscope. Fact must be separated from myth, truth from hype. Kitty Kelley has made that separation, showing both sides of Oprah as they have never been shown before. In doing so she has written a psychologically perceptive and meticulously researched book that will surprise and thrill everyone who reads it.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:28:13 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

An extensively researched biography of Oprah Winfrey examines the personal life and career of the influential icon and discusses her place in modern American culture.

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