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Empire of Dreams

The Epic Life of Cecil B. DeMille

The authoritative biography of the legendary director Cecil B. DeMille: “if this were a movie, it would get four stars, two thumbs up, and an A” ( The Dallas Morning News ).

• Hollywood history: Cecil B. DeMille was among the earliest filmmakers who discovered some of the biggest stars in film, including Gloria Swanson, Claudette Colbert, and later, Charlton Heston. DeMille’s greatest successes came with biblical spectacles, notably The Ten Commandments and King of Kings . When he finally won an Academy Award for best picture with The Greatest Show on Earth, he had been making films for forty years.

• A fully realized portrait : DeMille has often been reduced to a caricature: a hack who made empty epic spectacles, a right-winger and McCarthy supporter during the blacklist, and a tyrannical director who abused his actors. Eyman instead presents a balanced account of a remarkably rich life.

• An authoritative biography : Scott Eyman is the first biographer to have access to DeMille’s letters and other personal papers for publication. Eyman settles for nothing less than the real man, as he did in his biographies of John Ford and Louis B. Mayer. The result is a unique history of Hollywood’s earliest years and the rediscovery of a major filmmaker.

Photograph by Greg Lovett

Scott Eyman was formerly the literary critic at The Palm Beach Post and is the author or coauthor of fifteen books, including the bestseller John Wayne and (with actor Robert Wagner) the bestsellers Pieces of My Heart and You Must Remember This. Among his other books are Hank and Jim: The Fifty-Year Friendship of Henry Fonda and James Stewart; Empire of Dreams: The Epic Life of Cecil B. DeMilleLion of Hollywood: The Life and Legend of Louis B. Mayer; and Print the Legend: The Life and Times of John Ford. Eyman also writes book reviews for The Wall Street Journal, and has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Chicago Tribune. He and his wife, Lynn, live in West Palm Beach.

More books from this author: Scott Eyman