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Extended Audio Sample Charlie Chaplin and His Times, by Kenneth S. Lynn Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.58 out of 53.58 out of 53.58 out of 53.58 out of 53.58 out of 5 3.58 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Kenneth S. Lynn Narrator: Adams Morgan Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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With the psychologically penetrating insight that marked his award-winning Hemingway, Kenneth Lynn probes beneath the mystique of the “Little Tramp,” the first true worldwide celebrity. This landmark, full-scale biography reveals the inner man whose unmatched comic genius masked a complex, sometimes tragic life.

Lynn delves into Chaplin’s childhood and family, as well as his early appearances on the stages of English music halls and his inspired creation of the silent screen’s most memorable and beloved character, the Tramp, who spoke—in pantomime—to millions, making Chaplin the most famous man in the world. Lynn also examines Chaplin’s often controversial relationships with four wives and a slew of mistresses and his associations with British music hall impresario Fred Karno and silent screen star and pal Douglas Fairbanks. He addresses Chaplin’s political influences and convictions and brings a keen, critical intelligence to the meaning to Chaplin’s films to illuminate his elusive genius.

Presenting new and deeper understanding of both the bright and dark sides of this extraordinary man, Charlie Chaplin and His Times is a towering achievement.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An enormous, often fascinating, prodigiously researched book that goes off in all directions in search of the man behind the myth.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Comprehensive…the book provides a vivid portrait…Lynn’s book is a splendid popular biography, witty, engaging, and informative.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Chaplin’s life is truly an enormous subject, embracing, as it does, the rapid rise of the movie industry, issues of censorship, the birth of Communism and the virulent anti-Communist backlash, and all manner of familial and gender-based conflicts, and Lynn does a magisterial job of knitting it all together, allowing Chaplin to emerge as fresh and evocative as the Little Tramp in his first incarnation.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Lynn deftly interweaves Chaplin’s life with the events and personalities of his era…Lynn has done meticulous research…All a biography should be, this is enthusiastically recommended.”

    Library Journal

  • “Accomplished and highly readable…has all the pacing, sense of character, and narrative verve of a good novel.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Without a trace of either sentimental indulgence, polemical animus, or academic obfuscation, Kenneth Lynn puts before us both the creative genius and the inner coldness of the greatest and most paradoxical figure that the movies have seen… combine[s] diligent research, aesthetic discrimination, broad historical understanding, and psychological shrewdness…The definitive biography of Charlie Chaplin.”

    Frederick Crews,, author of The Memory Wars

  • “A compelling study in paradox: foremost in Chaplin himself, the authoritarian man of the people, but also in the guady world and brutal times Chaplin brought radiantly to life…social history at its controversial, provocative best…[A] superb biography.”

    Brenda Wineapple, author of Sister Brother: Gertrude and Leo Stein

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Anthony | 3/30/2011

    " An absolute joy to read and to hold on to. A must-read/purchase for any serious Chaplin fan or student of the clowning trade. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Stacia | 5/12/2008

    " The note written by a previous offer of this book sums it up nicely: "Larry thinks this book plays into the pro-Commie sentiments too much". So true. And so far it really is mostly commentary on Chaplin's memoir, describe its inaccuracies. Who cares? "

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About the Author

Kenneth S. Lynn is the Arthur O. Lovejoy Professor Emeritus of History at Johns Hopkins University. Previously he had been a professor of English and chairman of the American Civilization Program at Harvard University, where he obtained his BA, MA, and PhD degrees. The author of Mark Twain and Southwestern Humor and William Dean Howells: An American Life, he won the Los Angeles Times Book Award for biography in 1987 for Hemingway. He lives with his wife in Washington, DC, and is the father of three children.