Ben Hecht’s daughter Teddy once introduced her dad as “the author of my being and other dubious works.” These works included the plays The Front Page and Twentieth Century, the films Scarface, Nothing Sacred, Spellbound and Notorious, plus a nonstop seven-day rewrite of the first half of Gone with the Wind for producer David O. Selznick. His movies and plays only hint at the scope of his rich, raffish career: he was cub reporter, columnist, foreign correspondent, poet, novelist, talk-show host on infant TV and so relentless a proponent for Zionism that his name was taken off films when they played in Britain. A Child of the Century packs all nine lives into 600 pages of glamorous prose snapshots of the famous (Mencken and the Marx brothers) and infamous (the Capote and Hitler mobs). It’s the un-put-downable testament of the era’s great multimedia entertainer.
Autobiography / Memoir
Self-Help / Instructional