Some of the greatest performers in Berlin of the 1920s were women who appeared in tuxedos. And I think that it was this freedom, this wildness, and this ...
Author: J. David Riva
Publisher: Wayne State University Press
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Marlene Dietrich's conflicted personal journey from Berliner to American soldier during World War II is as intense as any role she played on-screen and perhaps accounts for her ability to inspire so many through drama and song. In this collection of interviews and photographs, the many facets of Dietrich's personality and of her life during World War II are recounted by those whose lives she touched, including Rosemary Clooney, Burt Bacharach, Cher, Hildegard Knef, and Maria Riva. Together with extensive historical documentation, these interviews help readers understand Dietrich's inner struggles and private motivation as well as her political and social legacy. Each interview affords the reader a "mini-documentary" of the time period when that individual first came into contact with the actress. From the front lines of battle to concert halls, from film studios to Dietrich's kitchen, we see her in many environments and gain a perspective on her character, political views, and taste for nonconformity. In stories recounted by American GI's, studio heads, Nazi hunters, and fellow entertainers she publicly decries Nazism, helps a military journalist's career, sings a German lullaby for an Israeli audience, and cooks a steak for a young songwriter. Many photos are included to bring the interviews to life. A Woman at War makes for not only an in-depth experience of Dietrich's turbulent life and times but also for a fascinating journey into the lives of those whom she encountered along the way, many in the midst of world conflict, love affairs, and political intrigue.