In his remarkable memoir, at once frank, audacious, canny, and revealing, Michael Korda, the author of Charmed Lives and Queenie, does for the world of books what Moss Hart did for the theater in Act One, and succeeds triumphantly in making publishing seem as exciting (and as full of great characters) as the stage. Another Life is not just an adventure--the engaging and often hilarious story of a young man making his career--but the insider's story of how a cottage industry metamorphosed into a big business, with sometimes alarming results for all concerned. Korda writes with grace, humor, and a shrewd eye, not only about himself and his rise from a lowly (but not humble) assistant editor reading the "slush pile" of manuscripts to a famous editor in chief of a major publishing house, but also about the celebrities and writers with whom he worked over four decades. Here are portraits--rare, intimate, always keenly observed--of such larger-than-life figures as Ronald Reagan, affable and good-natured but the most reluctant of authors, struggling with his "ghosted" presidential autobiography; Richard Nixon, seen here as a genial, if bizarrely detached, host; superagent Irving Lazar, pursuing his endless deals and dreams of "class"; retired Mafia boss Joseph Bonanno, the last of the old-time dons, laboring over his own version of his life in his desert retreat; Joan Crawford, giving Korda her rules for successful living; and countless other greats, near greats, and would-be greats. Here too are famous writers, sometimes eccentric, sometimes infuriating, sometimes lost souls, captured memorably by someone who was close to them for years: Graham Greene, in pursuit of his FBI file and a Nobel Prize; Tennessee Williams, wrestling unsuccessfully with his demons; Jacqueline Susann, facing and conquering the dreaded "second-novel syndrome" after the stunning success of Valley of the Dolls; Harold Robbins (who had to be guarded under lock and key and made to finish his novels), struggling to keep the IRS at bay from the deck of his yacht; Carlos Castaneda, at his most sorcerously charming, described--at last--in detail, as he really was, by one of the few people who knew him well; not to mention Richard Adams, Will and Ariel Durant, Susan Howatch, S. J. Perelman, Fannie Hurst, Larry McMurtry, and many, many more. Parts of this book that have appeared in The New Yorker over the years have brought Korda great acclaim--the chapter about Jacqueline Susann has been made into a major motion picture. Here at last, entertaining and provocative and always hugely readable, is the whole story--a book as engaging and full of life as Korda's highly acclaimed memoir of his family, Charmed Lives, about which Irwin Shaw wrote: "I don't know when I have enjoyed a book more."
Published by Delta on 12/21/2011
Book details: 544 pages.
'This magnificent, monumental portrait at a stroke makes all others redundant, and re-establishes Lawrence as one of the most extraordinary figures of the 20th century' Sunday Times Michael Korda’ s Hero is an epic biography of the mysterious Englishman whose daring exploits made him an object of intense fascination, known the world over as Lawrence of Arabia. An Oxford Scholar and archaeologist, one of five illegitimate sons of a British aristocrat who ran away with his daughters' governess, T.E. Lawrence was sent to Cairo as an intelligence officer in 1916, vanished into the desert in 1917, and re-emerged as one of the most remarkable and controversial figures of the First World War. He united and led the Arab tribes to defeat the Turks and eventually capture Damascus, an adventure he recorded in the classic Seven Pillars of Wisdom. A born leader, utterly fearless and seemingly impervious to pain and danger, he remained modest, and retiring. Farsighted diplomat, brilliant military strategist, the first media celebrity, and acclaimed writer, Lawrence was a visionary whose achievements transcended his time: had his vision for the modern Middle East been carried through, the hatred and bloodshed that have since plagued the region might have prevented. The democratic reforms he would have implemented as British High Commissioner of Egypt, are those the Egyptians are now demanding, 91 years later. Ultimately, as this magisterial work demonstrates, Lawrence remains the paradigm of the hero in modern times.
Published by Aurum Press Limited on 03/24/2011
Book details: 784 pages.
From silly to sweet, 365 cat sketches by Michael Korda, drawn with love for his wife With the imagination of a writer and the eye of an artist, Michael Korda doodled on the backs of old manuscripts in his tackroom while his wife, Margaret, was out riding. They loved and acquired cats—a habit written about previously in their book, Cat People—and the few in residence at this time would serve as inspiration for the drawings. These are no ordinary cat illustrations, though. Korda’s cats read newspapers and books; go ice skating in the small country town where they live; comfort Margaret’s horse, Monty, after a stressful vet visit; sell fried mice at the Farmer’s Market, and undertake (on paper, at least) whatever fanciful endeavors their keeper conjures up. The result is a collection of magical pieces, filled with joy, that represent a year in the life of a couple in love with one another, and certainly with their cats.
Published by The Countryman Press on 02/06/2018
Book details: 192 pages.
Published by Barnes & Noble Publishing on 06/18/2019
Book details: 198 pages.
A lavishly illustrated edition of Michael Korda's acclaimed biography of the man who ended the Civil War, served two terms as president, and wrote one of the most successful military memoirs in American literature Ulysses S. Grant was the first officer since George Washington to become a four-star general in the United States Army, and the only president between Andrew Jackson and Woodrow Wilson to serve eight consecutive years in the White House. In this succinct and vivid biography, newly conceived with twenty-four pages of full-color art and many black-and-white illustrations throughout, Michael Korda offers a dramatic reconsideration of the man, his life, and his presidency. Ulysses S. Grant is an evenhanded and stirring portrait of a flawed leader who nevertheless ably guided the United States through a pivotal juncture in its history.
Published by Harper Collins on 10/15/2013
Book details: 176 pages.
Although prostate cancer is a disease that strikes nearly 200,000 men every year, it is a disease that has been shrouded in silence, in part because it strikes at the very core of masculine identity. But in Man to Man, bestselling author Michael Korda breaks that silence, turning the story of his illness and recovery into a candid and instructive book that speaks not only to every man and woman whose life has been touched by prostate cancer but to everyone who lives in fear of it. With unsparing frankness, Korda describes how he survived the ordeal of prostate surgery and its painful and humiliating aftereffects. He tells us how tumors are graded, evaluates different treatments, and makes sense of prostate cancer's mystifying "numbers." Practical, immensely readable, filled with information, and, above all, hopeful, Man to Man is literally a life-saver. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Published by Vintage on 09/07/2011
Book details: 272 pages.
Bestselling author Michael Korda's Horse People is the story -- sometimes hilariously funny, sometimes sad and moving, always shrewdly observed -- of a lifetime love affair with horses, and of the bonds that have linked humans with horses for more than ten thousand years. It is filled with intimate portraits of the kind of people, rich or poor, Eastern or Western, famous or humble, whose lives continue to revolve around the horse. Korda is a terrific storyteller, and his book is intensely personal and seductive, a joy for everyone who loves horses. Even those who have never ridden will be happy to saddle up and follow him through the world of horses, horse people, and the riding life.
Published by Harper Collins on 03/17/2009
Book details: 384 pages.
“[With Wings Like Eagles is] bold and refreshing… Korda writes with great elegance and flair.”—Wall Street Journal From the New York Times bestselling author of Ike and Horse People, Michael Korda, comes With Wings Like Eagles, the harrowing story of The Battle of Britain, one of the most important battles of World War II. In the words of the Washington Post Book World, “With Wings Like Eagles is a skillful, absorbing, often moving contribution to the popular understanding of one of the few episodes in history … to deserve the description ‘heroic.’”
Published by Harper Collins on 10/06/2009
Book details: 368 pages.
One of the most miraculous military rescue missions in modern history comes alive in this “superb and panoramic” (Washington Post) account of Dunkirk. No one can evince the drama of what actually happened at Dunkirk in the year 1940 with as “great narrative skill and superb delineation” (David McCullough) as Michael Korda, the historian and legendary book editor. As dramatized in Christopher Nolan’s film Dunkirk, May 1940 was a month like no other: Germany’s war machine blazed into France, the impregnable Maginot Line crumbled, and Winston Churchill replaced Neville Chamberlain as prime minister as Britain, isolated and alone, faced a triumphant Nazi Germany. Against this vast canvas, best-selling author Michael Korda relates his own personal story, “by turns charming, powerful and poignant” (Minneapolis Star Tribune): that of a six-year-old boy from a glamorous movie family who would himself be evacuated. Weaving together “eyewitness detail and a fine sense of drama” (Boston Globe) to form an epic of remarkable originality, Alone movingly captures a moment of historic triumph—when an unlikely flotilla of destroyers brought 300,000 men home to safety.
Published by Liveright Publishing on 09/19/2017
Book details: 564 pages.
With characteristic wit, self–effacing charm and sheer, exuberant love of a good cat story, New York Times bestselling author Michael Korda and his wife Margaret Korda recount their lives as "cat people," beginning with Margaret's passion for cats (and Michael's reluctant mid–life transformation into a cat person), and introducing readers to a hilarious assortment of people whose life revolves––often to an extraordinary degree––around their cat, or cats, from Cleopatra a transatlantic traveler who found happiness in Paris to Wally, the epitome of feline dignity. Here are people who just can't say no to another cat, who "world–travel" with their cat, who build their social life around their cats––and of course the cats themselves, for the Kordas celebrate the beguiling power of cats, including many of their own, who have complemented, complicated and changed their lives together over the years. Here are charming, often hilarious and sometimes sad portraits of such cats as Margaret's beloved Irving, whose favorite abode was the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, and Mumsie, who arrived unexpectedly at the door with her two kittens, and special cats like Jake and the gentle Chutney, as well as "difficult" cats like Chui and poor Mrs. Bumble, and Mr. McT., the bully who found love late in life. Here are graceful cats and cats like Kit–Kat that never look before they jump, in short, countless cats the reader will never forget, even those with many cats of their own.
Published by Harper Collins on 03/17/2009
Book details: 176 pages.