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A fresh, innovative interpretation of the life, work and lasting influence of the twentieth century’s most iconic filmmaker.
In The Twelve Lives of Alfred Hitchcock Edward White explores the Hitchcock phenomenon—what defines it, how it was invented, what it reveals about the man at its core and how its legacy continues to shape our cultural world.
The book’s twelve chapters illuminate different aspects of Hitchcock’s life and work: “The Boy Who Couldn’t Grow Up”; “The Murderer”; “The Auteur”; “The Womanizer”; “The Fat Man”; “The Dandy”; “The Family Man”; “The Voyeur”; “The Entertainer”; “The Pioneer”; “The Londoner”; “The Man of God”. Each of these angles reveals something fundamental about the man he was and the mythological creature he has become, presenting not just the life Hitchcock lived, but also the various versions of himself that he projected and those projected on his behalf.
White’s portrayal illuminates a vital truth: Hitchcock was more than a Hollywood titan; he was the definitive modern artist and his significance reaches far beyond the confines of cinema.
"Edward White’s The Twelve Lives of Alfred Hitchcock is a pinata of literary pleasures. Learned and graceful, thoughtful and provocative, White cracks the Hitchcock code with deft analysis and fine writing. It’s a high-stepping performance full of humor and depth. Walking a tightrope between criticism and biography, White places both the man and his myth in the cultural landscape of his times. In the process, he returns us to the films with a much more informed eye. A book to keep and to return to." — John Lahr, author of Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh