Hope (Richard Zoglin) - Simon & Schuster - 2014 - 565 pages

Bob Hope was the most popular entertainer in the country when I was young.  He was on television with old black-and-white movies during the day and full-color specials at night.  His timing as a comedian was unmatched.  His popularity waned in the 1970s as a result of his unwavering support for an unpopular war (Vietnam) and an unpopular president (Nixon).  In this biography, author Zoglin does not pull any punches.  Every aspect of Hope's life is examined in detail.  The research that went into this book is as thorough as any you will find.  Hope's career mirrored the Golden Age of Entertainment in the USA from vaudeville & radio to movies & TV.  He did it all and he seemed to be tireless.  He was an astute businessman but obviously, he did this more for the love of his audiences than for the payment received.  Whatever your opinion of Hope may be, this account of his journey is captivating.  This is not a show biz puff piece.  [JAM 7/27/2019]