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Paperback Mommie Dearest Book

ISBN: 0583130666

ISBN13: 9780583130660

Mommie Dearest

(Book #1 in the Mommie Dearest Series)

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. The 40th anniversary edition of the "shocking" #1 New York Times bestseller with an exclusive new introduction by the author ( Los Angeles Times ). When Christina Crawford's harrowing chronicle of...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

"Christina Crawford Gets Her Revenge"

Of all the abusive episodes in this book, there is one that really disturbed me: Christina lived at the "Chadwick Boarding School", and Joan Crawford, movie star, demanded that Commander and Mrs. Chadwick give detailed accounts, via telephone, of Christina's behavior. Joan was drunk one evening, and she called as usual for her weekly report. It was unfortunate that, just that morning, Mrs. Chadwick had told Christina to grab a sweater and bring it to class, b/c it might be chilly in the classroom. Christina ignored her Headmistress, and left. She got to class, found it was, indeed, chilly, and left her coat on during the session. Mrs. Chadwick told Christina not to be so "short-sighted" again, Christina apologized, and that was the end of it, right? WRONG! Not as far as Joan Crawford was concerned. She said, "Since you're SO determined to wear your (expletive) coat to class, you can wear THAT-- and NOTHING else! ALL of your clothes will be picked up tomorrow." "Mother, sobbed Christina, "I can't wear just that coat to school- it only has ONE button!" Joan snapped, "You should have thought of that BEFORE you disobeyed!" Click, dial tone. Reading this, I thought, surely, she's not serious- no mother would do that to her own child! However, next day, Joan sent someone (God only knows who) to the school, and had ALL of Christina's attire picked up- leaving her with the shoes, underwear, and dress she was wearing, and one cotton dress in the closet. Now, Christina had only TWO dresses to wear, for the next FOUR MONTHS! Here was a glamorous movie star's daughter, surrounded by well dressed, privileged other stars' children, wearing two plaid dresses for sixteen weeks straight. I guess what really struck me about Miss Crawford is that, once punishment was meted out, she never seemed to soften, or shorten the punishment. It's as if she blocked all feeling out of her heart and mind- no matter how much the child in question was hurting. As far as the adopted children go, there were four. Christina, Christopher, and the "twins" (actually born one month apart) Cathy, and Cindy. Following Joan Crawford's death, the older two claimed abuse, but the "twins" hotly disputed this, saying they'd only known kindness and fairness on the part of their Mother. Christina Crawford danced attendance on her famous mother all of her life, catering to her whims, writing loving letters, sending thoughtful gifts,etc. Personally, I think she was "waiting her Mother out", so to speak- thinking that, once Joan died, all of her loyalty and hard work would pay off. Yet, as she and her brother sat, hand in hand, in the lawyer's office during the reading of the will, waiting to hear precisely how much of Joan Crawford's multi-million dollar estate they had been bequeathed, Christina was shocked to discover that Joan, "knowingly and with forethought", had made NO provison for either of her older children "for reasons which are well known to them" Less than one year later, we were gi

"The Book That Blew the Lid Off Hollywood's Elite"

Christina Crawford originally published "Mommie Dearest" in the fall of 1978. Immediately upon release the book went straight to the top of the New York Times Bestseller's List, where it stayed for many months. The book has sold millions of copies, both in hardcover and paperback, and Christina raised awarness for child abuse laws all around the globe. "Mommie Dearest" was the first book to ever depict a Hollywood actress as an alcoholic and abusive parent. The book destroyed Joan Crawford's reputation to shreds, but people dicovered, via the book, that child abuse doesn't always happen with the poor. Many have said that what Christina wrote was false, but over the years I have done much research on the legend of Joan Crawford: I love her. I believe she was probably the greatest actress that ever lived, but like so many people who were abused as kids (Joan was abused by both her mother and school teachers), the abusive parent grows up to be an abuser. Joan actually believed what she was doing to her children was the right way in rearing them. She would often discipline her children, but at times she went too far. People have come forward as witnesses, saying they saw the abuse or heard about it from reliable sources. Whatever the case, we will never know the real story as to what happened between Joan Crawford and her adopted daughter. Was Christina spoiled? I believe she was. She had everything Joan didn't have growing up, and once Christina became a teenager with her own thoughts and beliefs, that is when the trouble began. "Mommie Dearest" is a fascinating book, the first of the Hollywood tell-all books. I only wish Christina had wrote the book while Joan was alive so Joan could have defended herself. However, according to Christina, the real reason the book was written was due to the fact Joan disinherited both Christina and Christopher. Christina felt that since people were going to wonder why Joan kept her two oldest children out of her will, they may wonder what they did to deserve such treatment. Many have said too the book was made because of money. Whatever the true story, "Mommie Dearest" is an amazing read. No one could ever make up such a story of abuse and survival at the hands of one of Hollywood's most powerful actresses. "Mommie Dearest" has been published three times now; the second being in 1998 for the 20th Anniversary, which included pages that the original publisher kept out of the original edition, that mainly included Christina's adult years with her mother, and the third was published in 2008 for the 30th Anniversary. That edition, reportedly, has names of people who witnessed the abuse. Faye Dunaway starred as Joan in the 1981 film "Mommie Dearest", that has gone on to be a camp classic in its own right. Dunaway gives a virtuoso performance, the best ever by any actress. Read the book and view the film and come to your own conclusion as to what really happened. My view is that yes abuse did take place, but I wonder i

Crawford the star vs Crawford the mom

As a major Joan Crawford fan AND an advocate for children's rights, I feel compelled to comment. Firstly, it is necessary to separate Joan Crawford the actress from Joan Crawford the mother. MOMMIE DEAREST deals exclusively with the latter, not the former. Christina Crawford was not suggesting that her mother had no talent, and I do not believe that her goal was to destroy her mother's professional reputation. Rather, she felt it was important to expose the horrific reality she endured at the hands of an abusive parent who happened to have a highly positive public profile (part of which stemmed from her having adopted 4 children). Surely we as a society have evolved enough to know that child abusers can come from any race, any socio-economic circle, any profession - it shouldn't be difficult to believe that movie stars, with their fragile egos and often pathological need to succeed, can have major parenting deficits. And yes, obviously, this is a one-sided, subjective account - all autobiographies are! I doubt that any autobiography is objective. The reader should understand that Christina Crawford has provided us with HER perceptions, her recollections, of her childhood. We are being invited to see Joan Crawford, the mother, through Christina's eyes. And to be fair to Christina, there has been enough corroboration from reliable people who knew Crawford well, about specific aspects of Crawford's character (her obsession with cleanliness, for example), and of specific incidents referred to in Christina's book, that I for one do believe that, by and large, Christina has been truthful. It is also noteworthy that Crawford's son Christopher has corroborated what Christina has said. The twins have gone on record as denying that their mother was ever abusive - but it is possible that by the time the twins came along, Crawford had mellowed somewhat (this is not unusual as parents age, particularly when alcoholism sets in - and there is no doubt that Crawford was an alcoholic by the time she turned 50). It is unfortunate, strictly from a credibility perspective, that this book came out only after Christina discovered that she'd been cut out of her mother's will - but this does not mean that the allegations of child abuse are fabricated. Quite the contrary: a parent capable of excluding a child from his/her will may well be the kind of person who was abusive. Whatever your opinion of Crawford the actress (and I repeat that I am a huge fan), it is worthwhile to read her daughter's perceptions - not because it should influence your opinion of Crawford's talent, but because it helps to gain a more complete understanding of the very driven, ambitious and probably highly damaged person that rose to the top of the most competitive field in the world: movie stardom.

Nothing Wrong With Revenge For Fun And Profit

Hang onto your hats and wire hangers! It'd be hard to write a dull book about Joan Crawford, who was practically a latter-day Blanche Dubois. Cloying, damaged, pathetic, and only partly conscious of her well-earned status as a woman of ill repute, she was also, it seems, a child abuser and eventual alcoholic. This book is (of course) her daughter's famous account of Joan's transition from eccentricity to lunacy, from merely abusive to REALLY abusive. And it's pretty funny. The author, one hastens to add, is not amused. There is no undertone of dark humor, no wink of acknowledgement that golden-coiffed Christina may at times have been less than a thrill to raise. Instead, the book is frightfully earnest: Christina is a survivor of terrible things, period; no one should have to endure what she endured. And heck, this may be true. But--given that we are told Christina forgave her mother repeatedly and tried to maintain a relationship throughout their lives--why was there so little forgiveness after her mother's death? The answer comes at the end: it turns out Christina might be angrier about Joan's will than about the really old stuff. Which is perfectly fine, but as the reader, I want to have as much fun with the author's revenge as she does. So, deduct one star for unnecessary dourness.

Probably truthful--unwittingly shows both sides

This was the all-time "mother" of the celebrity tell-alls, no pun intended. Everyone knows the story: wealthy alcoholic crazed movie star adopts orphan girl and abuses her for a lifetime. And abuse her she does, if the book is accurate. There are some savage beating, some very cruel mental games, and some totally irrational behavior. But a lot of it was just JC's strange adherence to formality, manners, and the like. Everyone has some strange quirks, and BOY OH BOY did JC have them. Much of it fell far short of abuse. I don't think Christina meant to convey this, but she taunted her mother, A LOT. If your mother is manic about Christmas card lists, THEN DO THEM ON TIME! It doesn't take a genius. If your mother is drunk and trying to pick a fight, lay low and act nice, don't stand up for yourself and try to make a point! And Christina talks about money and her entitlement to it from her mother, A LOT. She complains about being impoverished after she dropped out of college and JC stopped supporting her. Well, she was an adult, and she did drop out of college. JC did tell her if she dropped out of college, she was on her own financially. You can't blame a woman for keeping her word. And then Christina whines that JC harldy ever gave her any cash while she was in college, even though JC was paying for evertything and poor Christina had to, to, to, TYPE TERM PAPERS to make a few extra bucks! Again, not exactly abuse material. The best one was when JC gave Christina Al Steele's 1955 Thunderbird. All Christina complains about is how expensive it was to park and fill with gas, like JC was supposed to pay for that, too. You get the impression that Christina was very, very greedy and wanted very much to be a movie star like her mother and to live the rich life like her mother. She clearly missed the obscene birthday parties, the limelight, and being publicly associated with her mother, all of which diminished when she got older. Well, this book put her right back next to her mother. JC was phyically abusive and sick in many ways, but I don't see JC as the total villain here either. Christina had a lot of annoying personality traits that would have led many to disinherit her and shun her as an adult also. It was a battle of the wills between them. Christina gets the last word. I think it's probably true, but I also get the impression that had JC had a lot of money when she died (she actually didn't have much) and had left a lot of it to Christina, this book would never had hit the shelves.BTW, it made for a great movie.
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