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I'd Hate Myself in the Morning

I'd Hate Myself in the Morning
Your Price: $16.95 CDN
Author: Ring Lardner Jr.
Introduction by: Victor Navasky
Publisher: Nation Book
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 198
Pub. Date: 2001
ISBN-10: 156025338X
ISBN-13: 9781560253389

About the Book:

Ring Lardner, Jr., whose satirical screenplays twice won the Academy Award but whose career collapsed in 1947 after he refused to tell the US Congress if he had ever been a Communist, was the last surviving member of "Hollywood Ten," the blacklisted group of writers, directors and producers who were sent to Federal prison in 1950 for terms ranging from five months to a year.

His memoir I'd Hate Myself in the Morning is a pilgrimage through the American century. The son of an immensely popular and influential baseball writer, humorist and short-story author, Lardner grew up swaddled in material and cultural privilege. After a memorable visit to Moscow in 1934, he worked as a reporter for the Daily Mirror in New York before leaving for Hollywood where he served a bizarre apprenticeship with David O. Selznick, and won, at the age of 28, an Academy Award for the 1942 film Woman of the Year, the first on-screen pairing of Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn.

In "irresistibly readable" pages (New Yorker), peopled by a cast including Carole Lombard, Louis B. Mayer, Dalton Trumbo, Marlene Dietrich, Otto Preminger, Darryl F. Zanuck, Bertolt Brecht, Bert Lahr, Robert Altman, and Muhammad Ali, Lardner recalls the strange existence of a contract screenwriter in the vanished age of the studio system — an existence made stranger by membership in the Hollywood branch of the American Communist Party. Lardner retraces the path that led him to a memorable confrontation with the House Un-American Activities Committee and thence to Federal prison and life on the Hollywood blacklist. One of the lucky few who were able to resume their careers, Ring Lardner, Jr. won his second Oscar for the screenplay to M.A.S.H. in 1970.

What people say:

"SOME of the most significant events of the blacklist era -- anti-Communist hysteria, Harry S. Truman's loyalty programs, Joseph McCarthy swinging treason charges like sledgehammers -- are part of the fabric of Ring Lardner Jr.'s eloquent memoir I'd Hate Myself in the Morning, a scrupulous, compassionate cultural history of a surreal time." — The New York Times

Ring Lardner, Jr. (1915 – 2000) began his career as a reporter but later became a Hollywood screenwriter. He received his first Academy Award for his screenplay for the 1942 film Woman of the Year, and received a second Oscar for his screenplay of 1970 screen version of M.A.S.H.. For a long interval between these two awards, however, Lardner was blacklisted in Hollywood as a member of the "Hollywood Ten."