The Man Who Saw a Ghost

The Life and Work of Henry Fonda

Devin McKinney

St. Martin's Griffin

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The first major biography of the iconic actor Henry Fonda, a story of stardom, manhood, and the American character

 

Henry Fonda's performances—in The Grapes of Wrath, Young Mr. Lincoln, The Lady Eve, 12 Angry Men, On Golden Pond—helped define "American" in the twentieth century.  He worked with movie masters from Ford and Sturges to Hitchcock and Leone. He was a Broadway legend. He fought in World War II and was loved the world over. 

Yet much of his life was rage and struggle.  Why did Fonda marry five times—tempestuously to actress Margaret Sullavan, tragically to heiress Frances Brokaw, mother of Jane and Peter? Was he a man of integrity, worthy of the heroes he played, or the harsh father his children describe, the iceman who went onstage hours after his wife killed herself? Why did suicide shadow his life and art? What memories troubled him so?

McKinney’s Fonda is dark, complex, fascinating, and a product of glamour and acclaim, early losses and Midwestern demons—a man haunted by what he'd seen, and by who he was.

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Reviews

Praise for The Man Who Saw a Ghost

“McKinney offers a unique portrait of an actor who hid so much emotionally but trusted his audience to see what he couldn't show them.”--Associated Press

"In rich, lyrical prose, McKinney deftly honors both the man and the mystery."--Kirkus Reviews


In the Press

Henry Fonda, a parched and private American icon - The Washington Post
Author Devin McKinney argues Henry Fonda acting was an escape from the depressing limits of his own life.
- The Washington Post


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About the Author

Devin McKinney

DEVIN MCKINNEY, author of Magic Circles: The Beatles In Dream And History, has written for The Village VoiceThe Oxford American, The Guardian, The American Prospect, and Film Quarterly.  He lives in central Pennsylvania.

Devin McKinney

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Man Who Saw a Ghost
The Life and Work of Henry Fonda
Devin McKinney

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
St. Martin's Press
St. Martin's Griffin
October 2013
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9781250038265
ISBN10: 125003826X
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 480 pages, Includes 14 black-and-white photographs throughout and two 16-page black-and-white photograph sections
$17.99

Hardcover

Hardcover
St. Martin's Press
October 2012
Hardcover
ISBN: 9781250008411
ISBN10: 1250008417
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches, 448 pages, Inlcudes 14 b&w photos throughout plus two 16-page b&w photo inserts
$29.99

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
October 2012
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781250017765
ISBN10: 1250017769
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches, 448 pages
$9.99
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St. Martin's Griffin

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