30 Non-Fiction Books About Movies to Read Before You Die

Goddess: The Secret Lives of Mariyln Monroe

Author: Anthony Summers
Original publication date: 1984

Few personalities exist so strongly in the popular imagine like Marilyn Monroe. She continues to live on so powerfully, that we feel like we know her by osmosis. But how well do we really know the late, almighty Marilyn? The truth of the matter is that America's most famous pin-up lived a dark, insulated life, battling through bouts of depression, drug use, troubled romantic relationships, and familial hardships.

Benefiting from interviews with, per his own reports, more than 600 people who knew the real Norman Jean Mortensen (her government name), Anthony Summers pieced together Goddess, the definitive look at Monroe's closed-door experiences. The BBC-trained reporter holds nothing back, chronicling her sexual trysts with John F. Kennedy and his brother, Robert, and presenting a theory that her August 1962 death (widely believed to be from a anti-depressant overdose) had connections to some big-name associates' foul play.

Be warned, though: Goddess, which includes tons of exclusive pictures, comes complete with Monroe's autopsy photo. —MB

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