In comparison, it makes the original Hollywood Babylon, by avant-garde filmmaker Kenneth Anger, look almost demure.
Hollywood Babylon, IT'S BACK is unlike any other book on Hollywood ever written. Permeated with humor and beautifully written by one of America's leading celebrity biographers, it contains revelations which have always been known to a select 500 or so ultimate Hollywood insiders, but never confided to the general public, and never before committed to print.
The following quotes derive from its co-author, Darwin Porter, whose earlier works have included such critically acclaimed exposes as Brando Unzipped; Howard Hughes: Hell's Angel; Hepburn (Katharine the Great) and The Secret Life of Humphrey Bogart
"The tabloid treatments of today go way beyond what was permissible during Hollywood's Golden Age. We've taken a deep breath, borrowed a trick or two from the paparazzi, and compiled these carefully documented anecdotes through the filters of a post-millennium psyche. What emerges is a sweeping - and we think, amusing - human drama based on 85 years of Hollywood indiscretion."
Are there equivalencies in celebrity behavior between "the Golden Age" and today? "Ego, greed, betrayal, sexual excess, and exhibitionism never go out of style. The Judeo-Christian world is aware of the associations of ancient Babylon with the ongoing phenomena of Hollywoodís ëin-your-faceí debauchery. And with that in mind, we've deliberately focused on the concept of Hollywood depravity as an embarrassment of riches for this - anthology of embarrassments."
Were the scandals of Hollywood in the 40s as juicy as those produced in recent years? "Definitely yes. But because the libel laws were stricter, many of the best stories never got published, despite the fact that most of them were well-known to at least 500 or so Hollywood insiders. We've documented the evolution of what America accepts as entertaining then and now, and we've compared the seamy side of American icons as appreciated by our grandparents to the American icons of 2008. For example, Lucille Ball's status as an American role model was, ëtill now, virtually impeccable. But despite her hard-scrabble past and her occasional lapses in virtue, she was a virtual saint compared to some of the lesser divas of today."
Have the scandals of Hollywood gotten juicier since the Golden Age? Not necessarily. But the entertainment industry's penchant for voyeurism, narcissism, and exhibitionism go back deeper and longer into the fabric of America's history and subconscious than many readers ever would have thought possible. And bringing those scandals of yesterday back for the insights they provide into the evolution of the American experience is what this book is all about.