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catalog cover, Edward Sorel: Unauthorized Portraits
Edward Sorel: Unauthorized Portraits
by Edward Sorel

173 pages, 166 illustrations: 130 in color
Alfred A. Knopf, Publisher, New York, 1997
ISBN 0-679-45466-7/ Hardcover and softcover

Here are history's great and near great--166 heroes, rogues, fools, and geniuses: from Moses leading his kvetching people ("Some miracle! If I don't get pneumonia, that'll be a miracle") through the parted Red Sea waters, to George Gershwin teaching Fred Astaire a dance step, to Madonna seen as a "horseperson of the apocalypse"; from Brahms dozing off as Liszt plays, to Rodin auditioning models, and Reagan as Robin Hood, taking from the poor and giving to the rich.

Here are such fabulous targets for a satirist's pen as LBJ, Nixon and the Watergate Gang, and a holstered Jimmy Carter at high noon in the hostage crisis. And it's pure pleasure to watch Sorel portray Tom Wolfe in his famous white suit or Woody Allen and Mia Farrow caught in The Storm.

Each of the book's three sections--"History," "Entertainment and the Arts," and "Politics"--has a wry autobiographical introduction, and every drawing has its own pithy, informative caption.

Here's wit aplenty, visual and verbal--a splendid satirical view of the wise, the beautiful, the clever, and the flawed.


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