The Road to a Definitive Bob Hope Biography

HopeBioCoverWith advance praise from Tom Brokaw, Dick Cavett, Woody Allen and a hardcover release date of November 4, Hope: Entertainer of the Century seems sure to be one of the holiday season’s most discussed non-fiction offerings.

The author is Time vet and the magazine’s current theater critic, Richard Zoglin. He tells Stay Thirsty Media that the project grew out of both a personal fascination with Hope growing up and research connected to his previous book, Comedy at the Edge, about 1970s stand-up comedy. He’s also pretty sure Hope would not approve:

“Capturing Hope’s essence was the hardest part, because he was such a closed-off guy, difficult for even his closest friends to know. I did my best.”

“If Bob was watching over my shoulder, he was probably rooting against me – he was so intent on managing his own image and press coverage, I don’t think he would have been comfortable with a journalist getting free reign to write a biography without his input.”

Zoglin expects the Hope family to be somewhat uncomfortable with some aspects of the book, such as the detailing of the entertainer’s serial womanizing. Read the full Q&A here.

[Jacket cover courtesy: Simon & Schuster]