Cleveland Amory: Media Curmudgeon and Animal Rights Crusader

Marilyn Greenwald

Published by UPNE, 2009
ISBN 10: 1584656816 / ISBN 13: 9781584656814
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Synopsis: This is the definitive biography of prominent social historian, television critic, and animal-rights activist Cleveland Amory. In this first comprehensive biography of Cleveland Amory, Marilyn Greenwald applies her considerable journalistic skills to a searching account of the complex life and times of this successful writer turned dedicated animal-rights activist - what shaped his beliefs in social responsibility and how his own intense commitment to his chosen cause, ignited by the spectacle of a Mexican bullfight he covered as a young journalist, permeated every aspect of his life. Amory's bestselling books included three classic social history critiques, "The Proper Bostonians", "The Last Resorts", "Who Killed Society?" and his popular series on 'Polar Bear,' a cat that he rescued from the streets of Manhattan on Christmas Eve 1978, now available as "The Compleat Cat". In the 1960s and 1970s, Amory wrote prolifically for "TV Guide" (for which he was chief critic for over a decade), "Saturday Review", "Parade", and other publications. He was a regular commentator on Today until 1963, when he was summarily fired for a story on animal abuse that greatly disturbed NBC's breakfast audience. In 1967 Amory founded the charity Fund for Animals, and as an animal-rights activist he employed his charm, intelligence, and understanding of human nature to garner national publicity for a movement that was, in the 1960s, relatively obscure. He was the first to use celebrities, including Mary Tyler Moore, Doris Day, Grace Kelly, Dick Cavett, and Jack Paar, to help get support for the Fund for Animals. Amory's Fund merged with the Humane Society in 2005. Throughout his life, Amory reinvented himself several times, and Marilyn Greenwald follows him every step of the way with an outstanding narrative and penetrating analysis of the man, his career, the animal-rights movement, the times, and the extraordinary legacy of Cleveland Amory.

Review: "An Improper Bostonian captures the irrepressible spirit and unlikely adventures of one of America's most colorful characters, the curmudgeon Cleveland Amory. Greenwald has written a crackling good story, an authentic page-turner, about a legendary humorist, an animal rights advocate who could be wickedly funny and brutally candid and unbelievably kind."--Walter Anderson, Chairman and CEO, Parade Magazine "Cleveland Amory said he sometimes wondered what happened to the plain old biography without the "auto," and now Marilyn Greenwald has done him the service of producing a biography of the highest caliber. An Improper Bostonian deftly captures Cleveland's humor and wit, his skillful hand in dealing with both people and animals, and most of all, his belief that the least cruelty to the least creature diminishes us all. Cleveland's pioneering vision has inspired generations of people to join his "army of the kind," and his legacy will continue to inspire many more thanks in part to An Improper Bostonian."--Michael Markarian, President, The Fund for Animals; Executive Vice President, The Humane Society of the United States "Amory supplies plenty of material for a robust biography, and Greenwald does a thoroughly creditable job of it. . . . A man of many parts, Amory may very well be remembered less for his journalism than for his activities on behalf of animals. As an idealist, that may be just as he would prefer."--Ohioana Quarterly "In Greenwald's narrative, Amory's personal evolution--from chronicler of the silly and inconsequential pursuits of the rich to the nation's most recognizable animal advocate of the 1970s--is rendered intelligible as the natural course of progression in a thoughtful and engaged individual's life. This is the true strength of her work, the thing that distinguishes it from the obituaries and tributes that accumulated immediately following Amory's death. . . . This account of the man who wanted to arm bears, recruit an army of the kind, and build a Ranch of Dreams adds greatly to our understanding of his singular contributions to a cause that he championed with passion and the full measure of his days." --Humane Society of the United States Newsletter "Amory's publicly meditated life is grounded by friends and personal experience as he transforms the social elite's noblesse oblige of a bygone era into an impassioned modern American activism. Focusing her biography on how he used media commentary to give voice to the voiceless, Greenwald relates the journey of this scion-turned-celebrity as a heroic tale for the Internet age of wandering opinion."--Journalism History

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Title: Cleveland Amory: Media Curmudgeon and Animal...
Publisher: UPNE
Publication Date: 2009
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Good
Edition: First Edition - may be Reissue.

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