The Last Mogul: Lew Wasserman, MCA and the Hidden History of Hollywood

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Dennis McDougal

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Lew Wasserman's life story is the story of Hollywood, the you scratch my back, I'll stab yours Hollywood that movie fans may hear about but rarely see. As the elusive, tyrannical head of the Music Corporation of America (MCA), Wasserman has been the most powerful and feared man in show business for more than half a century. His story has remained largely unknown, until now. . . .

Michael Eisner, David Geffen, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Ted Turner, Barry Diller, Rupert Murdoch: the men who run Hollywood today had the way paved for them by Lew Wasserman, the original Hollywood power broker. Intensely private and so low-profile that he wouldn't allow press photographers to take his picture for decades, Wasserman ran his beloved MCA with an iron fist. His story has never been told before for one overriding reason: fear. For more than fifty years, he has been one of a handful of Hollywood giants who could say, You'll never work in this town again, and make it stick.

His career spans the entire history of the movies, from the silent era, through the age of Louis B. Mayer and the studio moguls, to the dawn of television, and up to present-day Hollywood, where money, microchips, drugs, and multinational politics dominate the corporate power struggles for control of the American entertainment industry. He was guru to such legends as Alfred Hitchcock, Marilyn Monroe, Marlon Brando, and Jimmy Stewart, as well as a whole new generation of film magicians, beginning with Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. Confidant to presidents and popes, Wasserman also had ties to the underworld. Even today, at eighty-five, he remains the Godfather of Hollywood.

The Last Mogul is the probing, thorough, and dramatic chronicle of the life of Hollywood's last living studio titan, the man who has come to personify show business in the twentieth century.


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