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Browse audiobooks by Susan Ronald, listen to samples and when you're ready head over to Audiobooks.com where you can get 3 FREE audiobooks on us
The first biography in over thirty years of Condé Nast, the pioneering publisher of Vogue and Vanity Fair and main rival to media magnate William Randolph Hearst Condé Nast's life and career was as high profile and glamourous as his magazines. Moving to New York in the early twentieth century with just the shirt on his back, he soon became the highest paid executive in the United States, acquiring Vogue in 1909 and Vanity Fair in 1913. Alongside his editors, Edna Woolman Chase at Vogue and Frank Crowninshield at Vanity Fair, he built the first-ever international magazine empire, introducing European modern art, style, and fashions to an American audience. Credited with creating the "café society," Nast became a permanent fixture on the international fashion scene and a major figure in New York society. His superbly appointed apartment at 1040 Park Avenue, decorated by the legendary Elsie de Wolfe, became a gathering place for the major artistic figures of the time. Nast launched the careers of icons like Cecil Beaton, Clare Boothe Luce, Lee Miller, Dorothy Parker, and Noel Coward. He left behind a legacy that endures today in media powerhouses such as Anna Wintour, Tina Brown, and Graydon Carter. Written with the cooperation of his family on both sides of the Atlantic and a dedicated team at Condé Nast Publications, critically acclaimed biographer Susan Ronald reveals the life of an extraordinary American success story.Show more
The world was stunned when eighty-year old Cornelius Gurlitt became an international media superstar in November 2013 on the discovery of over 1,400 artworks in his 1,076 square-foot Munich apartment, valued at around $1.35 billion. Gurlitt became known as a man who never was-he didn't have a bank account, never paid tax, never received social security. He simply did not exist. He had been hard-wired into a life of shadows and secrecy by his own father long before he had inherited his art collection built on the spoliation of museums and Jews during Hitler's Third Reich. The ensuing media frenzy unleashed international calls for restitution, unsettled international relations, and rocked the art world. Susan Ronald reveals in this stranger-than-fiction-tale how Hildebrand Gurlitt succeeded in looting in the name of the Third Reich, duping the Monuments Men and the Nazis alike. As an 'official dealer' for Hitler and Goebbels, Hildebrand Gurlitt became one of the Third Reich's most prolific art looters. Yet he stole from Hitler too, allegedly to save modern art. Hitler's Art Thief is the untold story of Hildebrand Gurlitt, who stole more than art-he stole lives, too.Show more
From Susan Ronald, author of The Pirate Queen, comes a revealing new audiobook biography. With each sensational chapter, A Dangerous Woman documents the life of Florence Gould, a fabulously wealthy socialite and patron of the arts, who hid her dark past as a Nazi collaborator in 1940's Paris.Born in turn-of-the-century San Francisco to French parents, Florence moved to Paris, aged eleven. Believing that only money brought respectability and happiness, she became the third wife of Frank Jay Gould, son of the railway millionaire Jay Gould. She guided Frank's millions into hotels and casinos, creating a luxury hotel and casino empire. She entertained Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso, Joseph Kennedy, and many Hollywood stars, like Charlie Chaplin, who became her lover. While the party ended for most Americans after the Crash of 1929, Frank and Florence refused to go home. During the Occupation, Florence took several German lovers and hosted a controversial salon. As the Allies closed in, the unscrupulous Florence became embroiled in a notorious money laundering operation for fleeing high-ranking Nazis.Yet after the war, not only did she avoid prosecution, but her vast fortune bought her respectability as a significant contributor to the Metropolitan Museum, New York University, and Cornell Medical School, among many others. It also earned her friends like Estée Lauder who obligingly looked the other way. A seductive and utterly amoral woman who loved to say "money doesn't care who owns it", Florence's life proved a strong argument that perhaps money can buy happiness after all.Show more
Acclaimed biographer Susan Ronald delivers a stunning account of Elizabeth I that focuses on her role in the Wars of Religion-the battle between Protestantism and Catholicism that tore Europe apart in the sixteenth century. Elizabeth's 1558 coronation procession was met with an extravagant outpouring of love. Only twenty-five years old, the young queen saw herself as the nation's Protestant savior, aiming to provide new hope, prosperity, and independence from the foreign influence that had plagued her sister Mary's reign. Given the scars of the Reformation, Elizabeth would need all of the powers of diplomacy and tact she could summon. Extravagant, witty, and hot tempered, Elizabeth was the ultimate tyrant. Yet at the outset, in religious matters, she was unfathomably tolerant for her day. "There is only one Christ, Jesus, one faith," Elizabeth once proclaimed. "All else is a dispute over trifles." Heretic Queen is the highly personal, untold story of how Queen Elizabeth I secured the future of England as a world power. Susan Ronald paints the queen as a complex character whose apparent indecision was really a political tool that she wielded with great aplomb. "This is a compulsive, engaging, and vivid history...The drama of the English Reformation comes alive."-Alison Weir, New York Times bestselling authorShow more
Dubbed the "pirate queen" by the Vatican and Spain's Philip II, Elizabeth I was feared and admired by her enemies. Extravagant, whimsical, and hot-tempered, Elizabeth was the epitome of power. Her visionary accomplishments were made possible by her daring merchants, gifted rapscallion adventurers, astronomer philosophers, and her stalwart Privy Council, including Sir William Cecil, Sir Francis Walsingham, and Sir Nicholas Bacon. All these men contributed their vast genius, power, greed, and expertise to the advancement of England. In The Pirate Queen, historian Susan Ronald offers a fresh look at Elizabeth I, focusing on her uncanny instinct for financial survival and the superior intellect that propelled and sustained her rise. The foundation of Elizabeth's empire was built on a carefully choreographed strategy whereby piracy transformed England from an impoverished state on the fringes of Europe into the first building block of an empire that covered two-fifths of the world. Based on a wealth of historical sources and thousands of personal letters between Elizabeth and her merchant adventurers, advisers, and royal "cousins," The Pirate Queen tells the thrilling story of Elizabeth and the swashbuckling mariners who terrorized the seas, planted the seedlings of an empire, and amassed great wealth for themselves and the Crown.Show more