Lois Banner: "Marilyn"

Lois Banner: "Marilyn"

Fifty years after Marilyn Monroe's death, a female biographer says the sexy "dumb blonde" was actually a smart and complex woman of many parts: model, film star, businesswoman and feminist. Lois Banner talks with Diane about her new book, "Marilyn."

Marilyn Monroe is one of the most well-known American icons of the twentieth century. But did we really know her at all? A new book titled “Marilyn” reveals a deep and complicated woman full of contradiction. She was sensual but painfully insecure, devout but sexually uninhibited, disciplined but self-destructive, cerebral but naïf-like. Many of her complexities were rooted in her unstable childhood. She was born Norma Jeane Mortenson in a charity ward in Los Angeles. She grew up in eleven different foster homes, with a mother in a mental institution and a father she never knew. Diane talks with Author Lois Banner about Marilyn Monroe.

Guests

Lois Banner

professor of history and gender studies at the University of Southern California, co-founder of the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians and author of ten books, including "American Beauty."

Photos Of Marilyn Monroe

Read An Excerpt

Excerpted from "Marilyn" by Lois Banner. Copyright © 2012 by Lois Banner. Reprinted by permission of Bloomsbury Publishing, Inc.

Please familiarize yourself with our Code of Conduct and Terms of Use before posting your comments.

Our address has changed!

The Diane Rehm Show is produced by member-supported WAMU 88.5 in Washington DC.