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Elia Kazan: A Biography by Richard Schickel (2005)Read about another book on the list.
It's the best showbusiness book that I've read. It's brilliantly written and it's about a brilliant director who was very meaningful to me when I was growing up and becoming a film-maker. Schickel understands Kazan; he understands Tennessee Williams; he understands Marlon Brando; he understands A Streetcar Named Desire. He writes with great historical knowledge, insight and liveliness. Showbusiness books are usually not worth reading. They're just silly and shallow. But this is a fabulous book. Whatever you think of Kazan politically, it has nothing to do with the fact that the guy was a great director.
Elia Kazan: A Life is one of Stefan Kanfer's five best books on remarkable Hollywood lives and Richard Schickel's five best show-biz biographies.