Marlene Dietrich's ABC
Wit, Wisdom, & Recipes
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An A-to-Z look into the mind of an entertainment legend
From the wonderfully varied and witty mind of Marlene Dietrich comes an alphabetized collection of her most zany, honest, and heartfelt thoughts. Offering her take on a range of ideas, people, and items, Marlene Dietrich’s ABC is an unprecedented glimpse into one of history’s brightest and most enigmatic stars. Nothing is too small or grand for Dietrich’s unique eye. From her entry for hardware store—“I’d rather go to a hardware store than to the opera”—to her entry for egocentric—“If he is a creative artist, forgive him”—she transforms both the mundane and the mysterious into snapshots of her own spirit. Complete with photos from her vast career, Marlene Dietrich’s ABC is an unexpected and addicting treat.
“[Dietrich] remains what she has been for many years—an absolutely strange delight, whose gift lies outside her achievement as an actress, is not tied to a specific time and does not depend on the taste of the moment, not even on common sense.” —Cecil Beaton “Whoever knows her and has been able to experience her has experienced perfection itself.” —Jean Cocteau
Marlene Dietrich (1901–1992) was a film actress and accomplished singer, widely considered among the greatest female stars of all time, and ranked number nine on the American Film Institute’s list of the fifty greatest American screen legends. Born in Germany in 1901, Dietrich was a classically trained violinist, but she shifted her focus to acting and singing when she injured her wrist in 1921. Her breakthrough film role in Josef von Sternberg’s The Blue Angel led to her contract with Paramount Studios and a string of Hollywood hits, including Shanghai Express. She became an American citizen and strongly supported the Allied effort during World War II; in 1947, she was awarded the Medal of Freedom for her contributions. During Dietrich’s later career, she performed almost exclusively as a cabaret artist, entertaining audiences worldwide. She died in Paris in 1992.