Newsbook: Read 3 Books About Doris Day and Her Legacy

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Doris Day, who was the top box-office star of the early 1960s, died this week at 97. Read these books to learn more about her life and career, and gain insight into who she was.

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DORIS DAY
Her Own Story
By A. E. Hotchner
305 pp. William Morrow and Company. (1976)

This book is Day’s autobiography, based on a series of interviews she granted to Hotchner. In the introduction, Day promises “no holds barred, no pandering to the public image.” True to her word, the book exposes the gap between her sunny reputation and the personal challenges she faced, including a violent first marriage and a third husband who embezzled her money, a fact she discovered only after his death. Despite these setbacks, “she has apparently never suffered from self‐pity — one of the most refreshing aspects of this untypical Hollywood biography,” our reviewer wrote.

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CONSIDERING DORIS DAY
By Tom Santopietro
400 pp. Thomas Dunne Books. (2007)

“Day’s personal life is best covered in her autobiography; perhaps realizing this, Santopietro concentrates on her multifaceted career,” our reviewer wrote. This biography covers Day’s work in music and film from the 1940s to the 1960s and beyond — after she left show business to focus on animal advocacy.

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HOLDING MY OWN IN NO MAN’S LAND
Women and Men and Film and Feminists
By Molly Haskell
207 pp. Oxford University Press. (1997)

This collection of essays, reviews and profiles by the film critic Haskell is “a coda of ruminations enabling her to amplify her views on women and film,” our reviewer wrote. Haskell argues that Day was “challenging, in her working-woman roles, the limited destiny of women to marry, live happily ever after and never be heard from again.”

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