“The Perils of Miss Crawford”by Richard F. Sanders for the “American Book Reviewer” Column, January 20th, 1973
The Christmas remnants are nearly bargained away. And inventory completed in the stores, preparatory to a return to normalcy.
Soon room will be found again for the new paperback editions. Until that is completed there are still a number of last year’s publications waiting for your reading pleasure.
There is one that the ladies of our audience will enjoy, Joan Crawford’s “My Way of Life.”
When I first began reading it, I told my wife I wouldn’t be able to review it for this column. I don’t want to make anyone discontented with her lot. But as I read on, it became clear that it would dishearten no one. Joan is unreal, but abstractly interesting.
For instance, her idea of home work waiting a working wife is checking to see if the maid did her work properly in her absence, and if such important items as light bulbs, soap and vacuum cleaner bags are in sufficient supply. Or again, when both spouses work long hours, she recommends they work four weeks and maybe take the fifth week off and fly to the islands for a week of rest and recuperation and intimacy.
She must have something. Her name is headlined above her book’s title in true star fashion, and she attracted over seven thousand people to a department store for an autograph-book purchase party when the book first came out. She does have something to say.
I don’t mean to be too hard on her (not that she would care if I was). Each person has her own type of problems.
She was poor to start with, and worked her way through two private schools, sometimes getting to class only two or three times a year. She didn't start working professionally until she was 14.
From that point on she led a unique life. She divorced three husbands, and outlived a forth. He was an executive at Pepsi, and she is still the public relations girl for the company.
If you saw Marlene Dietrich last Saturday, you saw one of Joan’s classmates.
Joan Crawford never seemed to be a raving beauty, yet in the eighty-odd pictures included in the book, she comes close to it at times.
She has some interesting things to say about working women, figure and skin care, jewelry, travel, and oh! Yes, by all means, don’t miss her section of care of your wardrobe – one of the biggest problems of her life.
We all grow from our mistakes in living, and Joan obviously did as well, but to get this out of her book, it might worth noting that the book was dictated to a tape recorder and ghost written by Audrey Inman.
Events and idea taken out of proper sequence can oftentimes take away the true note of sincerity present.