Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson Hardcover
Author: Visit Amazon's Jeff Guinn Page | Language: English | ISBN: 1451645163
| Format: PDF, EPUB
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An Amazon Best Book of the Month, August 2013:
For more than 40 years, Charles Manson has cast an awful shadow over the Age of Aquarius: an unrepentant murderer synonymous with psychopath
in the American lexicon, impossible to ignore or forget. Accordingly, there’s no measuring the volume of ink and celluloid committed to the man, his “family,” and their deeds. So what’s left to be said about Charles Manson? Quite a bit, it turns out. With Manson
, Jeff Guinn delves deep into Manson’s “origin story” to reconstruct the wicked combination of events and circumstance that helped make the monster. In prose that’s both economical and compelling--almost hard-boiled--Guinn recounts a troubled upbringing of neglectful, criminal parents and juvenile delinquency, compelling the narrative into the increasingly bizarre landscapes of late-1960s Southern California--a context that turned out to be the perfect accelerant to Manson’s narcissistic delusions. By the time of Helter Skelter and the infamous Manson Family killings, Guinn has aligned the tumblers of Manson’s story and opened a vault of secrets regarding one of the most violent and strange episodes of modern American history. --Jon Foro
The one gesture Guinn makes toward anything like an interpretive biography of permanent-celebrity criminal Charles Manson consists of regular citation of all the other front-page mayhem—riots, assassinations, bombings, Vietnam War atrocities—going on while the ex-con put together “the Family” and eventually directed the nine gruesome murders for which he and a half-dozen minions drew death sentences (all commuted when California’s supreme court abolished the death penalty). Guinn indulges in no psychological or sociological analysis but makes like Sergeant Joe Friday, relaying just the facts, though those include, besides the firmly established ones, many that are just most likely. In Guinn’s hands, the story of a lifelong loser who yet succeeded in gaining what he may have wanted most—fame—because he was also a world-class user of others retains both all its creepy fascination and a full measure of mystery. Well, Guinn asserts at one point, Charlie had charisma, if anyone ever did. Evidently. A fine, plain historical true-crime book. --Ray Olson
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- Hardcover: 512 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (August 6, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1451645163
- ISBN-13: 978-1451645163
- Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
This is a mind expanding book. It's as much a social history of America and more specifically of California in the late sixties and the early seventies as it is a study of Manson and his so called family. Guin sets the context of Manson's story by delving into the genesis of the hippie movement in Haight-Ashbury and then as it extends across the country. One of the things that fascinates me so much about true crime is how someone comes to be involved in their crimes. What caused them to act this way? He takes us through an in depth look at Charlie's mother's growing years and her problems with her family, the law and her incarceration. So much of what Manson wants us to believe about his early years is his fabrication. He came from a loving but troubled southern family with strong (maybe too strong?) values. His grandmother and aunt and uncle did a lot to steer him towards good behavior as did his mother when she was released from prison but Charlie was a manipulative child almost from the beginning. He was a user.
During his reform school days and early adult prison stints he turned to the lessons of Dale Carnegie and Scientology not for guidance but as a way to perfect his use of others. He was motivated to be famous and determined to do anything he could to be in the limelight. He focused on becoming a musician but only accomplished rudimentary skills in that area though his self delusion told him others just couldn't appreciate his talent. He also especially looked down on women and was a rampant racist. He even fancied himself as Jesus Christ! The amazing thing is he was able to get others to believe his fantasies and to serve him.
"The Life and Times of Charles Manson" written by Jeff Guinn is a book about one of the most notorious killer, Charles Manson, who managed to not only avoid being punished by the death penalty for his crime but still today has his loyal fans and people who believe in his innocence. Jeff Guinn is author of several books about famous people (Doc Holliday and Earp brothers, Bonnie and Clyde...) and events / crimes in which they were involved in a way that provides more light, based on exhaustive research.
In this book he gave an excellent portrait of famous killer and sociopath Charles Manson, from his birth, childhood, the crimes he committed and encouraged, his prison days to the present day. He was born in Ohio in 1934 by his mother Kathleen and by the time he was thirty years old he had spent more than half of his life in in different institutions, from reform schools to the prison. When the authorities releases him in San Francisco, using his newly learned musical knowledge and unquestionable charisma he gathered around him a group of people. He invented his own philosophy, a combination of his own religion and rock'n roll, free love and drugs which attracted some youth who were who were naive enough to believe him. That was a start of his family which he called "The Manson Family" and it will soon become known all over the world.
They moved to Los Angeles in the hope that this would help him in his musical career but soon they were involved in lot of violent incidents that resulted in several murders - Gary Hinman, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca and pregnant Sharon Tate. Manson had vision of an impending apocalypse, the war between the black and white race when murders of whites by blacks would be met with retaliation and all this chaos would be started by his Family's album.
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