Seduction by Karina Longworth


In this riveting popular history, the creator of You Must Remember This probes the inner workings of Hollywood’s glamorous golden age through the stories of some of the dozens of actresses pursued by Howard Hughes, to reveal how the millionaire mogul’s obsessions with sex, power and publicity trapped, abused, or benefitted women who dreamt of screen stardom.In recent months, the media has reported on scores of entertainment figures who used t...

Details Seduction

Release DateNov 13th, 2018
PublisherCustom House
GenreNonfiction, History, Biography, Culture, Film, Audiobook, Media Tie In, Movies

Reviews Seduction

  • Lee
    I had the audio book of this so it definitely felt like an extended episode or when you listen to a whole season at once. I had been a bit concerned that what she put out on her podcast would make a lot of things redundant but thankfully that wasn’t the case. I appreciate that she had to walk the line between knowing her audience was reading this and wanted new information and not losing the people that hadn’t heard of her podcast before. I r...
  • Rachel
    No one does Hollywood history better than Karina Longworth.
  • Alecia
    Well, Howard Hughes was a bigger piece of work than most of us might have thought. In this exhaustively researched book, the author (the creator and host of the podcast You Must Remember This) tells what it was like to be a woman in Hollywood during the time of Howard Hughes. Such stellar luminaries, including Katharine Hepburn, Jean Harlow, Ava Gardner, Jane Russell and Ginger Rogers are intermingled with young starlets to tell a tale of exploit...
  • Rex Fuller
    In the author's opinion, Howard Hughes believed the purpose of popular movies was to literally expose as much of the lead actress on screen as permissible. She also demonstrates that Hughes was serially smitten with and constantly seeking beautiful women, with which being in the movie business fit perfectly. After all, he romanced Billie Dove, Faith Domergue, Bette Davis, Ava Gardner, Olivia de Havilland, Katharine Hepburn, Hedy Lamarr, Ginger Ro...
  • Nick Spacek
    In her new book, Seduction: Sex, Lies, and Stardom in Howard Hughes's Hollywood, Karina Longworth uses the story of movie mogul and industrialist Hughes to examine the lives of myriad young women in the early days of Hollywood. Given that Longworth, host of the inimitable and interesting You Must Remember This podcast, has a knack for interweaving detailed stories of forgotten Hollywood, it should comes as no surprise that Seduction is a fascinat...
  • Tad
    If you are anything like me and love watching old movies and love reading about classic Hollywood, then this book will be right up your alley. Exhaustively researched and endlessly engaging, Longworth gives us a detailed look at Howard Hughes and the ways in which he used his power, money and influence to seduce and entrap women into his orbit. Some were well known, others less so. But they all shared a level of affection for Hughes that often le...
  • Stephanie
    Interesting in parts, but I got bored in others. It's no wonder that Weinstein et al thought they had a right to act the way they did- that's the culture that has been around Hollywood since the very beginning. It's pretty disgusting that it has been allowed to go on for such a long time. Howard Hughes is an interesting guy. Horrible, but interesting. Reading this book led me to the author's podcast, and I've listened to several episodes even tho...
  • Gemma
    There's a lot to go over and think about in this book but seriously if anyone was surprised by the depth of the charges against Harvey Weinstein (and so much other stuff that's come out recently) "Hollywood" has been enabling hell even celebrating this stuff pretty much since the beginning. And if you aren't overly interested in Hughes (I'm not) there's some interesting stuff about films, the early publicity machine, selling women's bodies, how t...
  • Writer's Relief
    From the 1920s to the 1950s, movie mogul Howard Hughes astounded the world by making movies many never thought would be made, flying around the world in his own private plane, and launching legendary publicity campaigns for the films he would produce. He also had many, many romances with famous women in Hollywood—from established stars like Bette Davis and Katharine Hepburn to lesser known names such as Faith Doumergue and Jean Peters. Karina L...
  • Joseph
    A fascinating, slightly snarky in the right places and sad in many others look at a real grade-A asshole, the women he terrorized and the industry who enabled it.
  • Aroha Bahuguna
    "...the consummate tit-man" is the phrase that stands out to me after reading this book a few weeks ago and having forgotten half the number of women that Howard Hughes tried to seduce or seduced. More often than not he failed at it, because he was such a charmer of a person. My only introduction to HH before this book was through Aviator that I saw way back when, which painted him as an eccentric genius. But this book was a real insight into the...
  • Eliza
    Sadly disappointed with this - a 2.5 really. What works so well in You Must Remember This - where Longworth illuminates connections and spins narrative, delivering delight in a witty and knowing drawl - does not translate well to the page. This reads as a hurried litany of second source anecdotes with no additional analysis or conjecture. Towards the end I was bored which is a feat considering the fantastical, fascinating source material. Back to...
  • Beth
    I looked up so many movies and actresses while reading this that it was kind of absurd. And so fun! This is probably the best nonfiction book I read this year.
  • Colleen
    Comes as no surprise that Howard Hughes was a terrible man--in practically every way. This book focuses on just mainly one facet of his all around shitty self--the sexual predator and controller of women part, and tangentially how he ran RKO into the ground like a spoiled child in order to manipulate women and obsess over Jane Russell's breasts. If you're looking for a companion piece, I recommend Zanucks of Hollywood, The: The Dark Legacy of an...
  • Bob Garrett
    Karina Longworth writes, narrates and produces a podcast titled YOU MUST REMEMBER THIS, and if you're a classic film buff, then her podcast is a "must listen." Longworth consistently proves herself knowledgeable on Hollywood history, does her homework (A list of sources for each episode appears on the podcast website.) and is a great story teller. She brings all of those qualities to this book, and fans of her podcast (among which I count myself)...
  • Donie Nelson
    Gossipy read. Who knew that Hughes was great in bed, (according to Katherine Hepburn), or that he used marriage proposals & engagement rings as bait for pre-marital sex! He was obsessed with brunettes with big tits & employed scouts to find mostly teenage girls as potential "starlets" he could pay to wait for him to make them stars! Some of them he never met in person. I never met Hughes, but I met ex-wives Terry Moore at a party in Malibu in the...
  • Lisa
    Thank you Custom House Books for an e-copy of Seduction by Karina Longworth for review. Seduction will be available November 13, 2018.Seduction is a history book not just about Howard Hughes but also about the women he affected. In the golden age of Hollywood, producers signed actors to contracts and leased them out for movies. Howard Hughes “collected” young women new to Hollywood and signed them to exploit them. This book is an extensive lo...
  • James
    Amazingly researched hybrid of a Howard Hughes bio and a history of ALL the women (famous and not) that circled his orbit or were snared by his gravitational pull. It's all about the movies and Hollywood and a guy that was rich and manipulative and really weird. But, it's also a great historic tale of how Hollywood changed (often by Hughes' doings) and the way women were exploited by the star machine and men who ran it. This is not just about Hug...
  • Martin
    Karina Longworth is one of our best film critics and film historians, a storyteller who makes the past come alive with crackling prose. Here, through the life of eccentric Howard Hughes and the women and men who come in and out of his life, we get an amazing overview of Hollywood during the first half of the 20the century. Many of the themes Longworth writes about that pertain to the film industry are as relevant now as they were then. This is mo...
  • Cait
    3.5 stars. I really like Karina's style of writing (which makes sense, I like her podcast!), I just wish I was more interested in some of the subject matter.
  • Douglas Fugate
    This book is about Howard Hughes. It covers his life from being raised in Texas to his death while being flown to a hospital in Houston, Texas. The reader will learn of the women he touches – physically, sexually, by phone, or by memo. The control he held over everyone with whom he had contact – male and female. The research is exceptional. Interspersed, are mini-biographies of several women. This is a first-rate look at Hollywood from the Si...
  • Becky Johnston
    3.5, rounded up. This was a meticulously researched and well argued book that succeeds at presenting Howard Hughes as the proto- Harvey Weinsten/ Donald Trump. However, in the author's goal to focus on the women Hughes used, abused, and discarded -it's more a mixed bag. Some women shine through the book (Ginger Rogers, Jane Russell, Jean Peters) while others get lost in the shuffle of women. Writing about a man who treated women as interchangeabl...
  • Anne
    I'm a huge fan of You Must Remember This, and this book feels like what my friend Greg called "an extra-long episode of the podcast." Longworth has such a distinctive voice, even when you're reading and not listening. I found Seduction to be both illuminating and disturbing. My only other Howard Hughes knowledge seems to come from The Aviator (during which I fell asleep), which is decidedly Howard-centric. I loved reading the story from the persp...
  • Marshall
    Anyone thinking the Harold Robbins book The Carpetbaggers was sensational, clearly had no idea of the realities of the life of Howard Hughes. Clearly he continues to fascinate, first as a daring aviator and then as ground breaking film producer, but finally as a creepy old guy. It is a paradox that Hughes probably died because he was too powerful to receive the care he needed. Hereditary deafness and his need to compensate only made his isolation...
  • Melissa
    4.5 out of 5. I’ve been a fan of Karina’s work on her podcast You Must Remember This for a while so I was really excited to see that she had a book coming out about Howard Hughes. While I was not shocked that he was a completely gross, creepy, controlling predator, particularly toward very young women of a certain type, I was surprised that he was a really bad businessman and filmmaker (I should have known about the filmmaker stuff, I have se...
  • Mark
    Karina Longworth’s Seduction is technically a biography of Howard Hughes, but she crafts the book so that Hughes is defined by the negative space between the women—ten in particular—whose careers and lives he manipulated in order to attempt to enhance his own. Longworth’s work amounts to a certain satisfying sort of revenge in exposing the ugly details of a life that Hughes so desperately worked to keep private (satisfying not because wha...
  • Denis
    Karina Longworth is not quite a great writer, in the sense that her writing style is, at best, bland, and, more than once, rather perfunctory. But she’s a really good journalist, she has a a great sense of the true meaning of movies, she’s extremely knowledgeable and passionate about old Hollywood, and she holds very interesting and original points of view, which is a definitive plus. This book is not the first volume to tackle the subject of...
  • Niko
    Tell anyone you can, any way that you can!Stars, they're just like us, amirite? Who hasn't imprisoned a woman in a lavish hotel with guards outside so she can't leave? And who amongst us wouldn't buy the mansion across the street in order to surveil their wife? Go on, cast the first stone...What I mean to say is, Howard Hughes was mad, and I am mad about Karina Longworth. If you close your eyes, "Seduction," is like a more formal version of her u...
  • Christine
    I won a copy of this through Goodreads Giveaways.This is a really thorough look into exactly what it's title says: Sex, Lies and Stardom in Howard Hughes's Hollywood." It's not a super thorough look into Howard Hughes, though it gives the basics, nor any of the starlets that he wooed, seduced and lied to during his time trying to influence the film industry. It's also not a super thorough look into Hollywood, though it again gives a pretty decent...
  • Phillip Oliver
    A long and, at times, exhausting book but nevertheless an admirable job of research and writing. The book centers on the army of starlets hired and controlled by Howard Hughes during his lifetime. The most well-known names include Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, Jean Harlow, Billie Dove, Jane Russell as well as lesser-known names like Faith Domergue, Jean Peters, (who Hughes was actually married to) and Terry Moore, not to mention scores of unk...