CALL ME TED
By Ted Turner and Bill Burke. Grand Central. 448 pages. $30.
Ted Turner's book, co-authored with former Turner Broadcasting executive Bill Burke, reviews his rise as yachtsman, baseball team owner, cable visionary and philanthropist.
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The book includes commentary from business moguls such as Bill Gates and former Time Warner Chairman Gerald Levin, friends such as former President Carter, family members and Jane Fonda, his wife for 10 years.
Turner looks back proudly on building his cable empire, including the founding of CNN, and sadly on his eventual departure from Time Warner, which bought out his Turner Broadcasting Systems in 1996. -- Hillel Italie, Associated Press
JOHN LENNON: THE LIFE
By Philip Norman. Ecco. 822 pages. $34.95.
Everybody from Bill Clinton to Fidel Castro loves to remember John Lennon as the utopian of “Imagine.” (“Imagine there's no countries/It isn't hard to do/Nothing to kill or die for/And no religion, too.”) Less remembered is the Lennon of “Run For Your Life.” (“Well I'd rather see you dead little girl/Than to be with another man.”)
In Philip Norman's merciless biography, Lennon No. 2 is on full display, and the picture isn't pretty.
Spiteful and selfish, miserly and misogynistic, Lennon abused his friends, cheated on his women and quarreled with almost everyone he knew. His politics were phony and his public persona a pose, the working-class hero who never labored in his life. Even his all-macrobiotic diet were a fraud; Norman recounts a horrified host discovering Lennon and Yoko Ono ransacking his refrigerator for bologna.
Norman admires Lennon's writing and musicianship and even appears to have some personal affection for Lennon. But he's undone by his reporting, which butts up against the ruthlessness and self-indulgence with which Lennon conducted his life. -- Glenn Garvin, McClatchy Newspapers