A meticulous biography of the legendary film actress, who began her career as a chorus girl in New York. This extensive work encompasses the years from Stanwyck's birth in 1907 to 1940, when she was at the height of her fame. Tough childhood, tough business, one tough lady, who deserved a book as good as this one. — Alden Graves
"Monumental... A vivid portrait of the entire era in which she flourished."
— Peter Bogdanovich
“Barbara Stanwyck was one of the very great loves of my life and Victoria Wilson's book told me so much more than Barbara herself could tell anybody. She has captured her loyalty--her professionalism--her anger and her undeniable will to stay in the game of life and, perhaps most importantly--her loneliness. Victoria has been ‘steel true’ to her.”
— Robert Wagner
"If ever there was an actress who was ready for prime time, it is Stanwyck, and this enormously informative tribute – juicy, yet dignified, admiring yet detached – is the book to bring her to center stage."
— Molly Haskell
“You’ll love this book. The story is full of flavor with details that create a kind of chiaroscuro painted deftly with a soft brush, of our life at that time... Wilson’s scholarliness on the subject of the life of a movie actress, a movie star whose career ran (she worked) for six decades, is awesome... If you are a movie fan, a filmmaking fan, a fan of Hollywood history, a filmmaker, or would be, should be, could be, or even just a person who is completely a TCM
addict, this book you should be reading... I finished reading much to my disappointment (wanting more) after 860 pages.”
— David Columbia
"I was blown away, absorbed, riveted. What great smooth style, what brilliance, what depth. This is huge and wonderful and rich. What an achievement!"
— Anne Rice
“This biography, when completed, will be the last word on Stanwyck.”
— Leonard Maltin
“Immensely detailed, authoritative, compulsively readable... It will come to be considered a classic.”
— James Curtis
"A stunning achievement.”
— Meryle Secrest
“One hopes that the wait for Ms. Wilson’s second volume won’t be as long as World War II
, since ‘Steel-True’ is so readable, and as direct as its subject. I couldn’t put it down. . .”
— Cathy Horyn
“I am loving your Barbara Stanwyck--you bring that whole period of time so brilliantly to life. I am already in love with her and so so angry at Frank Fay! Thank you for this wonderful, delicious book!"
— Susan Cheever
“Monumental in every sense...sweeping and authoritative...written with verve and with great empathy and relish for her subject. The author is also shrewd about the actress’s complexity and human limitations... she is smart about the films and about the history and business of Hollywood in the Golden Age. Not the least of her achievement is leaving the reader eager to read volume two.”
— Foster Hirsch
“A fabulous and expansive examination of the life of an iconic American actress.”
— Booklist (starred review)
courts the definitive…The voice of Steel-True
is passive, reportorial, almost choral. Applied to Wilson’s landmark recovery and synthesis of 1920s and ’30s Broadway and Hollywood history, it works beautifully…Wilson is a bold and determined architect, and ultimately succeeds in tracing, via some of Hollywood’s most brilliant minds and celebrated careers, the evolution of both an industry and an art form during one of its most hallowed and productive periods.”
— Michelle Orange
“Wilson’s book is indeed a monument of research. . . . A Life of Barbara Stanwyck
will unquestionably remain the biography of record; beyond Wilson’s excavation of so much that would otherwise have been lost, her book has a deep sensitivity to the seriousness and subtlety of Stanwyck’s craft. This is the biography not of a Hollywood phenomenon but of a serious artist.”
— Geoffrey O'Brien
“What you have done is extraordinary. It is an amazing book, brilliantly written, enhancing the whole life, Barbara’s life, happenings around her—people of the industry, people in the theater and in politics. The way you have shown her life to include other situations, all that you interject . . . it makes her life, to me, more historically important. You have brought her wonderful career magnificently to life, and as her friend, I thank you.”
— Nancy Sinatra, Sr.