Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson

Jeff Guinn. Simon & Schuster, $27.95 (512p) ISBN 978-1-4516-4516-3
The notorious mastermind of the 1969 Tate-LaBianca murders emerges as an all-American ghoul in this riveting biography. Journalist Guinn (Go Down Together: The True Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde) tells how an ex-con distilled California's effervescing counterculture into the Manson Family freak show, recruiting a following of rootless teen waifs who worshipped him as Jesus Christ and did his bidding without question, whether in LSD-fueled orgies or killing sprees. The author's richly detailed but well-paced narrative fleshes out the demented logic behind the crimes: prompted by misfired drug deals, Manson conceived new murders in order to deflect attention from his involvement in previous crimes—and to instigate the "apocalyptic race war" he had prophesied to his followers. But Guinn, who unearths eerie photos of his subject as a clean-cut bridegroom, teases apart the twisted strands of normalcy in Manson's sociopathic charisma, which honed itself on fundamentalist Christianity, Dale Carnegie precepts, and starry-eyed self-promotion. (Manson's main goal, which brought him into the orbit of Beach Boy Dennis Wilson, was to score a record deal.) Guinn's portrait is an absorbing true crime saga and a searching exploration of the anomie, broken homes, and crazed hopes that led lost souls to mistake Manson for the answer to their prayers. 16 pages of b&w photos. Agent: Jim Donovan, Jim Donovan Literary. (Aug. 6)
Reviewed on: 05/13/2013
Release date: 08/06/2013
Show other formats
Paperback - 495 pages - 978-1-4516-4517-0
Hardcover - 495 pages - 978-0-85720-894-1
Paperback - 853 pages - 978-1-59413-770-9
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-1-4516-4518-7
Hardcover - 855 pages - 978-1-4104-6158-2
Hardcover - 512 pages - 978-0-85720-893-4
Ebook - 480 pages - 978-0-85720-895-8
Hardcover - 512 pages - 978-1-4711-2876-9
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.