Kingmaker

Pamela Harriman's Astonishing Life of Power, Seduction, and Intrigue

Sonia Purnell ,

 
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Kingmaker: Pamela Harriman's Astonishing Life of Power, Seduction, and Intrigue

About the eBook

From the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE, an electrifying re-examination of one of the 20th century’s greatest unsung power players

When Pamela Churchill Harriman died in 1997, the obituaries that followed were predictably scathing – and many were downright sexist. Written off as a mere courtesan and social climber, her true legacy was overshadowed by a glamorous social life and her infamous erotic adventures. Much of what she did behind the scenes – on both sides of the Atlantic - remained invisible and secret. That is, until now: with a wealth of fresh research, interviews and newly discovered sources, Sonia Purnell unveils for the first time the full, spectacular story of how she left an indelible mark on the world today.

At age 20 Churchill’s beloved daughter-in-law became a “secret weapon” during World War II, strategically wining, dining, and seducing diplomats and generals to help win over American sentiment (and secrets) to the British cause against Hitler. After the war, she helped to transform Fiat heir Gianni Agnelli into Italy’s ‘uncrowned king’ on the international stage and after moving to the US brought a struggling Democratic party back to life, hand-picking Bill Clinton from obscurity and vaulting him to the presidency.

Picked as Ambassador to France, she deployed her legendary subtle powers to charm world leaders and help efforts to bring peace to Bosnia, playing her part in what was arguably the high-water mark of American global supremacy.

There are few at any time who have operated as close to the center of power over five decades and two continents, and there is practically no one in 20th Century politics, culture, and fashion whose lives she did not touch, including the Kennedys, Truman Capote, Aly Khan, Kay Graham, Gloria Steinem, Ed Murrow, and Frank Sinatra. Written with the novelistic richness and investigative rigor that only Sonia Purnell could bring to this story full of sex, politics, yachts, palaces and fabulous clothes, KINGMAKER re-asserts Harriman’s rightful place at the heart of history.
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