Andrew Morton (writer)


Andrew Morton (writer)

, and a biographer.

Before moving into a career in journalism, he attended grammar school, then studied history at the University of Sussex.

Biography of Diana, Princess of Wales

It has been said Andrew Morton was approached by one of Princess Diana's most trusted friends, James Colthurst, with her permission, about writing a book in which she would give her side of the story, as opposed to the stance the Windsors and specifically Charles took. Morton's articles had been mostly sympathetic to Diana, however, it was vital that Diana not be linked to him or the book. Upon her request, he wrote pages of questions, which Colthurst then smuggled in his bicycle basket to her home, where the two tape recorded their conversations answering all the questions. Along with the interviews Morton culled among her friends, and combined the two to create the well-known book "Diana: Her True Story". The biography was a number one best-seller on both sides of the Atlantic and shattered many myths about the British royals, though many found the book self-serving and suspected that Diana had authorized her friends to talk or had talked to Morton herself, given the wealth of personal information and even pictures the book included. [The Diana Chronicles by Tina Brown] Fact|date=January 2008 Many critics trashed Morton's melodramatic writing style which was likened to that of cheap romance novels.

Apparently unchastened, or motivated by the outpouring of support for her side of the story that came with the book's publication, Diana later talked to Morton again when his publisher Michael O'Mara decided to release a sequel to the publishing blockbuster, titled "Diana: Her New Life". This also topped the best-seller lists in the UK and US and was largely viewed, given the separation of the Princess of Wales, as the authorized version of Diana's story. Morton's conversations with Diana later became the basis for an American television movie, "The Biographer".Fact|date=January 2008

Biography of Monica Lewinsky

Morton received public attention after Diana's death, when he revealed the extent of her collaborations with him. He achieved even greater prominence in the United States after the publication of "Monica's Story", a book detailing Monica Lewinsky's version of the events and aftermath of the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. Fact|date=January 2008

The pairing of author and subject occurred only after a British tabloid printed a fabricated story, suggesting that Morton was planning on writing a book about the "portly pepperpot" (as the "New York Post" called Lewinsky). On hearing this, Lewinsky had her lawyers approach Morton, and the book proposal was bought by St. Martin's Press for $5 million. It topped best-seller lists on both sides of the Atlantic, despite dismal reviews taking Morton to task for his purple prose and sentimental approach.Fact|date=January 2008

Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography

"Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography", published in January 2008, received a critical review in the "New York Times", with Janet Maslin writing "..Mr. Morton has found a number of former Scientologists who are willing to speak freely, and in some cases vengefully, about the group’s purported inner workings. Mr. Morton’s eagerness to include their voices leads him to push the limits of responsible reporting," stating also that Morton "provides a credible portrait extrapolated from the actor’s on-the-record remarks and highly visible public behavior." [cite news | last =Maslin | first =Janet | coauthors = | title =Tom Cruise and His Bully Pulpit | work =The New York Times | pages = | language = | publisher =The New York Times Company | date =January 10, 2008 | url =http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/10/books/10masl.html | accessdate = 2008-01-18] Writing in "Entertainment Weekly", Mark Harris gave the book a grade of "C-", and said "Cruise emerges from Morton's takedown moderately scratched but as uncracked as ever." [cite news | last =Harris | first =Mark | coauthors = | title =Review: New Cruise biography comes up empty | work =Entertainment Weekly | pages = | language = | publisher =CNN.com | date =January 9, 2008 | url =http://www.cnn.com/2008/SHOWBIZ/books/01/09/review.cruise/index.html | accessdate = 2008-01-18 ]

Teresa Budasi of the "Chicago Tribune" described the book as "fascinating" - though Budasi also brought up a "question as to what’s true and what isn’t."cite news | last =Budasi | first =Teresa | coauthors = | title =REVIEW: Cruise bio describes his best role: Scientologist - Focus on 'cult' doesn't make movie star more interesting | work =Chicago Tribune | pages = | language = | publisher = | date =January 17, 2008 | url =http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/books/746071,tomrev011708.article | accessdate = 2008-01-18] Budasi summed up her impression of the work, writing "Morton’s book is as much an indictment on Cruise’s chosen faith as it is the life story of one of the world’s biggest movie stars. And by the end you realize that “Scientologist” is what will end up being the role of his lifetime." In a review in "The Buffalo News", Jeff Simon wrote of the author: "To give Morton the credit he’s clearly due: He is one of the best around at constructing a 250-page gossip column."cite news | last =Simon | first =Jeff | coauthors = | title =A dangerous man, or a falling star? | work =The Buffalo News | pages = | language = | publisher = | date =January 19, 2008 | url =http://www.buffalonews.com/185/story/255378.html | accessdate = 2008-01-19 ]

Upon its publication, Cruise's lawyer and the Church of Scientology released statements which question the truthfulness assertions made by Morton in the book. In a 15-page statement released to the press, the Church of Scientology called the book "a bigoted, defamatory assault replete with lies."cite news | last = Associated Press | first = | coauthors = | title = Author of Cruise bio defends book | work = CNN | pages = | language = | publisher = Time Warner | date =January 16, 2008 | url =http://www.cnn.com/2008/SHOWBIZ/books/01/16/people.tomcruise.ap/ | accessdate = 2008-01-18] The book was not published in the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand due to strict libel laws in those countries.cite web |url=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/22664012#22664012 |title=msnbc.com Video Player |accessdate=2008-01-18 |date=January 15, 2007|format= |work=MSNBC]

Other publications

After "Monica's Story", he investigated a mining disaster, which became his first non-royal journalistic account, "Nine for Nine: The Pennsylvania Mine Rescue Miracle". It did not sell well and received tepid reviews. He wrote an authorized biography of Kenyan president Daniel arap Moi, with slightly better reviews.

Then Morton moved on to "king and queen of pop culture," as he termed them, David Beckham and his wife Victoria. "Posh and Becks", became a No. 1 best-seller in the United Kingdom, but received little attention in the United States.

Soon after, Morton announced that he would be taking on the "queen of pop", Madonna. She asked all her friends not to cooperate, but Morton assured the press that he would get them to talk anyway. Despite a seven figure advance by St. Martin's Press and a 500,000-copy first printing, "Madonna" failed to make waves in America, where it spent only two weeks on the "New York Times" best-seller list (peaking at No. 8). By contrast, J. Randy Taraborrelli's "Madonna: An Intimate Biography", released at the same time, became a massive best-seller. Morton subsequently wrote another Diana book entitled "In Pursuit of Love", with information that he had left unaddressed. The book made the "New York Times" best-seller list.

Books

*cite book
author=Morton, Andrew R.
title=
publisher=St. Martin's Press
location=New York
year=
pages=
isbn=0-312-35986-1
oclc=
doi=

*cite book
author=Morton, Andrew R.
title=Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words
publisher=Pocket
location=New York
year=
pages=
isbn=0-671-02412-4
oclc=
doi=

*cite book
author=Morton, Andrew R.
title=Monica's Story
publisher=St. Martin's Press
location=New York
year=
pages=
isbn= 0-312-97362-4
oclc=
doi=

*cite book
author=Morton, Andrew R.
title=Posh & Becks
publisher=Simon Spotlight Entertainment
location=
year=
pages=
isbn=1-4169-5386-8
oclc=
doi=

References

External links

*cite web
url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/217784.stm
title=BBC News, UK , Curriculum vitae: Andrew Morton
accessdate=2008-01-19
format=
work=


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