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Publisher's Summary

Howard Hughes lived one of the greatest, most heroic, misunderstood, mysterious, bizarre, and tragic lives in American history. In this brilliantly documented biography, the mythology that surrounded that life is disentangled from the truth.

Hughes had always been different. Certainly his riches set him apart, but he was also tough. Orphaned and a millionaire at 18, Hughes repudiated his relatives, seized control of the Hughes Tool Company, the linchpin of his fortune, and went on to become a flamboyant movie producer, holder of many world aviation records, principal owner of Trans World Airlines, a critically important defense contractor, Hollywood's most pursued and elusive bachelor, and partner of the United States government.

This is an epic biography of an epic figure who bestrode the world like a colossus yet could not master himself.

©1979 Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele (P)1994 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Of all the books written about Howard Hughes, Empire is easily the best...." ( New York Times Book Review)
"A remarkable job of investigative reporting....cracks Hughes's public persona as it disentangles the psychodrama of his private doings...." ( Publishers Weekly)
"[The] most responsible and authoritative biography of Hughes to date." ( Newsweek)

What listeners say about Empire

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • MT
  • 12-16-19

Interesting book about a fascinating man

Interesting book about a fascinating man. He was a genius and a visionary who wasn’t properly diagnosed or treated - in fact, seems his doctors were delinquent and negligent in his care, rather content to continue milking him for his money rather than trying to cure him. One has to wonder what other advances or technological improvements he would have made had he lived longer.

2 people found this helpful

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Oddly Cut

As much as I enjoy biographies this abridged version wasn't put together very well. The narrator was marginal and judging from what was spliced together from the full book, I would recommend the unabridged version.

2 people found this helpful

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Fascinating

Only wish the ending detailed out what happened to his estate and his companies.

Wikipedia states his estate is worth over $10 billion...unclear as to how this happened

2 people found this helpful

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Brilliant

This book was everything you want in an audiobook. Great narrator, captivating story, interesting subject. Five stars

1 person found this helpful

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A story of grit, and a determined, rebellious life

Very informative. A treasure trove of information about a curiosity of mine. It helps bring a lot of contemporary America into perspective.

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Excellent story

Good Voiceover work with an unbelievable story! Much more information than I anticipated and gives a more accurate picture of his life.

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a good biography of Howard hughs.

this is a very well researched biography about Howard Hugh's. it is well written and a good read.

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Excellent Overview of a difficult individual

I can't help but draw similarities between Hughes and Trump. Both born into immense wealth and achieving sovereignty over their fathers fortune at an early age. Both were narcissistic and vain, lording their personal power over all in their path. Friendless to the end.

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A little slow at times, but worth the read (listen)

A little slow at times, but worth the read (listen). Had some stories that would’ve made the movie better, I feel.

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Excellent

I really found this story & the reading thereof riveting, fascinating & enjoyable. Highly recommended for anyone who has an interest in eccentric, wealthy & ultimately tragic figures.

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  • Mister Peridot
  • 04-03-14

Excellent. But ...

Interesting, fluid account of the man they called HRH. Good reading too.

But.

There is a peculiar and unfortunate production technique used in the audobook. The reader speaks with two different voices, as if two people are reading the book in turn. Presumably this is meant to add emphasis or something. But its just annoying.

Nonetheless its still worth listening to.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Graham G.
  • 07-20-22

Not great

Poorly edited, badly recorded, very dryly narrated. ... ... .... ... ... ... ...

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  • Jelly
  • 04-23-22

Engaging and fast talking - always helpful.

Engaging and fast talking - helpful to ADHDs. Walks into a life and brings it to life well.

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  • Zoltan Orsos
  • 01-11-22

really bad recording

Non stop echo during the whole recording and some sections were edited later with no effort made to blend in with the rest.

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Profile Image for Nadine Brower
  • Nadine Brower
  • 12-03-21

Empire

Wow excellent audible book I highly recommend hearing!
What an incredible man very talented business man but also a very troubled man with all his over excessive ways with hygiene etc.
I really enjoyed this book.