Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis
Since Marilyn Monroe's death 50 years ago, dozens of authors have tried to capture the nuances of this beloved, flawed and mysterious icon. In Marilyn, women's history expert Lois Banner may have succeeded. Banner explores Monroe's public persona but also details her darker past, including sexual abuse, 11 foster homes and multiple abortions. Banner also claims to prove "beyond a doubt" Monroe's wit and intellect, her playful side and her control — not the studios' — of creating the Marilyn Monroe we thought we knew.