No one was richer, more powerful, publisized, or more outrageous than Aristotle Onassis. Combining shrewd cunning, the Greek Onassis rose from the brutal back streets of Smyrna, Turkey, to run an international business empire. He controlled one of the world's largest shipping lines, owned an international airline, bought and sold the bank of Monte Carlo, and made a reputation as one of the most ruthless deal-makers of his age. He counted among his closest friends Winston Churchill, Greta Garbo, Eva Peron, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton; he counted among his sworn enemies Richard Nixon, J.Edgar Hoover and the CIA. He romanced Gloria Swanson, loved and abandoned Maria Callas, married Jacquelline Kennedy, and died lonely and paranoid-never letting go of the primitive violence and suspiciousness of his childhood. On the basis of many yeas of research, months of conversations with Onassis, and interviews with the men and women who knew, loved, and feared him, Peter Evans has produced a new and revealing portrait of the contradictory man whose behind-the-scenes deals manipulated history and shook governments. In this book that I ordered from Amazon and I have already read, I saw the truth behind his celebrated love affairs with the world's most glamorous women;his long, bitter feud with his exbrother-in-law and business rival, Stavros Niarchos;his damaging relationships with his children. He treated his daughter, Christina, who is now a near recluse, with both indifference and indulgence. His son, Alexander, died in a plane crash his father could have prevented, and the death haunted Onassis till the end of his days. Combining high drama with tragedy and occasional black comedy, this book is an enthraling portrait of a generous, greedy, ruthlessly ambitious, and lonely man, who lived by the premise that :"there is no right or wrong: there is only what is possible". In 1968, British journalist and novelist Peter Evans was called to Paris to meet Aristotle Onassis. Surprised and intrigued, Evans went to the meeting and discovered that Onassis was thinking of "making a book" about his life. Evans was interested but wary of writing a sanitized biography of the shipping magnate. Onassis assured him that the book would be "a hundred percenter, exactly how it was". He provided Evans with total access to his friends, family, business colleagues, and himself, but after months of conversations, Ari abruptly canceled the project. After Onassis died, Evans set to work again, digging even deeper than his subject may have intended. You can order yours at Amazon.com:
Further details follow:
ARI-The life & times of Aristotle Onassis by Peter Evans, Summit Books New York. It costs about $19.95.