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Why is this book different from all other Lucy books?
-- Since her death in 1987, Lucille Ball has grown in significance and popularity. Ball of Fire is the first Lucy biography to show why, and to give detailed accounts of fans, scholars, worshipful comediennes, ardent feminists, sociologists, industry watchers and even poets who have raised Lucy to iconic status.
-- It's the first biography of Lucy to tackle all the elements of her life: a detailed biography from birth to death (showing her toots in small town, upstate New York; dealing with the loss of her father at a young age; showing her rise in show business in NYC and as a failed Hollywood starlet, detailing her dizzying and tumultuous relationship with Desi Arnaz; showing her rise in TV and her ultimate sad decline professionally and personally).
-- It's the first biography to really deal with the business side of Desilu.
-- The book also deals with the history of early television, much the way the author's Groucho dealt with the background of Hollywood in the 1920's, 30's and 40's.
-- It's the first book to show how Lucy beat the McCarthy era blacklist
-- It goes into the work side of I Love Lucy--and really shows how that series developed, nearly failed, and ultimtely became the most beloved television show of all time (much the way Kanfer did in Groucho, showing how the Marx Brothers really worked, he shows the effort and creativity that allowed I Love Lucy to succeed)
-- The relationship with Desi, as well as the relationship between Lucy and her children, is gone into in great detail -- and is quite moving and surprising
-- It's the first biography to be a truly full-length portrait of every aspect of the century's most important comedienne