Chaplin: A Life is a splendid new biography of one of the most brilliant performers of the 20th century by psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Stephen M. Weissman.
It has received glowing reviews from both of the most prestigious publishing journals:
“A fresh entry in the evergreen field of works devoted to Charlie Chaplin. If ever an artist’s life lent itself to psychoanalysis, it’s Chaplin’s. . . . Weissman lends dimension to the classics . . . and demonstrates Chaplin’s ability to transform family heartbreak into film comedies. . . . With lean, energetic prose, Weissman brings this colorful theatrical period to life. . . . He offers vivid sketches . . .and carefully follows the confluence of several artists that lead to the creation of the Chaplin’s iconic Little Tramp. Throughout the book,the author caps exhaustive sourcing with an overlay of insightful observations about Chaplin’s creative process. Find space on the crowded Chaplin shelf for this perceptive, literate take on the great screen clown.”
“Weissman uncovers the source for the “shabby gentility” of the Little Tramp, as well as the development of that extraordinary character. En route, he paints an engaging…portrait of how a cinema artist is created and how he practices his craft.”
But its most important review comes from Chaplin’s daughter Geraldine, who contributed an introduction that reads in part:
It is unlike anything that has ever been written about my father. Weissman weaves a psychologically astute narrative of Chaplin’s life and art, brilliantly exploring the relationships between experience and creativity….Weissman probes into the psychological explanation of the closest human bonds. It is uncanny how intuitively correct a trained outside investigator’s conclusions can turn out to be. This book, always provocative and at times heart-wrenching, is an enlightening read, an important addition to an understanding of my father’s genius and art, and a unique meditation on the mystery of creativity.
The book beautifully illuminates the sources and influences that inspired Chaplin’s unique combination of grace, humor, and poignancy. And Weissman has created a website about Chaplin that, like the book, is an extraordinary and insightful resource for fans and scholars. Its video clips, photo essays, and links enrich our understanding of an appreciation for this treasured icon.