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Gossipy, lascivious, irreverent and wild -- just like Doris Duke, the woman who inspired this romp of a biography. Born the richest child in America, Duke broke free from the restraints of her privileged upbringing into a life of scandal, sexual conquest, inheritance and headlines, ending with her mysterious murder at the age of 80. A no-holds-barred look into the lives of the rich and famous.
"Really great sex" is what the very rich and the very poor can share, according to the late Doris Duke, because both have the time and the freedom to focus on it. The middle class is too busy with jobs and mortgages and college tuitions. Duke, the tobacco heiress who during her lifetime (1912-1993) was thought to be the world's richest woman, spent most of that life in search of the largest and most potent male organ, the winner being that of playboy Profirio Rubirosa, with Hawaiian Duke Kahanamoku's the runner-up, although General Patton's won kudos too. The authors speculate on whether Duke deliberately killed one of her lovers, and they relate how, late in life, she learned to distinguish between sex and love and found the latter with author Louis Bromfield. The suspicious circumstances of her death are retold with renewed questions about her doctors' behavior and the last-minute codicil to her will, which left the major portion of her estate to her butler, "the Rasputin of the court of Doris Duke." Pony Duke (Doris's godchild), writing here with former nationally syndicated columnist Thomas, "really liked" her, but his portrait, drawn from his own and family members' recollections as well as public information, is not one of an easily likable woman. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.