Bookends: Frank Sinatra, My Father

FRANK SINATRA, MY FATHER

In the epoch of Mommy and Daddy Dearest, this memoir is anomalous: a daughter extravagantly admires her father. Nancy Sinatra is aware of Frank's liabilities--the mercurial temper, the sullen withdrawals, the ring-a-ding-ding philosophy. But as she shows, much of the gossip is myth. The subject admits that if he had been quite the satyr of legend, "I'd be speaking to you today from a jar in the Harvard Medical School." Instead, he speaks through a remarkable series of interviews ("It was my idea to make my voice work in the same way as a trombone or violin . . . The...

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