Books: One-Man Industry

COLE PORTER, A BIOGRAPHY

by CHARLES SCHWARTZ 365 pages. Dial Press. $9.95.

For 73 years Cole Porter was a man on the run, racing to outdistance that most dreaded of all pursuers—ennui. "I have spent my life escaping boredom," he said, "not because I am bored, but because I do not want to be." He won the contest. But then, he had a head start.

The parabola of the Porter career is one beloved by backstage biographers. As Brendan Gill's brisk, uncritical Cole showed, the life was filled with laughter, tragedy, a soupçon of scandal and...

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