Books: Sad Life of a Love Goddess

IF THIS WAS HAPPINESS: A BIOGRAPHY OF RITA HAYWORTH

by Barbara Leaming

Viking; 404 pages; $19.95

The photograph appeared in LIFE's Aug. 11, 1941, issue and later became a ubiquitous pinup during World War II: a surrealistically gorgeous woman partially dressed in a shimmering negligee knelt on a bed and smiled enigmatically over her bare left shoulder. Inspired by this stunning vision in black-and-white, countless G.I.s knew exactly what they were fighting for. Mom, apple pie and Rita Hayworth.

Maybe one of those soldiers could have come home and saved her from her sad, passive fate. But If This Was Happiness...

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