Peter Biskind authored two of the most talked about and read books of the last decadeEasy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex-Drugs-and-Rock-'n'-Roll Generation Saved Hollywood and its bestselling sequel Down and Dirty Pictures: Miramax, Sundance, and the Rise of Independent Film. Gods and Monsters chronicles the cause and courses of Hollywood over the last three decadesthe super freaks, lowlifes, charlatans and occasional geniuses who have left their bite mark on American culture, as refracted through the trajectory of Peter Biskind's career. The ghosts of McCarthyism and the blacklist haunt Gods and Monsters as do the casualties of the counterculture and the New Hollywoodthe story of Sue Menges, the '70s "super-agent" whose career went mysteriously south, is extraordinarily poignant, as is the example of Terence Malick, whose light shone so brightly in the same period but then disappeared until 1997's The Thin Red Line. But at the heart of the book are the likes of Warren Beatty, Oliver Stone, Martin Scorsese, Robert Redford and Quentin Tarantino and uber-producers Don Simpson and Harvey Weinstein and their excess lifestyles, all of whom Biskind portrays in great Dickensian detail, charting how they have had a simultaneously strangulating and liberating effect on the industry.
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