(Review) Hank and Jim: The Fifty-Year Friendship of Henry Fonda and James Stewart by Scott Eyman

Hank and JimPublisher and Publication Date: Simon and Schuster. October 2017.
Genre: Nonfiction. Biography.
Pages: 385.
Source: Library. Kindle edition.
Rating: Recommend.
Audience: Fans of Henry Fonda and James Stewart. Fans of Hollywood.

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Hank and Jim is highly readable. I was immersed in the story of Hank and Jim from the first page.
I’d had this book on my TBR list since it was published last year. Not only am I a fan of old Hollywood films, but both of these actors are favorites.
Another aspect that intrigued me about this book is the men were unlike in many ways, yet they were lifelong best friends. This is a key feature of the book.
Hank and Jim starts at the beginning of their lives and follow through to the end.
The book does not solely focus on their acting careers. The book shares information about their romantic relationships and marriages. In addition: military involvement, children, organic gardening hobby, religious beliefs, and political choices.
A straining period for the lifelong friends was during the Vietnam War. Stewart’s son was killed in Vietnam, and Fonda’s daughter, Jane, made a trip to Vietnam as a political activist. It was a difficult time for both men, but their friendship endured.
Both men were in love with the same woman, actress, Margaret Sullavan. She and Henry were married and divorced in the early 1930s.

margaret sullavan
Other notable film stars are in the book: Gary Cooper, Marlene Dietrich, Olivia de Havilland, and Norma Shearer.
Hank and Jim is a “feel-good” read about celebrities. In this age of political allegiances and hateful words, it felt good to read a book about two well-known men who were unlike in many ways, yet they were best friends who deeply respected the other.


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