The peak of Sinatra’s power: “Every Sinatra performance was acting. His greatest performance was as himself”

Nov 25, 2015 553

by Scott Timberg

Few musicians were ever as popular, influential, complicated, or dangerous as Frank Sinatra. Between landmark albums like "Songs for Young Lovers" and "In the Wee Small Hours," his movie acting ("From Here to Eternity," "The Man with the Golden Arm," "The Manchurian Candidate"), his marriages to Ava Gardner and Mia Farrow, his running with the Rat Pack and brushes with the mob, he led a full, at times overstuffed life.

Biographer James Kaplan now follows his acclaimed "Frank: The Voice" with "Sinatra: The Chairman," a thick, almost 1,000-page volume that aims for the level of depth and context Peter Guralnick achieved with his Elvis Presley biographies. Kaplan's book both gets up close — using detail the way a novelist does — and weaves Sinatra in with the era he lived through. 

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