Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend (Hardcover)

Author: Orlean, Susan

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He believed the dog was immortal.

So begins Susan Orlean's sweeping, powerfully moving account of Rin Tin Tin's journey from orphaned puppy to movie star and international icon. Orlean, a staff writer at The New Yorker who has been hailed as "a national treasure" by The Washington Post, spent nearly ten years researching and reporting her most captivating book to date: the story of a dog who was born in 1918 and never died.

It begins on a battlefield in France during World War I, when a young American soldier, Lee Duncan, discovered a newborn German shepherd in the ruins of a bombed-out dog kennel. To Duncan, who came of age in an orphanage, the dog's survival was a miracle. He saw something in Rin Tin Tin that he felt compelled to share with the world. Duncan brought Rinty home to California, where the dog's athleticism and acting ability drew the attention of Warner Bros. Over the next ten years, Rinty starred in twenty-three blockbuster silent films that saved the studio from bankruptcy and made him the most famous dog in the world. At the height of his popularity, Rin Tin Tin was Hollywood's number one box office star.

During the decades that followed, Rinty and his descendants rose and fell with the times, making a tumultuous journey from silent films to talkies, from black-and-white to color, from radio programs to one of the most popular television shows of the baby boom era, The Adventures of Rin-Tin-Tin. The canine hero's legacy was cemented by Duncan and a small group of others—including Bert Leonard, the producer of the TV series, and Daphne Hereford, the owner of the current Rin Tin Tin—who have dedicated their lives to making sure the dog's legend will never die.

At its core, Rin Tin Tin is a poignant exploration of the enduring bond between humans and animals. It is also a richly textured history of twentieth-century entertainment and entrepreneurship. It spans ninety years and explores everything from the shift in status of dogs from working farmhands to beloved family members, from the birth of obedience training to the evolution of dog breeding, from the rise of Hollywood to the past and present of dogs in war. Filled with humor and heart and moments that will move you to tears, Susan Orlean's first original book since The Orchid Thief is an irresistible blend of history, human interest, and masterful storytelling—a dazzling celebration of a great American dog by one of our most gifted writers.


Publisher Simon & Schuster
Mfg Part# 9781439190135
SKU 220695893
Format Hardcover
ISBN10 1439190135
Release Date 8/13/2012
"Susan Orlean trains her expert pen on the German shepherd film and television actor with the same wide-angle absorption she brings to her human profiles."
From the Publisher
Editors Note Acclaimed bestselling author of The Orchid Thief Susan Orleans traces the life and enduring legacy of canine hero Rin Tin Tin.
Annotation Susan Orlean (THE ORCHARD THIEF, etc.) exercises all her narrative and investigative skills in this fascinating book, a three-pronged autobiography of a man, a dog, and a myth. A corporal in the American Army during World War I, Lee Duncan also loved dogs. But when a German shepherd puppy wandered up to his unit on the battlefield, his life would change forever--and he would impact the lives of many Americans with the creation of the larger-than-life character, Rin Tin Tin. Orlean shares a full spectrum of information about the individuals and the cultural forces at work in creating one of the most popular animal celebrities of all time. She has done her research, about Duncan and Bert Leonard, the writer and producer responsible for Rin Tin Tin's TV success. She also goes all the way back to the silent film era, when Rinty, as the dog is affectionately called, had his first behind-the-camera moments. In addition, Orlean addresses the impact on dog-owner culture in the United States and the fact that the dog alive now bearing the name Rin Tin Tin is many generations removed from the one Duncan brought home from France.
Product Attributes
eBooks Kobo
Book Format Hardcover
Number of Pages 0336
Publisher Simon & Schuster
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