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Edie, an American Biography Study Guide & Plot Summary

Jean Stein
This Study Guide consists of approximately 35 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Edie, an American Biography.
This section contains 452 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Edie, an American Biography Study Guide

Edie, an American Biography Summary & Study Guide Description

Edie, an American Biography Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Edie, an American Biography by Jean Stein.

Plot Summary

"Edie: An American Biography" by Jean Stein is a non-fiction account of the life of Edie Sedgwick, an actress, model and socialite who came into prominence in the 1960s. Edie was one of the most popular women in the world for a time, although her psychological problems and drug addictions made her "reign" turbulent and short.

Many people associate Edie Sedgwick with The Factory, Andy Warhol's trendy art studio in Manhattan. Edie was a fixture at The Factory for less than two years, although her presence and status as one of Warhol's superstars is legendary. Edie Sedgwick grew up on a ranch near Santa Barbara, California and was the seventh of eight children born to Alice de Forest and Francis Sedgwick. The Sedgwick family was affluent and recognized as a force in art and politics. Many believe that Edie's privileged childhood allowed the heiress and socialite an excessive amount of freedom, which may have caused her downfall.

The Sedgwicks were well educated and artistic people. Francis Sedgwick was obsessed with conformity and success, a trait that caused a great deal of grief for several of his children. Although the Sedgwicks were known as charismatic, fun loving and intelligent people, it was also well known that many of the family members suffered from emotional and psychological problems.

The book starts off with a rather detailed history of the Sedgwick and Minturn families. The illustrious history of the families, particularly the Sedgwicks, is a vital piece to the puzzle when one considers how Edie was raised, and the stress on her and the other Sedgwick children in regards to status, money, politics, and education. There may be slightly more than what is necessary about the family history, especially when it comes to those who are not featured in the book. The book is designed to appear as though many of the interviewed subjects are sitting in a room conversing about the Sedgwicks and Edie's rise and fall. The editing is clever and confusion minimal. The people who agreed to be interviewed by Stein are those who were intimately involved in some aspect of the lives of the Sedgwick family or had personal knowledge of Edie and her various activities.

While the format of the book is clear, there are several conflicting stories, ones in which an accurate time frame are important. The best example of this is the story of Edie's abortion. Although the facts surrounding the abortion were never proved nor disproved, the timing makes a difference regarding Edie's claim that the baby she was carrying belonged to Bob Dylan. Overall, "Edie" is an insightful look into the life of a famous young woman who ended her life all too soon through drug addiction and excess.

Read more from the Study Guide

This section contains 452 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Edie, an American Biography Study Guide
Copyrights
Edie, an American Biography from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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