New York Times bestselling author Sam Wasson, author of the authoritative and endlessly revealing biography, FOSSE—newly available in paperback

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New York Times bestselling author Sam Wasson, author of the authoritative and endlessly revealing biography, FOSSE—newly available in paperback

Chicago Tribune Best Books of 2013

Publisher’s Weekly Best Books of 2013

NPR’s Best Books of 2013

Los Angeles Times Best Seller

Entertainment Weekly’s Top 10 Books of 2013

Newsday’s Top 10 Books of 2013

Los Angeles Public Library Best Non-Fiction Books of 2013

Kirkus Best Non-Fiction Books of 2013


“Required reading.”
New York Times


Wall Street Journal


Entertainment Weekly


“Impeccably researched.”
Vanity Fair


Hollywood Reporter



The only person ever to win Oscar, Emmy, and Tony awards in the same year, Bob Fosse revolutionized nearly every facet of American entertainment. His signature style would influence generations of performing artists. Yet in spite of Fosse’s innumerable hits—including Cabaret, Pippin, All That Jazz, and Chicago, one of the longest-running Broadway musicals ever—his offstage life was shadowed by deep wounds and insatiable appetites.


To craft this richly detailed account, best-selling author Sam Wasson has drawn on a wealth of unpublished material and hundreds of sources: friends, enemies, lovers, and collaborators, many of them speaking publicly about Fosse for the first time. With propulsive energy and stylish prose, Fosse is the definitive biography of one of Broadway and Hollywood’s most complex and dynamic icons.


Watch Sam Wasson in “Becoming Bob Fosse”,
called “One of the best book trailers ever.” by Entertainment Weekly:


Read an excerpt from FOSSE:




Praise for FOSSE:

“’He thought he was the best, and he thought he was terrible.’ The man in question is legendary choreographer and director Bob Fosse, whose celebrated life and career get their due in Sam Wasson’s spellbinding 695-page biography, Fosse. You don’t need to be a Broadway expert to enjoy this portrait of a man whose rise to power was famously fueled by insecurity. It’s all here: accounts of his monstrous, masterful directing style; the explosive personal battles behind his Tony-winning triumphs; his incendiary relationship with Gwen Verdon. Wasson simply doesn’t miss a thing. Give the guy a (jazz) hand. A-”

—Entertainment Weekly


“Impeccably researched.”

—Vanity Fair


The only thing that could have been better than Sam Wasson’s page-turning, comprehensively rendered biography of choreographer-director Bob Fosse would have been Fosse’s own memoir…Wasson’s own narrative style has a jazzy, discursive and relentless energy well aligned with its subject.”

—USA Today


“Thorough and lively biography.”

New Yorker, Briefly Noted


“Amazingly well-written.”

—New York Journal of Books


“Unlike countless biographies of artists and performers, Fosse does not rely on dime-store psychoanalysis in explicating its subject and his flaws…Wasson, so skilled at providing a macro overview—he seamlessly outlines the history of both the American stage and the American movie musical to better foreground Fosse’s transformations of each—has also written a book filled with dazzling aperçus.”



“Wasson’s biography is richly researched and passionate, and while Fosse’s film pursuits are only a part of the story, his life had a cinematic sweep.”

—The Philadelphia Inquirer


“The reason I picked up Fosse, though, has as much to do with its author as with its subject. . . . Wasson is a canny chronicler of old Hollywood and its outsize personalities. (The cast of characters is enough to recommend the book: Audrey Hepburn, Truman Capote, Henry Mancini, Edith Head.) More than that, he understands that style matters, and, like his subjects, he has a flair for it.”

—New Yorker



—Hollywood Reporter*


“Scintillating . . . There’s an enormous amount of scholarship here, yet the story never drags, so adroitly does [Wasson] blend his material into a fluent narrative around evocative scenes where character emerges novelistically.”

Publishers Weekly (starred review)


“Here’s something you can’t say about many celebrity biographies: at nearly 750 pages, it feels like it ends too soon . . . A pure joy to read, cover to cover.”



“Lushly researched . . . [Wasson] has amassed a mountain of data about Fosse but has sculpted it into something moving and memorable. . . . Graceful prose creates a richly detailed and poignant portrait.”
Kirkus (starred review)


“Deep inside this comprehensive study, Sam Wasson uses a phrase to describe the movie Cabaret: ‘the bejeweling of horror.’ Bob Fosse’s whole life was something like that, a man who created magnificent, bejeweled art at personal cost. It’s an American story, powerfully told.”

—Paul Hendrickson, author of Hemingway’s Boat: Everything He Loved in Life, and Lost


“I tore through this masterful biography, loving it from beginning to end. Wasson writes with a verve ideally tuned to his subject, sparkling with wit and fresh insight. . . . This is a life lived large — and dangerously — amid cultural currents that propelled and inspired Fosse as a dancer, choreographer, and director. In Fosse, Sam Wasson energetically and authoritatively brings it all into sharp focus, with uncanny depth and perception.”

—Sally Bedell Smith, author of Elizabeth the Queen


“Hard work is evident in the intricate depiction of a complicated, brilliant man…A thoroughly researched and fascinating look at Fosse, viewed through the relationships and work that defined him. Highly recommended for theater or movie aficionados, aspiring performers, and fans of engrossing biography.”

—Library Journal, STARRED review


“Sam Wasson’s Fosse is terrific in both senses of the word. It’s magnificent and frightening in equal measure, a biography so detailed and exacting that it makes you feel so close to Bob Fosse at all the major and many of the minor events of his life that you can practically smell the cigarette stink . . . Fosse is one of the best, most entertaining biographies I have ever read. . . . [Wasson’s] intelligent prose flies off the page. He’s not only an impressive researcher—he interviewed more than 300 of Fosse’s friends and associates— but a wonderfully witty writer who chose every one of the book’s vast number of words with extraordinary care. And he’s got a killer sense of humor. Some sentences of this book are so damn funny that I laughed out loud.”
—Film Quarterly




About the Author:

SAM WASSON is the author of the New York Times bestseller Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and the Dawn of the Modern Woman and two works of film criticism. He is a visiting professor of film at Wesleyan University.

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