Patrick McGilligan's biographies include the acclaimed Oscar Micheaux: The Great and Only; the Edgar-nominated Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light; Fritz Lang: The Nature of the Beast; and George Cukor: A Double Life. The author of several New York Times Notable Books, he has also penned biographies of Clint Eastwood, Jack Nicholson, Robert Altman, and James Cagney, along with the oral history Tender Comrades: A Backstory of the Hollywood Blacklist (with Paul Buhle). McGilligan lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
McGilligan's Orson is a Welles for a new generation...McGilligan's book vibrates with uncertainty and risk, and it hums with the possibility that talented people actually can realize their dreams in the forms they choose. -- BookForum Welles's native brilliance and his ascent from producing plays as a boy at the Todd School to his conquest of New York theater and radio as an adult has seldom been documented with more clarity. -- Library Journal (starred review) [Young Orson] takes the directorial hero from his birth to the threshold of 'Citizen Kane.' I've only just started it and can so far confess to fascination and pleasure; the wealth of detail and the measured tempo are up to the Shakespearean complexity of Welles's character. -- New Yorker Engrossing ... Exhaustively researched but well-paced and stuffed with beguiling detail, this is a vivid, sympathetic portrait of Welles's youthful promise and achievement, before the misfires and compromises of his later years. -- Publishers Weekly A richly detailed, often nuanced study of Welles' life and work. It's a welcome addition to the burgeoning shelf of books on one of America's most distinctive talents... Although Young Orson reads easily, it is powered by an evenhanded, almost scholarly rigor. -- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel No one writes biographies of film legends like Patrick McGilligan... It is a meticulous recreation of Welles's life and achievement up to 1941. -- Daily Beast Must reading for anyone interested in the history of film. -- Mark Levine, Booklist (starred review) Exhaustively researched but well-paced and stuffed with beguiling detail, this is a vivid, sympathetic portrait of Welles's youthful promise and achievement, before the misfires and compromises of his later years. -- Publishers Weekly An indefatigable reporter and masterful biographer, McGilligan has unearthed endless revelations that will change our view of Welles's. This book is a constant joy to read, showing that the truth about Welles's upbringing and youthful artistic triumphs is even more remarkable than the legend. -- Joseph McBride, author of What Ever Happened to Orson Welles? and Searching for John Ford No other biographer has done such a superb job of investigating Orson Welles's Midwestern origins and dazzling early success. McGilligan convincingly refutes untruths and myths that others have accepted. This is by far the best book on the most formative period of Welles's life. -- James Naremore, author of The Magic World of Orson Welles A prodigious and illuminating account of the extraordinary life of Orson Welles up to when he turned from theater and radio to launch his fabled movie career. McGilligan blends valuable new reporting with insights from existing sources to draw a bold portrait of the master that can fairly be called definitive. -- George Stevens, Jr., producer and founder of the American Film Institute In many ways,Young Orson is my favorite of all the Welles biographies to date. The overall portrait of Welles's character and background that emerges, uncharacteristically sympathetic, is both dense and persuasive - and a page-turning pleasure to read. -- Jonathan Rosenbaum, author of Goodbye Cinema, Hello Cinephilia