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My Works

Obsessive Genius: The Inner World of Marie Curie

The Myth of Marie Curie-the penniless Polish immigrant who, through genius and obsessive persistence, endured years of toil and deprivation to produce radium, a luminous panacea for all the world's ills including cancer--has obscurred the remarkable truth behind her discoveries. Curie's shrewd though controversial insight was that radioactivity was an atomic property that could be used to discover new elements. While her work won her two Nobel Prizes and transformed our world, it did not liberate her from the prejudices of either the male-dominated scientific community or society. Here is an all-too-human woman trying to balance science, love and the family values that constitute her legacy.

Using original research (diaries, letters, and family interviews) to peel away the layers of myth and reveal the woman behind the icon, the acclaimed author and historian Barbara Goldsmith offers a dazzling portrait of Curie, her amazing discoveries, and the price she paid for fame.

Other Powers: The Age of Suffrage, Spiritualism and the Scandalous Victoria Woodhull

“Thoroughly researched and beautifully written, Other Powers is a riveting narrative of the fraud, lust, morality, and political intrigue of the Civil War and Reconstruction era. Through apt context and intersecting stories, Goldsmith explains how the mid-nineteenth century America culture produced Victoria Woodhull, Free Love, Spiritualism, and the soap opera of the Beecher-Tilton adultery trial. This is a brilliant synthesis and masterful biographical writing … A wonderful book.”
--Joan Hendrick, Trinity College

Honors: Bestseller Lists, A NY Times Notable Book, LA Times Book Prize Finalist, Best of the Year in Non-Fiction, The Boston Globe.

Johnson v. Johnson

The powerful and shocking true story of J. Seward Johnson’s $500 million will, the wild court battle it set in motion, and the dark and tangled family history it revealed - a tale of such vast wealth and moral corruption as almost to defy belief. . . . “Riveting-as it lays bare the dark side of enormous wealth.”
--Dominick Dunne

“Harrowing, Brilliant.”
--The Hollywood Reporter

Honors: Bestseller Lists, A Notable Book, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, LA Times. pb rights to Dell, 5 reprintings.

Little Gloria . . . Happy at Last

Barbara Goldsmith’s book is a stunning retelling of that episode that emphasizes both its sociology and it psychology. This is the year’s most …unputdownable slice of American social history. It has virtually everything: immense wealth, the clash of strong personalities, petty bickerings, sex on Porthault sheets, British royalty and a child in psychic pain. Ms. Goldsmith paints a Proustian picture of the American upper class and the international set of which it was a part a picture that throbs with verisimilitude because it includes so much magnificent detail. It is scrupulous and well written.
--Alden Whitman, The Philadelphia Inquirer

Honors: Bestseller Lists, NY Times Notable Book, Best of the Year, Washington Post, BOMC main selection; excerpt in Life; pb rights to Dell; British rights to Pan; excerpted in London Sunday Times.

The Straw Man

The Straw Man

“How could other novelists have let this great, rich, vulpine Culture-preened preserve of late-twentieth-century New York high life go unexplored all this time? The likeliest explanation is that they don’t have Barbara Goldsmith’s knowledge, insights, reportorial verve, dead aim, and high velocity.”
--Tom Wolfe

"You Know, I Could Write the Most Wonderful Book"

Read Barbara Goldsmith's essay "You Know, I Could Write the Most Wonderful Book" from the September 30th, 1984 issue of The New York Times Book Review.

Art Has Legs - New York Times Op-Ed

Barbara Goldsmith's Op-Ed article for the New York Times on the controversy of the removal of Larry Rivers "Legs" from Sag Harbor, Long Island.

Know the Past, Find the Future: The New York Public Library Centennial

Barbara Goldsmith is one of the renowned writers who contributed to the New York Public Library's Centennial Celebration book "Know the Past, Find the Future" published by Penguin.

La Dolce Viva

"La Dolce Viva" by Barbara Goldsmith. New York Magazine, 1968.

TOM WOLFE on the Beginning of New York Magazine

TOM WOLFE'S on the beginning of New York Magazine

"The Meaning of Celebrity"

Barbara Goldsmith wrote, “The Meaning of Celebrity” for The New York Times in December of 1983. Since that time, this essay has won many awards for its prescience in predicting exactly what would happen to the values of American society in 2004.

As Marshall McLuhan’s groundbreaking, “The Medium is the Message,” Goldsmith’s “The Meaning of Celebrity,” explored how Americans were slipping away from reality and living in self-created images.

Windows on Central Park: The Landscape Revealed

Unique perspectives on New York's 843-acre Central Park viewed exclusively from windows and terraces on all four sides. One hundred forty-three photographs range from intimate fourth-floor scenes to sweeping vistas from 64 stories above the Park. The principal photographer of six books on gardens and landscape architecture, the author concentrates on the landscape of Central Park, revealing its beauty from above during all four seasons, from early morning to night. The photographer's journey took her to more than 100 apartments, offices, hotels, and museums over the course of five years. This book includes quotes by sixteen notable individuals about their experiences of looking down from their windows to the Park, including Giorgio Armani, Candice Bergen, Paul Goldberger, Barbara Goldsmith, Evelyn Lauder, Donald Trump, and Elie Wiesel. Windows on Central Park will strengthen one s sense of the grandeur and beauty of America s most visited park, and reveal the Park as a towering example of both urban ecology and landscape architecture.

An Ongoing Vision: Robert Wilson and The Watermill Center

Barbara Goldsmith's contribution "An Ongoing Vision" to the monograph on Robert Wilson and The Watermill Center.

An Author With a Passion for Philanthropy By PRANAY GUPTE

An Author With a Passion for Philanthropy
Lunch at the Four Seasons
By PRANAY GUPTE, Special to the Sun | February 21, 2006

Financial Times Profile of Barbara Goldsmith

A profile of Barbara Goldsmith in the "Financial Times" by Pamela Ryckman.

Barbie on the Bus

Barbara Goldsmith blogs about the Barbie ads on New York City buses and what Barbie means in the 21st Century.

The Johnson Family Tears

Casey Johnson's death was the latest chapter in the tragic saga of an American dynasty. Barbara Goldsmith, author of Johnson v. Johnson, on the family's struggles, including how, according to a relative, the heiress and her father hadn’t spoken in years.

Jennifer Aniston's $50K Hairstyle vs. Librarian Pensions

So it’s come to this: New York paparazzi are chasing down elderly librarians—and turning them into scapegoats for our collective recession rage. Barbara Goldsmith on how our society rewards the wrong heroes.

What the Richest Men in the World Don't Know

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Barbara Goldsmith's The Daily Beast Blog

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