One of the greatest art theft stories of the 20th century: Andre Malraux, French velist, art theorist, and eventually France s Minister of Cultural Affairs, and his wife, Clara, traveled to Cambodia in 1923, planning to steal and smuggle artifacts out of the country and sell them in America. The Cambodian treasure hunt promised to be a mix of cultural sleuthing for important antiquities and risk-taking on the fuzzy edge of the laws that governed historical sites. The jungle expedition ended in arrest and, for Andre, trial and conviction. But it also led to a second Asian venture: the launching of a Saigon newspaper, L Indochine, dedicated to the aspirations of the indigeus population. Madsen follows the couple from this fateful adventure that so shaped their future to the end of their marriage, and after.
Axel Madsen authored twenty-two books, including sixteen biographies. His most notable works include an in-depth look at the life of a legendary fashion icon, Chanel: A Woman of Her Own, and an investigation of the relationship between Gloria Swanson and Joe Kennedy, Gloria and Joe: The Star-Crossed Love Affair of Gloria Swanson and Joe Kennedy. Madsen began his journalism career as a legman for columnist Art Buchwald in Paris, and later wrote one of the first books on television s longest-running news magazine show, 60 Minutes: The Power and the Politics of America s Most Popular TV News Show. As a 20th Century Fox publicist, he handled Robert Redford, Paul Newman, and George C. Scott, and was fired off Myra Breckinridge for siding with director Mike Sarne against producer Robert Fryer. His Hollywood biographies include the life stories of directors William Wyler, John Huston, and Barbara Stanwyck, as well as an examination of Golden Age Hollywood s gay underground in The Sewing Circle. He wrote and produced the ITV documentary version of The Sewing Circle. Over the years, Madsen interviewed scores of movers and shakers, from legends like Goldwyn and Selznick to directors like Howard Hawks, Louis Milestone, and Rouben Mamoulian. Madsen died in 2007.