Steven Spielberg: A Biography, Second Edition – Book Review

Author Joseph McBride wrote his first edition on Steven Spielberg in 1997.  The subjects of McBride’s other books, John Ford and Frank Capra (both acclaimed books and also being reprinted by the publisher of this new edition), careers had stalled since they had both gone on to that great backlot in the sky. 

Fortunately, Spielberg’s career is ongoing and a second volume was called for to update the work since that first volume.  So the University Press of Mississippi now brings out an updated second edition that includes four new chapters covering Spielberg’s work from 1997 to a short mention of his upcoming Tintin project. 

McBride and Spielberg are the same age so he hopes to update the volume as they both age (long may they do so).  McBride recognized something in the young filmmaker, who most just considered a blockbuster maker and not one to be mentioned amongst Ford or Capra, and wrote a serious study on him when others dismissed the idea. 

McBride wasn’t granted access to his subject but was able to interview many in Spielberg’s orbit, including some that had not previously been heard.  Spielberg is a director so there was a tendency to paint his past the way he wanted it shown (he is a director after all), but McBride researches and digs into it using his journalistic techniques. 

The result is a fine biography on one of our premiere filmmakers that is only given more relevance with this new edition.  The book is highly recommended for students of film, fans of the director, or Hollywood watchers.