Book Review: The Vanity Fair Diaries

Tina Brown’s account of her time as editor-in-chief of the hottest magazine during the decade of excess should be a sure-fire winner, but it turns out to be a bit of a yawn-fest.

She was a young hot-shot editor who moved from London to New York to resuscitate Conde Nast’s prestigious title in the early ‘80s with a mix of glamour, literary reverence and Fleet Street-like scandal while attending Manhattan dinner parties with the famous, the infamous, the horrifically rich and just plain horrific.

So it’s unfortunate Tina Brown’s diary account of this time is such a drag and, at times, slightly insulting.


Brown warns at the start that this book covers a period spent amid the moneyed elite so “don’t expect ruminations on the sociological fallout of trickle-down economics” but waxing lyrical about property in the Hamptons, fabulous dinner guests and Henry Kissinger’s “sharp wit” and “fertile insights” over 400-plus pages is a bit much.

If anything, The Vanity Fair Diaries prove that the rich and fabulous are just as dull as us.

Author: Tina Brown
Publisher: Hachette

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