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ranters and ravers

Book Critics: Tina Brown Totally Looks Like Di

Two women, one haircut: Tina Brown and Princess Di.Photos: AFP/Getty Images (Princess Diana); Getty Images (Tina Brown)

Challenge: Find a review of Tina Brown's biography The Diana Chronicles that doesn't mention the similarities between Brown, who has edited Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, and the ill-fated Talk, and her subject, Diana Spencer. There's the timing of their ascents (1981 being the year of Diana's marriage and Brown's first editorship), the symbiotic relationship that the gossip queen and the future queen cultivated — and the unavoidable fact that Brown resembles Diana in her jacket photo. Is Brown ideally suited to shed new light on Di? Or is she just another tabloid hack, albeit with a better pedigree? —Marc Tracy

Rave: "At its best this book combines gossip, opinion and context in
ways that cast new light on Diana's cautionary tale." —Janet Maslin, New York Times

Rant: "Brown bemoans the 'inexcusable conduct' of the paparazzi and, more generally, the fact that 'subjects and photographers alike had been degraded by the media's inexhaustible appetite for celebrity images.' This from the erstwhile editor of Vanity Fair? In the matter of press coverage, Brown writes both as expert and perpetrator." —Gaby Wood, Slate

Related: "What Does Tina Brown Have to Do To Get Some Attention?" [NYM]