The Resource Before you judge me : the triumph and tragedy of Michael Jackson's last days, Tavis Smiley and David Ritz

Before you judge me : the triumph and tragedy of Michael Jackson's last days, Tavis Smiley and David Ritz

Before you judge me : the triumph and tragedy of Michael Jackson's last days
Before you judge me
Title remainder
the triumph and tragedy of Michael Jackson's last days
Statement of responsibility
Tavis Smiley and David Ritz
Before you judge me
A powerful chronicle of the sixteen weeks leading up to King of Pop Michael Jackson's death. Michael Jackson's final months were like the rest of his short and legendary life: filled with deep lows and soaring highs, a constant hunt for privacy, and the pressure and fame that made him socially fragile and almost--ultimately--unable to live
Writing style
  • Frequent collaborators Smiley and Ritz (My Life with Maya) trace the roller-coaster weeks leading up to the unexpected 2009 death of music icon Michael Jackson in this sympathetic, if not entirely revelatory, tale of musical highs and personal lows. In the 16 weeks leading up to what would have been Jackson’s comeback tour, what was originally set to be 10 shows became 50, adding to Jackson’s already anxious demeanor about returning to the public eye. Smiley and Ritz wisely spend as much time on the ins and outs of Jackson’s managerial team as they do on his emotional health. As well as the war over who would manage Jackson, the book covers much behind-the-scenes rumbling from the Jackson family, who were eager to stage a Jackson reunion concert. Jackson wanted no part in this but reluctantly considered it to please his mother, Katherine. Smiley and Ritz underscore Jackson’s childlike fascination with cartoons and toys while nimbly sidestepping the unsavory molestation allegations and court battle, and they show how he found the most freedom when lost in the joys of music, both performing and creating. Woven throughout is Jackson’s disturbing dependence on heavy-duty drugs for sleep—he referred to propofol as “milk.” His accidental overdose death is all the more tragic in the context of a time when it seemed his career was getting back on track. Agent: David Vigliano, AGI Vigliano Literary. (June) --Staff (Reviewed 05/02/2016) (Publishers Weekly, vol 263, issue 18, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ On June 25, 2009, when Michael Jackson, the king of pop, was pronounced dead, the world lost one of its most iconic and influential performers. Fans worldwide mourned the loss. TV and radio host Smiley (Death of a King; My Journey with Maya; PBS's Tavis Smiley) and veteran music biographer Ritz provide a singular examination of the last four months of Jackson's life, as he prepared for the blockbuster concert series "This Is It" in London. With compassion and unwavering empathy, Smiley weaves Jackson's music into the turmoil that enveloped the pop star. Drug addiction, financial ruin, the ghosts of the torment he suffered at the hands of his abusive father—all haunted Jackson throughout his life, one he spent searching for privacy, normalcy, and the love of his children. Readers will listen to Jackson's lyrics with a new sense of knowledge and discomfort. Smiley intends to relate an account that will remind readers that, despite his eccentricities, Jackson was human, hence the title. VERDICT This heart-wrenching portrait of Jackson's experience will appeal to fans who wish to remember him for what he was: one of the world's greatest entertainers. --Tyler Hixson (Reviewed 04/01/2016) (Library Journal, vol 141, issue 6, p90)
  • TV and radio host Smiley (My Journey with Maya, 2015, etc.) and his frequent writing collaborator Ritz tell the story of the 16 weeks preceding the death of singer Michael Jackson (1958-2009).Before he died, the King of Pop was preparing for a series of comeback concerts in London. He was also doing a lot of shopping, playing with his three children, watching Shirley Temple movies, making questionable business decisions, receiving almost daily Botox injections, taking an increasing number of prescription painkillers, and suffering from a degree of insomnia that caused him to enlist a doctor to administer the anesthetics that led to his death. The authors delve through a wealth of research material to create a nearly day-by-day account of Jackson's last weeks, with occasional glimpses into his earlier life. Smiley and Ritz are clearly sympathetic to their subject, sometimes to the point of glossing over Jackson's more questionable choices and actions. In occasionally purple prose, the authors ratchet up the suspense and drama of this period of the singer's life, ending most of the brief chapters with some variant on, "Sleep, the most precious of commodities, eluded him," or "sleep, precious sleep, comes not at all." The most intriguing sections of the book unravel the complicated business relationships in which Jackson was involved, his attempts to separate himself from his parents and siblings, and his efforts to push his art further while his fans were demanding more of the same. The authors, who set out to understand why their subject died at 50, end up asking a different question: "Given the extraordinary obstacles he faced, the stresses that pulled him apart, how did Michael survive as long as he did?" This compact biography should please Jackson's fans even if it doesn't break new ground in exploring the singer's life.(Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2016)
Biography type
individual biography
Cataloging source
Dewey number
no index present
Literary form
non fiction
Target audience
the triumph and tragedy of Michael Jackson's last days
the triumph and tragedy of Michael Jackson's last days
Tavis Smiley, and David Ritz
Before you judge me
the triumph and tragedy of Michael Jacksons last days
Before you judge me : the triumph and tragedy of Michael Jackson's last days, Tavis Smiley and David Ritz
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Carrier MARC source
Content category
Content type MARC source
25 cm.
277 pages
Isbn Type
Media category
Media MARC source

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