Memoir and exposé written by Christina Crawford, the adopted daughter of actress Joan Crawford. In the book, Christina Crawford claims that she was a victim of child abuse during her mother’s battle with alcoholism and that her mother was more concerned about being an actress than the mother of four of her own children, suggesting she may have adopted them as a scam to become more famous. She also suggests that Joan had a long list of affairs with men whom Christina was required to call “Uncle” and rarely “Daddy”, and claims Joan also had many affairs with women. Christina recounts several evenings where Joan’s behavior was unbalanced, and at least one encounter with her mother where Crawford attempted to strangle her.
About the 20th Anniversary Edition of Mommie Dearest, Christina Crawford said, “The new edition is published as I intended it. More than 100 pages–mostly that delve into my adult relationship with Mother–that were left out of the original version are back in. I’ve also added eyewitness accounts from people who came forward with information after the book was initially published, a preface to reflect the whirlwind that has happened in my life since Mommie Dearest was first published, and an afterword on adoption reform.”
When it was released in 1978, Christina Crawford’s Mommie Dearest made an indelible impression on America’s cultural landscape: it enjoyed 42 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list, spawned a cult film classic based on the book, and placed the issue of family violence in the national spotlight.
Adoptee Author: Christina Crawford
Publication Year: 1978, original publication; 1997, reissue (20th anniversary edition)