Book Review

Book review: Charlie Chaplin vs America is a marvellous celebration of a singular artist

Scott Eyman’s biography of the auteur of early cinema brings context and colour to The Tramp’s work and to the turning points that shaped his life

Scott Eyman’s sympathetic biography Charlie Chaplin vs America explains why US society turned on its brightest star. Picture: Bettmann

Limelight, the last film that the director, producer, writer and star Charlie Chaplin made that was worthy of his name, premiered in New York in October 1952.

While sailing for Europe to promote it, Chaplin received a cable informing him that his re-entry permit (he never applied for citizenship) to the United States had been rescinded. He was, to use the language of our time, cancelled.

Charlie Chaplin vs America: When Art, Sex, and Politics Collided

By Scott Eyman

Simon & Schuster