Doris Duke must at least have wondered if her generosity, in all its forms, could ever compensate for the destructive effects of nicotine addiction.
My surprise almost outweighed my satisfaction when I found that in one letter, written in middle age, Doris referred to the patriarchy.
Zuckerberg’s testimony before Congress brought to my mind James B. Duke’s testimony more than a hundred years ago explaining and excusing his tobacco monopoly.
Sometimes a choice of a name without family connotations means an attempt to break loose from the past.
If there is a chance, and I think there is one, that Doris was touched and perhaps even changed by her connection, whatever it may prove to have been, with the Self-Realization Fellowship, her miseries would have been if not reduced, placed in a realistic context, uniting her with her fellows.
I’m sometimes surprised that the death of the woman whose vivid, exciting and controversial life I’m recreating in her first serious biography should seem more interesting to more people than her life.