By Michael Sauter
August 15, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

The latest of many biographies of Lucy can’t help but cover some well-trod ground: the star’s small-town childhood, the marriage to boozing womanizer Desi Arnaz, the rewriting of TV-sitcom rules with I Love Lucy, the building of the Desilu empire, the long sad fade. And though his cool reportorial tone may not capture the passion of Ball’s troubled, often turbulent life, Kanfer (Groucho) unearths enough fresh anecdotes to make it seem almost new again. Who knew it was at Ball’s insistence that a show called Star Trek got produced?

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