Clare Boothe Luce once rued, "Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail, no one will say, 'She doesn't have what it takes.' They will say, 'Women don't have what it takes.' " She need not have worried; she had what it takes, achieving unprecedented success as a playwright, author, journalist, editor, actor, politician and diplomat. Few men were her equal. Coming from a modest beginning, Clare had a long climb to the top. Her parents, William Boothe and Anna Clara Snyder, were not married and separated when Clare was 8. Anna, an ex-chorus girl who saw men and money as the twin towers of salvation, raised Clare in her own image. But Clare was much more talented and intelligent.