Your Garage botysf16 Amazon Fashion Learn more Discover it $5 Albums Explore Premium Audio Fire TV Stick Subscribe & Save Patriotic Picks Shop-by-Room Amazon Cash Back Offer AnnedroidsS3 AnnedroidsS3 AnnedroidsS3  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 All-New Kindle Oasis AutoRip in CDs & Vinyl Best Camping & Hiking Gear in Outdoors STEM
Customer Discussions > Biography forum

what is the best biography you've ever read?


Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-25 of 1000 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 5, 2008 2:18:01 PM PDT
Anne Salazar says:
There used to be a discussion of best biographies.... but I can't find it. I just finished the Pulitzer Prize-winning LINDBERGH by A. Scott Berg and loved it, even though Charles Lindbergh was not really a very nice person. The writing flowed, and I didin't skip over any of it, even if I didn't care for Lindbergh, especially now that more has been revealed about his 2nd, 3rd, 4th families in Europe.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2008 11:50:32 PM PDT
David McCullogh's _John Adams_ is excellent. When I finished, I wept.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 7, 2008 3:22:45 PM PDT
The absolute most moving story is the life of Sammy Davis Jr., "Why Me?" I thought I knew Sammy, but I was WRONG! His life was extraordinary, notwithstanding his celebrity. In fact, every celebrity should read this, because they are standing on his shoulders!!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 7, 2008 3:22:45 PM PDT
The absolute most moving story is the life of Sammy Davis Jr., "Why Me?" I thought I knew Sammy, but I was WRONG! His life was extraordinary, notwithstanding his celebrity. In fact, every celebrity should read this, because they are standing on his shoulders!!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 11, 2008 4:35:56 PM PDT
The best I've read recently is Marie Antoinette, by Antonia Fraser.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 22, 2008 12:47:56 PM PDT
I thought that Marie Antoinete by Antonia Fraser was a bit dry but is informative and a favourite. I highly recommend the biography by Evelyne Lever and Catherine Temerson which isn't as detailed but more accessable.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 30, 2008 1:08:46 PM PDT
I. Sondel says:
I think my favorite biography is THE MAYOR OF CASTRO STREET: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF HARVEY MILK by Randy Shilts. This provided a helluva history lesson, not just about Milk, but San Francisco in the 60's and 70's and the gay rights movement (although one certainly doesn't have to be gay to appreciate this story). This is a warts-and-all portrait and proves that the character of most men (people), no matter how celebrated or lionized, is ambiguous at best.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 30, 2008 4:43:24 PM PDT
Lisa M. Hay says:
try anything by HW Brands. engaging narrative that feels like fiction, but is very factual.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 31, 2008 12:44:37 PM PDT
Many years ago, I read "Lust for Life" by Irving Stone and still have not forgotten how much I enjoyed it. It is a mesmerizing biography of Vincent Van Gogh based primarily on the many letters he wrote to his brother. It was the book that turned me on to reading biographies, and they have been my preferred reading ever since.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 31, 2008 1:14:58 PM PDT
I loved "Reflected Glory" about the late Ambassador Pamela Churchill Harriman by Sally Bedell Smith. Harriman's life had so many twists and turns, from English aristocrat, to being Churchill's daughter in law during World War II, to being a wife of a Broadway director and then, finally, the US Ambassador to France. It was such a good story.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 1, 2008 2:33:16 PM PDT
kr says:
My favorite biography is "Infidel" by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. It was fascinating, and read like a novel.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 2, 2008 8:40:15 AM PDT
Christopher says:
'Byron - Child of Passion, Fool of Fame' by Benita Eisler now tops my list of favorite bios, narrowly beating out Maynard Solomon's 'Mozart'. It's a massive book, but the best biography of Lord Byron I've ever read.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 2, 2008 8:06:38 PM PDT
David McCullough's John Adams was by far the best bio I've read. I had heard good things about it, but was blown away and dissappointed when it was over.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 3, 2008 12:00:48 PM PDT
try my William McKinley: the apostle of protectionism

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 4, 2008 3:58:02 AM PDT
gilly8 says:
best bio ever--the two part unfinished (because the author passed away) bio of perhaps the most important person of the 20th Century, Winston Churchill.

The first volume is by William Manchester and titled: "The Last Lion: Visions of Glory: THe first volume is from his birth in 1874, beginning in the Victorian era, at the height of the British empire, as young Winston was born into the the titled aristocracy,& literally born at Blenheim, the great mansion of his uncle the Duke of Marlborough. Churchill was the direct descendent of the first great Duke of that name. His mother was an American millionaire's daughter. (NOTE: his full name was Winston Spencer Churchill, and he was rather closely related to those Spencers whose family would later produce Lady Diana Spencer.)

In his early years he fought, literally, in several wars, was prisoner of war in the Boer war and made a daring escape that made him a household word and hero in Britain; during World War I he insisted upon being present and joining in trench warfare despite his, by then, high military rank.

In the preamble of book one the author sets down a summary of just exactly HOW Churchill ranks as one of the great people of the last century and single handledly held off the Nazi's in the years when all of Europe had been conquered and only England stood alone against them. His power of will literally held his people together for those critical years until the United States entered the war after Pearl Harbor. That chapter alone still gives me chills.

The second book, "The Last Lion: Alone" 1932-1940 covers the years he was in the politacal wilderness, thrown out by his party, considered a failure, one of the only voices crying out that Hitler was not to be trusted, and then finally his vindication as the early days of World War II began and he was made Prime Minister.

Unfortunately, the third book was never written, but there is so much about Churchill during the war, that those years are well covered. However, Mr Manchester's elegant style, and ability to weave in the social aspects of the times, and way of life of the upper classes and the lower, to make one understand how life was then in England; makes reading THIS biography much preferable to any others I've read.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 4, 2008 7:49:14 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 12, 2008 6:50:06 AM PDT
Silent Victim Running Free. It's a true story about one woman's struggle to survive the abuse, deception and cruel acts of her ex-husband and his family, and her quest to help her children. It's a heart-wrenching story, but very inspiring.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 4, 2008 12:14:54 PM PDT
roygbiv says:
"Act One", Moss Hart's autobiography. It is really a must for theater lovers.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 4, 2008 12:14:54 PM PDT
roygbiv says:
"Act One", Moss Hart's autobiography. It is really a must for theater lovers.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 4, 2008 2:36:59 PM PDT
donald spoto's "marilyn monroe"

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 4, 2008 4:00:14 PM PDT
A L Finch says:
The best biography I've ever read is "Admiral of the Ocean Sea" about Columbus. Author: Samuel Eliott Morrison, I think. It's a real page turner.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 4, 2008 7:47:30 PM PDT
sveinnbirkir says:
Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius by Ray Monk is a favorite. A tremendously well researched and well written account of one of the most brilliant thinkers of the 20th century.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 5, 2008 7:16:54 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 5, 2008 7:20:56 AM PDT
carol allen says:
"The Man Who Swam the Amazon" by Matthew Mohlke & Martin Strel takes you deep into the Jungle with marathon world record swimmer Strel as he faces grim odds. Dripping with danger & excitement, you feel the heat, the agony, the fear; hear the howler monkey & jaguar, see the beauty. Matthew has been compared to young Hemingway, Kerouak, and Twain.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 5, 2008 8:36:52 AM PDT
I think the best biography I ever read was Ron Chernow's masterpiece from a few years ago called "Titan" about John D. Rockefeller. Brilliant, as was his Alexander Hamilton bio.

I agree with the thoughts on McCullough...his three biographies (Roosevelt, Truman and Adams) are masterpieces and will someday be considered literature.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 5, 2008 11:19:43 AM PDT
SusieQ says:
"Best" bio's I have yet read:

Edward R. Murrow by Joseph Persico is excellent, I've read it many times and it really makes Murrow come alive.

Queen Mary by James Pope-Hennessey - I would recommend this to anyone interested in the British royal family. A detailed and insightful look at the life of Queen Elizabeth II's grandmother, matriarch of the House of Windsor.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 5, 2008 11:23:34 AM PDT
SusieQ says:
Wallace Gibbs: I also love that Marilyn bio by D. Spoto -- & I would also recommend: Milton's Marilyn, about her relationship with Milton Greene her friend, co-producer & photographer.
‹ Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... 45 Next ›
[Add comment]
Add your own message to the discussion
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Prompts for sign-in
 


Recent discussions in the Biography forum (161 discussions)

 

This discussion

Discussion in:  Biography forum
Participants:  643
Total posts:  1118
Initial post:  Jul 5, 2008
Latest post:  Jul 20, 2013

New! Receive e-mail when new posts are made.
Tracked by 66 customers

Search Customer Discussions