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WHAT T IS THE BEST BIOGRAPY YOU EVER READ?


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Showing 51-75 of 1000 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 2, 2009 6:14:43 PM PST
Also try Ellmann's biogaphy of Oscar Wilde, if you haven't already. Another fascinating and rewarding read.

Posted on Mar 2, 2009 6:48:14 PM PST
Atlas - Teddy Atlas

Posted on Mar 3, 2009 7:47:36 AM PST
Jody says:
My favorite biographies:
Nicholas and Alexandra
The Last Lion (W. Churchill)
The Narnian (C. S. Lewis)
Mornings on Horseback (T. Roosevelt)
Queen of France (Marie Antoinette)
Lillian Hellman's Pentimento, though that's more of a memoir
John Adams
Jennie Vols. 1 & 2 (Winston Churchill's mother)
Edward the King

Posted on Mar 3, 2009 7:59:22 AM PST
M.W. says:
Mohammad - Karen Armstrong
Measure of A Man - Sydney Poitier

Posted on Mar 3, 2009 7:11:12 PM PST
C. L. White says:
The Autobiography of Malcolm X (as told to Alex Haley)

Posted on Mar 3, 2009 8:46:00 PM PST
"Many Masks - A Life of Frank Lloyd Wright" by Brendan Gill!
Probably one of the most detailed bios of this great american genius architect from birth to death - and the 92 yrs between.
While Gill's reverence for this Master is evident he bares all Wright's egocentricies, wiles & flamboyancy both in his personal
& professional life with such wit & poignancy & bare-it-all truth that captures the reader from page 1 through the 500th plus.
The many accompaning photos only enhance this great read!

Posted on Mar 5, 2009 2:26:44 PM PST
There are so many great biographies - how can you pick just one? That being said, one of the best I've ever read is "John Marshall - Definer of a Nation," by Jean Edward Smith. It has so much to offer: Marshall served in many capacities and offices before becoming the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court - and, as Chief Justice, he truly defined the Supreme Court, and, in doing so, also helped to define the embryonic U.S. Also, the book serves to remind us what the Supreme Court is supposed to be, as well as dispelling some of the warm fuzzy many American's have for the "good old days".
William Manchester's unfinished Churchhill trilogy is fantastic. Another great biography is McCollough's (?) "Truman." I could go on and on and on - but I won't.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 5, 2009 4:04:35 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 5, 2009 4:07:06 PM PST
There are so many and it is difficult, Michael. I think most of us are just naming the ones that pop off the top of our head and have perceptions changed by it. Who knows. I cannot speak for everyone.

Posted on Mar 5, 2009 10:54:20 PM PST
Mistress to an Age. . . A Life of Madame de Stael
By J. Christopher Herold. The author is sly & humorous.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 6, 2009 6:37:28 AM PST
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Posted on Mar 7, 2009 9:51:38 AM PST
Massie's "Peter the Great"; Duetcher's 3 volume biography of Leon Trotsky ("The Prophet Armed," "The Prophet Unarmed," and "The Profit Outcast"); Caro's 3 volumes on LBJ (so far); McCullough's "Truman."

Posted on Mar 7, 2009 10:43:28 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 8, 2009 5:35:12 AM PDT
A straight forward answer to the forums' question:
"YAMAMOTO The Man Who Menaced America" by John Deane Potter
Had I to give the reasoning for my verdict I would not ommit to say:
1. By leading the formidable naval armada of the Empire of Japan towards the West Coast, it is true that the Americans were gravely menaced by that warrior. Same panic was spread all over the world in early 1942. No other man in history dublicated him up to now.
2. The biography itself, is a beutiful reading, very well presented in the time distance. The Admiral is presented not only in his battling capacity; his family tree, his youth, the people around him, his hobbies, his education, vision, career and the historic background are very well balanced through the pages of the book.
3. The Author is an American; however, he is a fair-minded man who gives accurate informations about his subject. Presentation - in the same biography - of other combatant officers and other warriors - adds to the book in that we can evaluate the man keeping an eye on the surrounding people and their contribution to the main personality.
4. It falls within the insterests of the Author to give us a detailed account in connection with the last minutes of Admiral Yamamoto's life; he was killed in the air, over Bougenville island in the Pacific; the exact time? at 9.35 a.m. precisely! (author states...). Immortal book indeed!
In future, if I am asked about the second best biography I have read to moment, I will have to choose among a lot. Regarding the first, I ...remain to Yamamoto!
BB

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 7, 2009 12:26:24 PM PST
Buchet says:
"Voltaire" by Jean Orieux. A big book, but wonderful from start to end. Hope it has been translated to English.

Posted on Mar 7, 2009 12:30:13 PM PST
Lawrence says:
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Posted on Mar 7, 2009 12:52:43 PM PST
I totally enjoyed Eric Clapton's book...he did discuss a lot more than most musicians, and let's get real....we all want to hear the nitty gritty.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 8, 2009 6:39:06 AM PDT
Schmerguls says:
My take on this book was as follows:

1302. Yamamoto: The Man Who Menaced America, by John Deane Potter (read 15 Nov 1974) Yamamoto was the chief Japanese admiral in World War II until his plane was shot down on April 18, 1943. He was born April 4, 1884. I found the book extremely interesting, even though it is footnoteless and rather poorly written. It tells quite a bit from the Japanese side, so it did not seem like old stuff. It is sobering to realize how badly the U.S. did in some of those Pacific battles. Midway is a fascinating battle, and I sure wouldn't want to be in it. But it would be something to be able to say one was in it.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 8, 2009 6:43:26 AM PDT
Schmerguls says:
It has been:
Author:
Orieux, Jean, 1907-

Title:
Voltaire / by Jean Orieux ; translated from the original French by Barbara Bray and Helen R. Lane.
Edition:
1st ed.

Publisher:
Doubleday,

Copyright Date:
1979

Description:
xi, 583 p., [8] leaves of plates : ill. ; 24 cm.

Subject:
Voltaire,--1694-1778.
Authors, French--18th century--Biography

Other Titles:
Voltaire. English

Posted on Mar 8, 2009 8:53:32 AM PDT
Tzeitel says:
West with the Night by Beryl Markham
The Wolves at the Door: The True Story of America's Greatest Female Spy by Judith L. Pearson

I was never biography/memoir fan but everything changed a few of months ago when I read Markham. Then I picked up Pearson's book and my fate was sealed - I am now officially hooked on biographies!

Another one I really enjoyed was Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire by Amanda Foreman. Read it before I even knew there was a film coming out and was so looking forward to the film - it was very pretty to look at but that was all. The book was so informative and the movie so shallow - big surprise.

Posted on Mar 9, 2009 7:59:37 AM PDT
Edmund Morris: He has written two biographies of Theodore Roosevelt that are outstanding. I have yet to read his biography of Ronald Regan ( Dutch) but would assume it to be on par with the above. A truly gifted writer, on par, at a minimum, with David McCullough who I rank with the the top 5 biographers. Back to Roosevelt: there is to be one more (to finish the triolgy) issue and I hope that he completes it. ED: HURRY UP...I WANT TO READ IT!

Posted on Mar 10, 2009 1:41:46 AM PDT
Ian Walthew says:
If you are interested in writing and writers, then without doubt the new biography of Nobel Prize winner for literature, V.S Naipaul: The World is What it Is by Patrick French.

www.ianwalthew.com

Posted on Mar 11, 2009 12:15:34 AM PDT
C. Gangloff says:
Frances Farmer: Shadowland by William Arnold is amazing.

A. Scott Berg is one of my favorite biographers. Lindbergh, Goldwyn: A Biography and Max Perkins: Editor of Genius are all wonderful.

Posted on Mar 11, 2009 8:57:32 AM PDT
W. Bachmann says:
Not what you would call Biography in the traditional sense, but -
read Michael Lewis " The new new thing " and get an insight into the brilliant mind of Jim Clarke ( creator of internet successes like Silicon Graphics/Netscape/Healtheon/MyCFO ) as well as a short
brief on the workings of Silicon Valley. ( Michael Lewis of Liar's Poker fame )

Posted on Mar 11, 2009 8:21:43 PM PDT
Porcelain says:
It has always been and still is after all these years 'The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt' by Edmund Morris.

Posted on Mar 11, 2009 8:33:59 PM PDT
Washington: The Indispensable Man by James Flexner.

A great read, even if you are not a student of American History. Pulled from his 4 volume biography, it has lead me to start searching out the full thing.

Posted on Mar 12, 2009 6:26:43 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 12, 2009 6:31:30 AM PDT
'The True History of the Elephant Man," the life of Joseph Carey Merrick(updated 1992 ed.) Beautifully written, very readable and thoroughly researched account of a gentle courageous soul inside a body terribly deformed by Proteus syndrome.
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Discussion in:  Biography forum
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Initial post:  Dec 31, 2008
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