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Customer Discussions > Biography forum


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Showing 1-25 of 1000 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 31, 2008, 11:29:03 AM PST
W. Bachmann says:
It was no surprise to see so many of my favorites ( including the not so prominent DESERT QUEEN mentioned. One comment stating David MucCullough being overrated caused me to wonder.....My contribution :
THE LAST GREAT FRENCHMAN - if you have an interest in 20th century history - do not miss it. And it also helps to clear up prevalent misconcepts about Charles deGaulle - RIP

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 31, 2008, 12:53:17 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 31, 2008, 12:53:36 PM PST
Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 1, 2009, 8:50:09 PM PST
Karl Heckman says:
While not a biography of a person, one of the best I have read is The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes


In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2009, 9:55:37 AM PST
Mr. Jumps says:
Fortunate son:
Son of the famous World War II Marine commander "Chesty" Puller, Lewis Puller proudly followed in his father's footsteps. It was his misfortune, though, to serve in Vietnam in a war that brought not honor but contempt, and exacted a brutal personal price: Puller lost both legs, one hand, and most of his buttocks and stomach. Years later he was functional enough to run for Congress, bitterly denouncing the war. He lost, became an alcoholic, and almost died again. Then he climbed out of that circle of Hell to write this searingly graphic autobiography, which won a Pulitzer Prize in 1992. One last poignant postscript: three years after the enormous success of this book, the author killed himself.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2009, 10:39:57 AM PST
Keen says:
"Haywire" by Brooke Hayward.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2009, 1:26:35 PM PST
THE STRONG MAN by James Rosen...a brilliant portrait of John Mitchell and his true involvement in Watergate and the trust placed in him by President Richard M. Nixon.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2009, 1:39:47 PM PST
CURSUM PERFICIO ... "My journey ends here."
And after almost 50 years since Marilyn Monroe's death there is finally a book that captures the PERSON during her last days...her rekindled devotion to Joe DiMaggio...her pleasure in furnishing and planning details of her final home in the Hollywood Hills...her renewed energy and her definite plans for the FUTURE.
Marilyn Monroe, the Ultimate Icon of the Twentieth Century, did NOT commit suicide.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2009, 5:28:05 PM PST
GOING OUT A CHAMPION: THE COACH JOE ELLIS STORY - This book is about a high school basketball coach in Surry County, VA who, while battling colon cancer, refused to leave his team. He coached them to win the state championship in March 2005. He was so weak that he had to be taken into the gym in a wheelchair. Coach Ellis passed away two months later. His funeral was held in the high school gym that had been named in his honor while he was still alive. His team, wearing their championship jackets, served as his pallbearers. The book is available at;; and Please check it out!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2009, 9:24:56 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 2, 2009, 9:36:06 PM PST
Janeite says:
It frightens me to consider that any thinking person could judge David McCullough 'overrated.' And who's better???

My vote is for John Adams, by David McCullough.

A surprising second is for the bio of Henry Francis du Pont, by his daughter Ruth Ellen du Pont Lord (pub 1997). Not a surprise if you consider that I'm a docent at HF's Winterthur Museum in Wilmington DE, but Ruth's book is a candid portrait of the man who created a world class museum. It turned out to be her own voyage of discovery to get to know a loved but almost unknown parent. Marvelous!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 4, 2009, 12:13:14 AM PST
Hands down "Diary of a Lost Girl" by Kola Boof. She was Osama Bin laden's mistress which at first I didn't believe her story until read the book and then
it won some awards. Couldn't put it down and hated for it to end. Really
great writing with a fantastic story and she names names and everything is
told in detail. It does have a lot of vulgarity in it, there's a lot of sex, violence
and racial issues between Africans and Arabs but overall it's the best life story
book I have ever read.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2009, 11:13:09 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on May 26, 2012, 11:49:48 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 7, 2009, 10:10:48 PM PST
B. D. Cooper says:
Undoubtedly, Trevelyan's Life and Letters of Lord Macaulay, the perfect biography for any book lover. Lord Macaulay's life revolved around books (Sidney Smith once said he was a "book in breeches"). His nephew's biography is delightful, and the Oxford University Press editions usually include a reprint of most of the contents of a book of Lord Macaulay's marginal notes in books he was reading (the Greeks, the Romans, Shakespeare, etc.). The small OUP edition in 2 volumes in hardback (1961) is great, as is the larger reprint in paperback in 1978.

Posted on Feb 13, 2009, 7:39:23 AM PST
M. fry says:
"Mornings on Horseback" Theo. Roosevelt bio. I think this is D. McCullough also.

Posted on Feb 13, 2009, 9:41:45 AM PST
Jodi Abraham says:
"Frida" by Hayden Herrera

Posted on Feb 13, 2009, 8:10:02 PM PST
"Same Kind of Different As Me" by Ron Hall & Denver Moore

Posted on Feb 14, 2009, 5:33:15 AM PST
Sye Sye says:
I just read 'Max- A Biography' By David Cecil about Max Beerbohm. This was written in excellent flowing prose and conjured up the 1890's to pre ww1 period in living imagery. I can't say it is the best, all I can say if you have heard of Max Beerbohm then give it a go.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 14, 2009, 8:50:19 AM PST
Joan F. says:
I read this too, and found it very moving.

Posted on Feb 14, 2009, 8:53:37 AM PST
Joan F. says:
"Lindbergh" by A. Scott Berg. Just a fascinating look at the man and the times. No wonder it won a Pulitzer. I loaned my book to someone who loaned to another who loaned it to another and so on. Eventually got the book back in tatters, but with good reason.

Posted on Feb 15, 2009, 12:50:05 PM PST
S. Cohen says:
"Palimpsest" is brilliant, though I wasn't so fond of the second Vidal memoir, and "Experience", by Martin Amis, about his father Kingsley, just can't be beat.

Posted on Feb 16, 2009, 8:19:11 AM PST
"Noah Webster: The Life and Times of an American Patriot" by Harlow Giles Unger (Wiley, 1998). ISBN 0-471-18455-1 (available through Amazon)

This well-told biography is my favorite not only because it represents the phases of Webster's life well, but more because it provides a cross-section of the American Revolution and the new Republic from an objective, non-mythical point of view. It also provides great insight into education of young people in Colonial times, the Constitutional Convention, and some of the major flaws of the Articles of Confederation (for Webster to obtain copyrights for his new American reading and spelling schoolbooks, he had to visit and persuade EACH state legislature INDIVIDUALLY!). While the Webster dictionary was a life's work, it was only one of his contributions to American culture. Webster saw the essential role of common language and common experience in forging thirteen very independent colonies into a unified nation.

My interest in this bio came from watching Unger tell the story on CSPAN's Book Talk series a couple years ago. He is an excellent storyteller!

Highly recommended, especially for any American citizen.

Posted on Feb 16, 2009, 9:12:06 AM PST
JMazz says:
Infidel - by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
incredable -

Posted on Feb 16, 2009, 10:07:26 AM PST
I can only narrow it down to three:

The Last Lion (Winston Churchill) -- William Manchester

Hitler (2 volumes) -- Ian Kershaw

Peter the Great: His Life and World -- Robert Massie

All three are exhaustively researched and superbly written.

Posted on Feb 17, 2009, 5:18:28 AM PST
Schmerguls says:
Macaulay: The Shaping of the Historian, by John Clive (read 6 July 1975) (Book of the Year) (National Book Award history prize for 1974).

1345 Macaulay: The Shaping of the Historian, by John Clive (read 6 July 1975) (Book of the Year) (National Book Award history prize for 1974) When I read this astoundingly well written book I I said it was "the perfect book." Thomas Babington Macaulay was born Oct 25, 1800. This book depicts his father Zachary, covers TBM's childhood and years at Cambridge, his study of law (he practiced only slightly), his time in Parliament, his time in India (he left England Feb 15, 1834 and returned June 1, 1838), and discusses everything about his life up to that date: June 1, 1838, I had never seen a book better done--everything about it was interesting: it whetted my interest in everything discussed: Macaulay's essays, the 1832 Reform Bill, England and India. I expected that Clive would do a book covering the rest of Macaulay's life, but so far as I know he never did. This book, of course, won my award for best book read in 1975.

Posted on Feb 17, 2009, 4:21:17 PM PST
"Benjamin Franklin" by Carl Van Doren...slam dunk

Posted on Feb 19, 2009, 5:53:53 PM PST
Kathleen J. says:
kathehemmer2 : I thought when I was a teenager "The Diary of Anne Frank"
was the best biography.Up to then,war was soldiers and influenced by movies.
This is when I realized civilians suffer,and how great the evil was that could
be started by one individual.I was forever influenced by that little volume.
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Discussion in:  Biography forum
Participants:  765
Total posts:  1159
Initial post:  Dec 31, 2008
Latest post:  Mar 26, 2013

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