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Tag: Biography


A Unique Face of Evil

“Himmler was the complete opposite of a faceless functionary,” Peter Longerich writes in “Heinrich Himmler.” “The position he built up over the years can instead be described as an extreme example of the almost total personalization of political power.”

Posted on Jan 27, 2012 READ MORE



So, About That Severed Ear …

A marvelous new biography of Vincent Van Gogh asks what if it was untreatable epilepsy that drove him mad, he didn’t cut off his lobe for a woman and he was killed by delinquents rather than committing suicide?

Posted on Dec 16, 2011 READ MORE



A Writer for All Time

Two new volumes—a biography and an anthology—shine light on G.K. Chesterton, an inhabitant of the twilight realm of the praised but unread.

Posted on Sep 30, 2011 READ MORE



Well Said, Mr. Chesterton

Some lovers of wit rank G.K. Chesterton as one of the greatest aphorists. Here’s a GKC sampler.

Posted on Sep 29, 2011 READ MORE



Obama’s ‘Singular’ Mother

The key to understanding the disciplined and often impassive 44th president is his mother, as Janny Scott, a reporter for The New York Times, decisively demonstrates in her new biography, “A Singular Woman.”

Posted on May 12, 2011 READ MORE



Schickel on Scorsese

In this excerpt from his new book, “Conversations With Scorsese,” veteran movie reviewer and documentary filmmaker Richard Schickel describes the character, formative struggles and career challenges of the celebrated director, with whom he shared a rich dialogue spanning several decades.

Posted on Mar 11, 2011 READ MORE


Lesley Blanch

Caroline Moorehead on the Exemplary Life of Lesley Blanch

A new biography of the remarkable writer Lesley Blanch suggests that living well—which may be the same thing as living passionately—is the best way of blunting the force of time’s arrow.

Posted on Jul 29, 2010 READ MORE



David Kipen on ‘Freedom’s Orator’

Robert Cohen succeeds in drawing Mario Savio back into the historical spotlight, though his biography of the 1960s student firebrand is stingy with details.

Posted on Jun 25, 2010 READ MORE


Marley
AP / Island Records

Deconstructing Marley

Bob Marley built his legendary legacy on messages of unity and social justice, but, although some more ardent devotees might disagree, a new biography argues that he had his flaws and complications. Human, in other words.

Posted on Jun 16, 2010 READ MORE


book cover

Peter Stothard on Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens reveals a life in contradictions in “Hitch-22,” a brilliant memoir that is at turns comic, self-deflating and sexually frank.

Posted on May 27, 2010 READ MORE


Eva Braun and Adolf Hitler
Wikimedia Commons / Deutsches Bundesarchiv

Another Take on Eva Braun

Eva Braun has been dismissed as an inconsequential figure (and, of course, a “dumb blonde”) in Adolf Hitler’s life, but a new biography of Braun by German historian Heike Görtemaker recasts Hitler’s lover as a more significant force who was relegated to the background out of necessity.

Posted on Feb 15, 2010 READ MORE


AllenBarraonWinstonChurchill

Allen Barra on Winston Churchill

Is there anything left to say about Churchill’s extraordinary life and turbulent times? If so, can it be said in the brief compass of Paul Johnson’s 192-page primer?

Posted on Jan 1, 2010 READ MORE



nytimes.com

Saddam Biography Makes a Splash in Baghdad

The first volume of a trilogy of Saddam Hussein books written by the late dictator’s lawyer has generated controversy in Iraq. It’s unclear whether the Iraqi government will even allow “Saddam Hussein: From an American Cell. This Is What Happened” to be sold in the country. (continued)

Posted on Nov 9, 2009 READ MORE


bookcovers

Michael Kazin on Dorothea Lange and the Great Depression

Two new books explore the cultural achievements of the 1930s that continue to shape the American imagination.

Posted on Oct 16, 2009 READ MORE


Madoff affair book
gawker.com

Nobody Wants to Read About Bernie Madoff’s Steamy Affair

Disgraced former Wall Street baron Bernard Madoff might have made millions swindling others for profit during his heyday, but he doesn’t seem to have made much of a literary cottage industry for writers presumably looking to cash in on his downfall. Not even the “I-was-Bernie’s-mistress” angle is tempting book buyers at this point.

Posted on Sep 3, 2009 READ MORE


bookcover

Mark Dowie on I.F. Stone

Critic and crusader, the late I.F. Stone was an American original. Neither changing times nor his failing eyesight blunted his radical edge or dimmed his acerbic wit. A new biography by D.D. Guttenplan gives us the man behind the legendary muckraker.

Posted on May 29, 2009 READ MORE


book cover

Allen Barra on Cornelius Vanderbilt

A new and outrageously entertaining biography of America’s first tycoon by T.J. Stiles, one of our best younger historians, sheds new light on the monumental life of what Stiles rightly calls “an instinctive predator” and his mixed and enduring legacy.

Posted on May 22, 2009 READ MORE


First Look at ‘W’

The first teaser for Oliver Stone’s new biopic has landed. The clip features George W. Bush as a young, drunk screw-up who goes from fighting with Dad and crashing a car to stretching out in the Oval Office. Video fixed.

Posted on Jul 28, 2008 READ MORE


Mitfords cover

Carla Kaplan on ‘The Mitfords’

A new collection of letters between the fascinating Mitford sisters offers unparalleled insight into one of the 20th century’s most famous families.

Posted on Dec 28, 2007 READ MORE


Bush’s ‘Compulsive Optimism’

Since its early days in 2001, the Bush White House has kept the press at arm’s length, but for his new biography of George W. Bush, “Dead Certain,” GQ’s Robert Draper managed to catch a close enough glimpse of the president to confirm that his enduring “obstinate” qualities have impacted the course of world events.

Posted on Nov 5, 2007 READ MORE


Bush confused
kotaku.com

Bush Can’t Remember Why He Blew It

The disbanding of the Iraqi army shortly after the U.S. began its occupation is widely considered one of the biggest blunders of the war. So why did the administration make such a disastrous decision? Don’t ask President Bush: He can’t remember.

Posted on Sep 3, 2007 READ MORE


The New Clinton Books

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Posted on Jun 1, 2007 READ MORE


Marie Cocco: Colin Powell’s Complicity

A new biography makes you long for an act of conscience that is so out of style it seems quaint: the principled resignation.

Posted on Oct 18, 2006 READ MORE


Cheney Lap Dog to Pen Official Bio

The vice president has reportedly tapped Weekly Standard reporter Stephen Hayes to write Cheney’s official biography. Hayes is the guy Cheney used to peddle his myths about the connection between Iraq and 9/11. (h/t: HuffPo)
Surprise, surprise.

Posted on Aug 28, 2006 READ MORE


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