biography

Sticky Fingers

Dec 23, 2017
A nearsighted new biography of Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner would have us believe that any narcissistic cokehead could have shepherded innovative work by Hunter S. Thompson, Annie Leibovitz and others just by being in the right place at the right time.
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Rising Star

May 26, 2017
Renowned biographer David J. Garrow concludes this massive new biography of Barack Obama with a damning verdict: "While the crucible of self-creation had produced an ironclad will, the vessel was hollow at its core."

Czeslaw Milosz: A Life

May 19, 2017
A new biography of one of the most significant poets of the past century shows what it was like to be politically engaged and spiritually conflicted in the 20th century.

Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh

Oct 10, 2014
A new biography of Tennessee Williams is almost as much a biography of the plays as of the playwright, letting the life illuminate the work and the work illuminate the life.

A Unique Face of Evil

Jan 28, 2012
“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.”

So, About That Severed Ear …

Dec 16, 2011
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?

Obama’s ‘Singular’ Mother

May 12, 2011
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."The key to understanding the disciplined and often impassive 44th president is his mother.