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More commonly the spotlight has been falling on prominent personalities from the literary and cultural worlds: claire tomalin’s biographies of the actress mrs jordan and of dickens and hardy, hilary spurling on matisse, hermione lee’s lives of edith wharton and virginia woolf or miranda seymour’s exploration of the worlds of henry james and of robert graves and the recent biographies of nikolaus pevsner by susie harries and of gabriele d’annunzio by lucy hughes-hallett.
Itz: a doctor's eyewitness in franklin: the american dream (the true story of benjamin franklin) (historical biographies of famous people).
And clayborne carson:Historian clayborne carson compiled together the civil rights icon’s own works into one revealing glimpse into his ideologies personal ill: a life by martin gilbert:Seeing as how he kinda sorta led great britain through world war ii, it’s probably safe to assume that prime minister winston churchill stood as a rather important historical and political walk to freedom by nelson mandela:South africa’s first democratically-elected president formed one of the cornerstones of the anti-apartheid movement, eventually freeing indigenous peoples from the tyranny of european xiaoping and the transformation of china by ezra f.
Whether because of some deep digging into history and culture, staggering insight into the human condition, or laughter and great storytelling — or, obviously, some combination thereof — the following stand as a primer on the biographies and autobiographies with plenty of content to keep minds engaged.
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No doubt the trend has been boosted by this year’s first world war centenary and the appearance of new studies of men associated with it: guy cuthbertson’s wilfred owen or the third and final volume of john röhl’s biography of kaiser heless, it seems that a growing number of historical biographies are being written by women.
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In biography, as in all history writing, the result can only be enhanced if built upon emotion recollected in careful, critical s history and biography have been drawn closer by the emergence of ‘meta-biography’, a form of reception history examining a sequence of biographies of the same subject.
Washington’s up from slavery and frederick douglass’ the narrative of the life of frederick douglass obviously deserve reading for insight into the experiences of slaves in america, but incidents in the life of a slave girl exists as one of the only surviving autobiographies uniquely exploring the atrocities from a female ’s ashes: a memoir by frank mccort:Ireland’s saddening history of crushing poverty pops into startling life in this story of a depression-era family struggling beneath a father whose alcoholism renders his wife and children desperate and an overarching sociopolitical climate with few opportunities to they killed my father: a daughter of cambodia remembers by loung ung:Loung ung lived a charmed life thanks to her father’s political clout, but the rise of the despotic pol pot and his khmer rouge dismantled and destroyed everything when she was only five.
Similarly, a large, evidently insatiable public appetite for lives of the grandes dames of history has been fed (and led) by the work of such writers as stella tillyard and amanda more biographies come to be written by (and often about) women, this chimes with much else that has changed across our culture in recent decades.
Lawrence goldman, the outgoing editor of the oxford dictionary of national biography (and incoming director of the university of london’s institute of historical research) puts it well: the aim of the odnb, he says, is to enable the reader not only to learn about a life from the past but also to understand that person’s place in the history of their there a danger that biographers develop an emotional relationship with the subject of their research in a way that a bona fide historian should not do?
A reservation sometimes voiced in the academic community is that, by focusing on the life of an individual, the writer can hardly embrace the wider historical picture.
In history today volume 64 issue 11 november snowman asks whether historical biography can be considered a serious contribution to history and assesses the latest trends in the upon a time historical biographies were written by men and were mostly about (‘great’) men: from plutarch and suetonius on the grandees of the ancient world, to vasari on the artists of renaissance italy, boswell on johnson, aubrey’s brief lives, carlyle on frederick the great, morley on gladstone, trevelyan on garibaldi and churchill on marlborough.
The new ‘history from the bottom up’, while revolutionary and welcome, had little time for biographies of individual achievers of the past (especially those in the ‘high’ arts).
One biographer recounts how she was reduced to tears when encountering a diary written long ago by the subject of her research; others have come close to despair (like the narrator of henry james’ the aspern papers) on discovering that a body of all-important documents – a collection of love letters, perhaps – was deliberately destroyed precisely in order to keep things from the prying eyes of posterity.
He fought for the government, brainwashed and trained to murder rebels with an ak-47 if they dared to challenge the overarching by elie wiesel:One of the most acclaimed, popular autobiographies of all time follows the author’s survival at auschwitz and subsequent trauma of losing everyone and everything he held : a biography of the fish that changed the world by mark kurlansky:Without the humble cod providing sustenance on long sea voyages, imperialism’s reach never would have stretched as far as it did.
Maybe the trend i identified earlier, of women writing biographies of female cultural and literary figures, is not as new as i had snowman is a senior research fellow at the institute of historical research, university of ibe today and get the world's best history magazine delivered to your history today up for our free weekly rise of the teutonic the world's a nia out of the french revolution's angel of ibe to our free weekly ation quick a search term...
She didn’t, of course, and not the least of the literary-cum-historical skills adduced by fraser and other leading biographers is their capacity to slip almost imperceptibly between the micro and macro, allowing each to reinforce the other.
His life and universe by walter isaacson:His name and visage may remain a staple of pop culture iconography, but average readers might not as know much of albert einstein’s interesting life and contributions to science and humanity as they probably stroke of insight: a brain scientist’s personal journey by jill bolte taylor:After suffering from a devastating stroke wreaking havoc on the left half of her brain, neuroscientist jill bolte taylor considered the condition a uniquely first-person opportunity to research how the body’s most important organ repairs itself after such a major and frightful monk in the garden: the lost and found genius of gregor mendel, the father of genetics by robin marantz henig:Genetics research continues pushing its way into the headlines as more and more researchers delve into the body’s scientific coding, and it all started with a humble moravian experimenting with the pea plants in his at rest: a biography of isaac newton by richard s.
Even non-humans leave enough of an impact on history to warrant biographies; they just don’t make for the most engaging interview : alice roosevelt longworth, from white house princess to washington power broker by stacy a.
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Bookstores and libraries practically bend with biographies as a result of this total truism, although some quite obviously have just a little more to offer the world than a few of their shelfmates!
Here you can discover the best historical biographies in amazon best sellers, and find the top 100 most popular amazon historical ibe to: best sellers > historical phies & to explore in historical : an intimate ver$28.
I think of ian kershaw’s authoritative life of hitler or simon sebag montefiore’s stalin, for example, or jonathan steinberg’s bismarck and several recent (or imminent) books about napoleon and various us presidents (not to mention the many biographies of leading cultural figures by michael holroyd, richard holmes, a.