Let's get a biography thread going! What are the best biographies and who are the best biographers?
I'm currently looking for a biography of Toussaint Louverture. Would appreciate any recommendations.
Taking some liberty with the genre classification, you may want to check George, Nicholas and Wilhelm: Three Royal Cousins and the Road to World War I, by Miranda Carter
"Olivar Asselin" and "Colette" are the only biographies I have ever read.
One is about a french canadian journalist who, despte his quite advanced age and statut as a french canadian surrounded by englishmen, still rolled with it and fought on WW1. He was one of the few french canadian to actively participate in the war and most likely the reason frenchies got out of the british Commonwealth.
The other is an european author, who wrote a popular novel serie, starring Claudine, a young student who likes gay inuendos. What's interesting here is that Colette had a famous mentor for a husband, who took most of the praise though. Colette was bisexual too kek.
Plutarch and the Gospel of Matthew.
Marquez's General in his Labyrinth on the life of Bolivar
Heinz Guderian "Panzer Leader"
Memoirs of Hadrian and I, Claudius if you like a narrative or fiction bent.
The Truth About Muhammad- Founder of the World's Most Intolerant Religion is a well researched but clearly biased biography that got the author banned from the UK for a bit.
The Killing of Crazy Horse
>tfw you got the wrong Napoleon biography by Andrew Roberts
No idea actually. It's on my to be read list. I just know it came out before Napoleon the Great. Not that that means it's out of date, though. One year shouldn't mean too much when it comes to a figure as old as Napoleon.
Peter the Great: His Life and World by Robert K. Massie is a personal favorite. I've also heard great things about the rest of his Romanov bios.
Also, The Last Lion volumes are pretty awesome, about Churchill.
In the Court of the Red Tsar by Simon Sebag Montefiore is excellent.
His "biography" of Jerusalem is really good too, in that he frames the book as a traditional biography. His family are elite English Jews who were were very responsible for early zionism, and he fully discloses this and frankly seems to feel a good deal of self loathing about it.
do a quick search of EDU sites with the name of that book, and you will find plenty of syllabi with it present. I would agree that it is not a highly sophisticated source analysis for a post-grad history seminar, but it is certainly a serviceable and respectable biography
Is this any good?
I'm looking for something like this, but I'm not that into dude old money, mescaline n firearms lmao.
I like Burroughs but want something that's more on the technical side. Like Lewis Porter's bio on Coltrane.
The American Prometheus is a excellent bio, would recommend if you are interested in physics or the atomic bomb.Oppenheimer went from being well respected for his work on the bomb, to being labelled a communist and his name ruined
this is the best Burroughs bio by far. Literary Outlaw is terrible precisely because "dude old money, mescaline n firearms lmao", plus "magic lol! Burroughs might have been magic who knows!" Call Me Burroughs is Burroughs' life, Miles maintains distance from his subject, and it is as exhaustive a bio as I have read, without any irrelevant tangents.
I just started Endgame (bobby fischer) and about 100 pages in I am pretty hooked.
can you have pop biographies? I mean I cant think of a bigger example of a popular biographer than David McCullough, and the guy is treasured by readers and academics alike.
I started with the Greeks way before it was a meme
Last essay is on Christianity's influence and the reign of Diocletian, which is suggested as the "end of antiquity" which I sort of disagree with, but then I do just read this stuff for fun.
For information on historical non-fiction I really like to consult the Guide to Historical Literature. It's a publication of the American Historical Association and lists the better historical works roughly up to the year the Guide was published. Each entry has an annotation saying why the work is important. The Guide is divided by periods and geographically. Found at better libraries. Ask the librarian or check the catalog.
>I genuinely have no idea what the fuck the difference is between "A Life" and "The Great"
From what I can see The Great is somehow updated from A Life. Though on amazon the first chapter seems exactly the same from what I can see. Maybe ones EU ones US?
silly wagecuck. what a foolish thing to do, ruining all those books.
my paperbacks are pristine, even ones I've read three or four times retain their "just off the shelf" luster.
"A Life" is 140 pages longer than its successor, according to amazon. You may be right about the international version; "Life" was printed in the US, "Great" in the UK.
Really frustrating. I've heard "Life" is THE Napoleon bio to get, and god damn does that white hardcover look beautiful, but I'd feel like an idiot to discover they're the same book.
Notes kick in at page 810. Pic shows remaining pages. I really hate that my copy of this book has a misprint inf with that one page corner that didn't get cut to proper size.
Found something. The amazon.com listing for "Great" says 832 pages, but the amazon.co.uk listing says 976 pages, exactly the same number as "A Life."
I have no idea why the amazon.com listing says what it does, but this is pointing more and more to them being the same book.
Bummer about that page though!
My favorite biography has to be T. Harry Williams' one on Huey Long. Which is an absolute treat to read, even if it is almost a 1000 pages long. It really does make you understand how upset the political situation could have become in America during the 1920s and 30s.
Anyone read this? I saw it in B&N the other day and considered it.
I like Phillip short's biographies personally. Mao was exceptional
I'm the guy who first posted about the book up-thread, they're the exact same book. The Great just cuts down some of the fat like notes and such and is a bit more expensive.
Whwn l bought it around March of last year, A Life was 45 Euro-dollars, while the Great was 51, l think.