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February 15, 2017 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Biographies
Black Elk: The Life of an American Visionary. By Joe Jackson. 2016. Farrar, $30 (9780374253301).
Jackson meticulously chronicles the struggle of the Sioux visionary and medicine man Black Elk to help his embattled people preserve their culture and traditions.
Casey Stengel: Baseball’s Greatest Character. By Marty Appel. 2017. Doubleday, $26.95 (9780385540476).
Appel covers both the personal and professional lives of Baseball Hall of Famer and manager Casey Stengel, who won seven World Series with the New York Yankees.
The Fall of the House of Wilde: Oscar Wilde and His Family.
By Emer O’Sullivan. 2016. Bloomsbury, $35 (9781608199877).
O’Sullivan tells the great Irish writer’s story in concert with those of Wilde’s physician, archaeologist, antiquarian, and folklorist father, William; translator, poet, and mythographer mother, Jane; and brother, William, a gifted and troubled society journalist.
Jonathan Swift: The Reluctant Rebel. By John Stubbs. 2017. Norton, $35 (9780393239423).
Stubbs brings to life the author of Gulliver’s Travels and the still-shocking “A Modest Proposal,” illuminating Swift’s social and political convictions, philanthropy, personal sorrows, and literary excellence and courage.
Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies. 2016. By Ross King. Bloomsbury, $30 (9781632860125).
With vivid specificity and poignant insights, King eloquently tells the wondrous story of the great impressionist Monet’s long struggle against war, grief, and fading eyesight to paint his monumental Water Lilies at Giverny.
Not Pretty Enough: The Unlikely Triumph of Helen Gurley Brown. By Gerri Hirshey.
2016. Farrar/Sarah Crichton, $27 (9780374169176).
Hirshey’s entrancing biography reveals the full and astonishing tale of Helen Gurley Brown, the audacious powerhouse behind Cosmopolitan magazine, who was forever haunted by her hardscrabble Arkansas childhood.
Richard Nixon: The Life. By John A. Farrell. 2017. Doubleday, $35 (9780385537353).
Farrell tracks Nixon’s ascent from a love-starved, romantic, yet Machiavellian youth to a president whose laudable legacy—civil rights, international ties with China, crucial environment laws—is overshadowed by the infamous Watergate scandal.
Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life. 2016. By Ruth Franklin. Norton/Liveright, $35 (9780871403131).
Franklin brings literary master Jackson out from behind her most famous work, “The Lottery,” to reveal her complicated life and the covert ways she illuminated the fears and prejudice of the Cold War era.
The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds. By Michael Lewis.
2016. 368p. Norton, $28.95 (9780393254594).
In his exciting double biography of two gifted Israeli psychologists, Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman, Lewis elucidates their enormously influential discoveries about the workings of the human mind.
Victoria the Queen: An Intimate Biography of the Woman Who Ruled an Empire.
By Julia Baird. 2016. Random, $35 (9781400069880).
Baird writes with spirit and authority about the great British queen Victoria, addressing both her strength of character and her darker sides, deepening our understanding of her temperament and reign.
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