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Biography or Autobiography (1986 - date)

( Pulitzer )



Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher
by Applegate, Debby

9780385513975Debby ApplegateThe Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward BeecherNo one predicted success for Henry Ward Beecher at his birth in 1813. The blithe, boisterous son of the last great Puritan minister, he seemed destined to be overshadowed by his brilliant siblings--especially his sister, Harriet Beecher Stowe, who penned the century's bestselling book Uncle Tom's Cabin . But when pushed into the ministry, the charismatic Beecher found international fame by shedding his father's Old Testament--style fire-and-brimstone theology and instead preaching a New Testament--based gospel of unconditional love and healing, becoming one of the founding fathers of modern American Christianity. By the 1850s, his spectacular sermons at Plymouth Church in Brooklyn Heights had made him New York's number one tourist attraction, so wildly popular that the ferries from Manhattan to Brooklyn were dubbed "Beecher Boats." Beecher inserted himself into nearly every important drama of the era--among them the antislavery and women's suffrage movements, the rise of the entertainment industry and tabloid press, and controversies ranging from Darwinian evolution to presidential politics. He was notorious for his irreverent humor and melodramatic gestures, such as auctioning slaves to freedom in his pulpit and shipping rifles--nicknamed "Beecher's Bibles"--to the antislavery resistance fighters in Kansas. Thinkers such as Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman, and Twain befriended--and sometimes parodied--him. And then it all fell apart. In 1872 Beecher was accused by feminist firebrand Victoria Woodhull of adultery with one of his most pious parishioners. Suddenly the "Gospel of Love" seemed to rationalize a life of lust. The cuckolded husband brought charges of "criminal conversation" in a salacious trial that became the most widely covered event of the century, garnering more newspaper headlines than the entire Civil War. Beecher survived, but his reputation and his causes--from women's rights to progressive evangelicalism--suffered devastating setbacks that echo to this day. Featuring the page-turning suspense of a novel and dramatic new historical evidence, Debby Applegate has written the definitive biography of this captivating, mercurial, and sometimes infuriating figure. In our own time, when religion and politics are again colliding and adultery in high places still commands headlines, Beecher's story sheds new light on the culture and conflicts of contemporary America. - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
BX7260.B3 A67 2006
Publication Date:
2007




Lindbergh
by Berg, A. Scott

9780399144493A. Scott BergLindberghBestselling author and National Book Award'winner A. Scott Berg is the first and only writer to be given unrestricted access to the massive Lindbergh archives--more than two thousand boxes of personal papers, including reams of unpublished letters and diaries--and to be allowed freely to interview Lindbergh's friends, colleagues, and family members, including his children and his widow, Anne Morrow Lindbergh. The result is a brilliant biography that clarifies a life long blurred by myth and half-truth.From the moment he landed in Paris on May 21, 1927, Lindbergh found himself thrust on an odyssey for which he was ill-prepared--becoming the first modern media superstar, deified and demonized many times over in a single lifetime. Berg casts dramatic new light on the lonely, sometimes twisted childhood that formed the aviator's character; the astonishing transatlantic flight and thrilling, then overwhelming aftermath; the controversies surrounding the trial of his son's kidnapper, Lindbergh's fascination with Hitler's Germany and his leadership of America First; his remarkable unsung work in the fields of medical research, rocketry, anthropology, and conservation; and, at the heart of it all, his fascinating, complex marriage to Anne Morrow Lindbergh, a relationship filled with sudden joy and bitter darkness.In all, it is a most compelling story of a most significant life--the most private of public figures finally revealed with a sweep and detail never before possible. In the skilled hands of A. Scott Berg, this is Lindbergh the hero--and Lindbergh the man. - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
TL540 .L5 B49 1998
Publication Date:
1999







Washington: A Life
by Chernow, Ron

9781594202667Ron ChernowWashington: A LifeWinner of the Pulitzer Prize and a New York Times Bestseller, a landmark biography of George Washington. In Washington: A Life celebrated biographer Ron Chernow provides a richly nuanced portrait of the father of our nation. With a breadth and depth matched by no other one-volume life of Washington, this crisply paced narrative carries the reader through his troubled boyhood, his precocious feats in the French and Indian War, his creation of Mount Vernon, his heroic exploits with the Continental Army, his presiding over the Constitutional Convention, and his magnificent performance as America's first president. Despite the reverence his name inspires, Washington remains a lifeless waxwork for many Americans, worthy but dull. A laconic man of granite self-control, he often arouses more respect than affection. In this groundbreaking work, based on massive research, Chernow dashes forever the stereotype of a stolid, unemotional man. A strapping six feet, Washington was a celebrated horseman, elegant dancer, and tireless hunter, with a fiercely guarded emotional life. Chernow brings to vivid life a dashing, passionate man of fiery opinions and many moods. Probing his private life, he explores his fraught relationship with his crusty mother, his youthful infatuation with the married Sally Fairfax, and his often conflicted feelings toward his adopted children and grandchildren. He also provides a lavishly detailed portrait of his marriage to Martha and his complex behavior as a slave master. At the same time, Washington is an astute and surprising portrait of a canny political genius who knew how to inspire people. Not only did Washington gather around himself the foremost figures of the age, including James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson, but he also brilliantly orchestrated their actions to shape the new federal government, define the separation of powers, and establish the office of the presidency. In this unique biography, Ron Chernow takes us on a page-turning journey through all the formative events of America's founding. With a dramatic sweep worthy of its giant subject, Washington is a magisterial work from one of our most elegant storytellers. Ron Chernow's new biography,  Grant , will be published by Penguin Press in October 2017.  - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
E312 .C495 2010
Publication Date:
2011







Oscar Wilde
by Ellmann, Richard

Link to record for more information.

Call Number:
PR5823 .E38 1988
Publication Date:
1989










Personal History
by Graham, Katharine

9780375701047Katharine GrahamPersonal HistoryAs seen in the new movie The Post, here is the captivating, inside story of the woman who helmed the Washington Post during one of the most turbulent periods in the history of American media. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Biography In this bestselling and widely acclaimed memoir, Katharine Graham, the woman who piloted the Washington Post through the scandals of the Pentagon Papers and Watergate, tells her story--one that is extraordinary both for the events it encompasses and for the courage, candor, and dignity of its telling. Here is the awkward child who grew up amid material wealth and emotional isolation; the young bride who watched her brilliant, charismatic husband--a confidant to John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson--plunge into the mental illness that would culminate in his suicide. And here is the widow who shook off her grief and insecurity to take on a president and a pressman's union as she entered the profane boys' club of the newspaper business. As timely now as ever, Personal History is an exemplary record of our history and of the woman who played such a shaping role within them, discovering her own strength and sense of self as she confronted--and mastered--the personal and professional crises of her fascinating life. - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
Z743 .G696 1998
Publication Date:
1998




Machiavelli in Hell
by Grazia, Sebastian de

9780679743422Sebastian De GraziaMachiavelli in HellWinner of the Pulitzer Prize In this intellectual biography, Sebastian de Grazia presents a new vision of Machiavelli that evokes, with uncanny precision, the great Florentine thinker's presence. After providing an engrossing account of Machiavelli's childhood and the period following his imprisonment and torture, the book turns to an examination of The Prince . The details of Machiavelli's life never cease to weave in and out of the narrative, as we read how his ideas gather power and coalesce into a unified vision of humankind and the world. "De Grazia's achievement is to present a totally comprehensive view of Machiavelli mediated entirely through Machiavelli's own language."-- Journal of Modern History - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
JC143.M3946 D4 1994
Publication Date:
1990




Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Life
by Hedrick, Joan D.

9780195096392Joan D. HedrickHarriet Beecher Stowe: A Life"Up to this year I have always felt that I had no particular call to meddle with this subject....But I feel now that the time is come when even a woman or a child who can speak a word for freedom and humanity is bound to speak." Thus did Harriet Beecher Stowe announce her decision to beginwork on what would become one of the most influential novels ever written. The subject she had hesitated to "meddle with" was slavery, and the novel, of course, was Uncle Tom's Cabin. Still debated today for its portrayal of African Americans and its unresolved place in the literary canon, Stowe'sbest-known work was first published in weekly installments from June 5, 1851 to April 1, 1852. It caused such a stir in both the North and South, and even in Great Britain, that when Stowe met President Lincoln in 1862 he is said to have greeted her with the words, "So you are the little woman whowrote the book that created this great war!" In this landmark book, the first full-scale biography of Harriet Beecher Stowe in over fifty years, Joan D. Hedrick tells the absorbing story of this gifted, complex, and contradictory woman. Hedrick takes readers into the multilayered world of nineteenth century morals and mores, exploring theinfluence of then-popular ideas of "true womanhood" on Stowe's upbringing as a member of the outspoken Beecher clan, and her eventful life as a writer and shaper of public opinion who was also a mother of seven. It offers a lively record of the flourishing parlor societies that launched andsustained Stowe throughout the 44 years of her career, and the harsh physical realities that governed so many women's lives. The epidemics, high infant mortality, and often disastrous medical practices of the day are portrayed in moving detail, against the backdrop of western expansion, and thegreat social upheaval accompanying the abolitionist movement and the entry of women into public life. Here are Stowe's public triumphs, both before and after the Civil War, and the private tragedies that included the death of her adored eighteen month old son, the drowning of another son, and the alcohol and morphine addictions of two of her other children. The daughter, sister, and wife ofprominent ministers, Stowe channeled her anguish and her ambition into a socially acceptable anger on behalf of others, transforming her private experience into powerful narratives that moved a nation. Magisterial in its breadth and rich in detail, this definitive portrait explores the full measure of Harriet Beecher Stowe's life, and her contribution to American literature. Perceptive and engaging, it illuminates the career of a major writer during the transition of literature from anamateur pastime to a profession, and offers a fascinating look at the pains, pleasures, and accomplishments of women's lives in the last century. - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
PS2956 .H43 1995
Publication Date:
1995







W.E.B. Du Bois: The Fight for Equality and the American Century, 1919-1963
by Lewis, David Levering

9780805025347David Levering LewisW e B du Bois: The Fight for Equality and the American Century, 1919-1963The second volume of the Pulitzer Prize--winning biography that "The Washington Post" hailed as "an engrossing masterpiece" Charismatic, singularly determined, and controversial, W.E.B. Du Bois was a historian, novelist, editor, sociologist, founder of the NAACP, advocate of women's rights, and the premier architect of the Civil Rights movement. His hypnotic voice thunders out of David Levering Lewis's monumental biography like a locomotive under full steam. This second volume of what is already a classic work begins with the triumphal return from WWI of African American veterans to the shattering reality of racism and lynching even as America discovers the New Negro of literature and art. In stunning detail, Lewis chronicles the little-known political agenda behind the Harlem Renaissance and Du Bois's relentless fight for equality and justice, including his steadfast refusal to allow whites to interpret the aspirations of black America. Seared by the rejection of terrified liberals and the black bourgeoisie during the Communist witch-hunts, Du Bois ended his days in uncompromising exile in newly independent Ghana. In re-creating the turbulent times in which he lived and fought, Lewis restores the inspiring and famed Du Bois to his central place in American history. - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
E185.97 .D73 L48 2000
Publication Date:
2001




Angela's Ashes
by McCourt, Frank

9780684874357Frank McCourtAngela's Ashes: A MemoirAngela's Ashes , imbued on every page with Frank McCourt's astounding humor and compassion, is a glorious book that bears all the marks of a classic. "When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to survive at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood." So begins the luminous memoir of Frank McCourt, born in Depression-era Brooklyn to recent Irish immigrants and raised in the slums of Limerick, Ireland. Frank's mother, Angela, has no money to feed the children since Frank's father, Malachy, rarely works, and when he does he drinks his wages. Yet Malachy -- exasperating, irresponsible and beguiling-- does nurture in Frank an appetite for the one thing he can provide: a story. Frank lives for his father's tales of Cuchulain, who saved Ireland, and of the Angel on the Seventh Step, who brings his mother babies. Perhaps it is story that accounts for Frank's survival. Wearing rags for diapers, begging a pig's head for Christmas dinner and gathering coal from the roadside to light a fire, Frank endures poverty, near-starvation and the casual cruelty of relatives and neighbors--yet lives to tell his tale with eloquence, exuberance and remarkable forgiveness. - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
E184.16 .M117
Publication Date:
1997




John Adams
by McCullough, David

9780684813639David McCulloughJohn AdamsThe Pulitzer Prize-winning, bestselling biography of America's founding father and second president that was the basis for the acclaimed HBO series, brilliantly told by master historian David McCullough. In this powerful, epic biography, David McCullough unfolds the adventurous life journey of John Adams, the brilliant, fiercely independent, often irascible, always honest Yankee patriot who spared nothing in his zeal for the American Revolution; who rose to become the second president of the United States and saved the country from blundering into an unnecessary war; who was learned beyond all but a few and regarded by some as "out of his senses"; and whose marriage to the wise and valiant Abigail Adams is one of the moving love stories in American history. This is history on a grand scale--a book about politics and war and social issues, but also about human nature, love, religious faith, virtue, ambition, friendship, and betrayal, and the far-reaching consequences of noble ideas. Above all, John Adams is an enthralling, often surprising story of one of the most important and fascinating Americans who ever lived. - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
E322 .M38 2001
Publication Date:
2002




Truman
by McCullough, David

9780671456542David McCulloughTrumanThe Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Harry S. Truman, whose presidency included momentous events from the atomic bombing of Japan to the outbreak of the Cold War and the Korean War, told by America's beloved and distinguished historian. The life of Harry S. Truman is one of the greatest of American stories, filled with vivid characters--Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin, Eleanor Roosevelt, Bess Wallace Truman, George Marshall, Joe McCarthy, and Dean Acheson--and dramatic events. In this riveting biography, acclaimed historian David McCullough not only captures the man--a more complex, informed, and determined man than ever before imagined--but also the turbulent times in which he rose, boldly, to meet unprecedented challenges. The last president to serve as a living link between the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries, Truman's story spans the raw world of the Missouri frontier, World War I, the powerful Pendergast machine of Kansas City, the legendary Whistle-Stop Campaign of 1948, and the decisions to drop the atomic bomb, confront Stalin at Potsdam, send troops to Korea, and fire General MacArthur. Drawing on newly discovered archival material and extensive interviews with Truman's own family, friends, and Washington colleagues, McCullough tells the deeply moving story of the seemingly ordinary "man from Missouri" who was perhaps the most courageous president in our history. - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
E814 .M26 1992
Publication Date:
1993




American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House
by Meachem, Jo

9781400063253Jon MeachamAmerican Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White HouseThe definitive biography of a larger-than-life president who defied norms, divided a nation, and changed Washington forever Andrew Jackson, his intimate circle of friends, and his tumultuous times are at the heart of this remarkable book about the man who rose from nothing to create the modern presidency. Beloved and hated, venerated and reviled, Andrew Jackson was an orphan who fought his way to the pinnacle of power, bending the nation to his will in the cause of democracy. Jackson's election in 1828 ushered in a new and lasting era in which the people, not distant elites, were the guiding force in American politics. Democracy made its stand in the Jackson years, and he gave voice to the hopes and the fears of a restless, changing nation facing challenging times at home and threats abroad. To tell the saga of Jackson's presidency, acclaimed author Jon Meacham goes inside the Jackson White House. Drawing on newly discovered family letters and papers, he details the human drama-the family, the women, and the inner circle of advisers- that shaped Jackson's private world through years of storm and victory. One of our most significant yet dimly recalled presidents, Jackson was a battle-hardened warrior, the founder of the Democratic Party, and the architect of the presidency as we know it. His story is one of violence, sex, courage, and tragedy. With his powerful persona, his evident bravery, and his mystical connection to the people, Jackson moved the White House from the periphery of government to the center of national action, articulating a vision of change that challenged entrenched interests to heed the popular will- or face his formidable wrath. The greatest of the presidents who have followed Jackson in the White House-from Lincoln to Theodore Roosevelt to FDR to Truman-have found inspiration in his example, and virtue in his vision. Jackson was the most contradictory of men. The architect of the removal of Indians from their native lands, he was warmly sentimental and risked everything to give more power to ordinary citizens. He was, in short, a lot like his country: alternately kind and vicious, brilliant and blind; and a man who fought a lifelong war to keep the republic safe-no matter what it took. - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
E382 .M43 2008
Publication Date:
2009




God: A Biography
by Miles, Jack

9780679743682Jack MilesGod: A BiographyWINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE What sort of "person" is God? What is his "life story"? Is it possible to approach him not as an object of religious reverence, but as the protagonist of the world's greatest book--as a character who possesses all the depths, contradictions, and abiguities of a Hamlet? This is the task that Jack Miles--a former Jesuit trained in religious studies and Near Eastern languages--accomplishes with such brilliance and originality in God: A Biography . Using the Hebrew Bible as his text, Miles shows us a God who evolves through his relationship with man, the image who in time becomes his rival. Here is the Creator who nearly destroys his chief creation; the bloodthirsty warrior and the protector of the downtrodden; the lawless law-giver; the scourge and the penitent. Profoundly learned, stylishly written, the resulting work illuminates God and man alike and returns us to the Bible with a sense of discovery and wonder. - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
BS1192.6 .M6 1996
Publication Date:
1996










Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo, The
by Reiss, Tom

9780307382474Tom ReissThe Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo WINNER OF THE 2013 PULITZER PRIZE FOR BIOGRAPHY General Alex Dumas is a man almost unknown today, yet his story is strikingly familiar -- because his son, the novelist Alexandre Dumas, used his larger-than-life feats as inspiration for such classics as The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers . But, hidden behind General Dumas's swashbuckling adventures was an even more incredible secret: he was the son of a black slave -- who rose higher in the white world than any man of his race would before our own time. Born in Saint-Domingue (now Haiti), Alex Dumas made his way to Paris, where he rose to command armies at the height of the Revolution -- until he met an implacable enemy he could not defeat. The Black Count is simultaneously a riveting adventure story, a lushly textured evocation of 18th-century France, and a window into the modern world's first multi-racial society. TIME magazine called The Black Count "one of those quintessentially human stories of strength and courage that sheds light on the historical moment that made it possible." But it is also a heartbreaking story of the enduring bonds of love between a father and son.   - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
DC146.D83 R46 2012
Publication Date:
2013




Vera
by Schiff, Stacy

9780375755347Stacy SchiffVéra: Mrs. Vladimir NabokovNEW YORK TIMES  BESTSELLER Winner of the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for biography and hailed by critics as both "monumental" ( The Boston Globe ) and "utterly romantic" ( New York  magazine), Stacy Schiff's  V#65533;ra (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov)  brings to shimmering life one of the greatest literary love stories of our time. Vladimir Nabokov--the #65533;migr#65533; author of  Lolita; Pale Fire;  and  Speak, Memory --wrote his books first for himself, second for his wife, V#65533;ra, and third for no one at all. "Without my wife," he once noted, "I wouldn't have written a single novel." Set in prewar Europe and postwar America, spanning much of the century, the story of the Nabokovs' fifty-two-year marriage reads as vividly as a novel. V#65533;ra, both beautiful and brilliant, is its outsized heroine--a woman who loves as deeply and intelligently as did the great romantic heroines of Austen and Tolstoy. Stacy Schiff's  V#65533;ra  is a triumph of the biographical form. - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
PG3476.N3 Z8626 2000
Publication Date:
2000




De Kooning: An American Master
by Stevens, Mark and Annalyn Swan

9781400041756Mark Stevens; Annalyn SwanDe Kooning: An American MasterWillem de Kooning is one of the most important artists of the twentieth century, a true "painter's painter" whose protean work continues to inspire many artists. In the thirties and forties, along with Arshile Gorky and Jackson Pollock, he became a key figure in the revolutionary American movement of abstract expressionism. Of all the painters in that group, he worked the longest and was the most prolific, creating powerful, startling images well into the 1980s. The first major biography of de Kooning captures both the life and work of this complex, romantic figure in American culture. Ten years in the making, and based on previously unseen letters and documents as well as on hundreds of interviews, this is a fresh, richly detailed, and masterful portrait. The young de Kooning overcame an unstable, impoverished, and often violent early family life to enter the Academie in Rotterdam, where he learned both classic art and guild techniques. Arriving in New York as a stowaway from Holland in 1926, he underwent a long struggle to become a painter and an American, developing a passionate friendship with his fellow immigrant Arshile Gorky, who was both a mentor and an inspiration. During the Depression, de Kooning emerged as a central figure in the bohemian world of downtown New York, surviving by doing commercial work and painting murals for the WPA. His first show at the Egan Gallery in 1948 was a revelation. Soon, the critics Harold Rosenberg and Thomas Hess were championing his work, and de Kooning took his place as the charismatic leader of the New York school--just as American art began to dominate the international scene. Dashingly handsome and treated like a movie star on the streets of downtown New York, de Kooning had a tumultuous marriage to Elaine de Kooning, herself a fascinating character of the period. At the height of his fame, he spent his days painting powerful abstractions and intense, disturbing pictures of the female figure--and his nights living on the edge, drinking, womanizing, and talking at the Cedar bar with such friends as Franz Kline and Frank O'Hara. By the 1960s, exhausted by the feverish art world, he retreated to the Springs on Long Island, where he painted an extraordinary series of lush pastorals. In the 1980s, as he slowly declined into what was almost certainly Alzheimer's, he created a vast body of haunting and ethereal late work. This is an authoritative and brilliant exploration of the art, life, and world of an American master. - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
N6537 .D43 S74 2004
Publication Date:
2005




First Tycoon: the Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt, The
by Stiles, T. J.

9780375415425T. J. StilesThe First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius VanderbiltA gripping, groundbreaking biography of the combative man whose genius and force of will created modern capitalism. Founder of a dynasty, builder of the original Grand Central, creator of an impossibly vast fortune, Cornelius "Commodore" Vanderbilt is an American icon. Humbly born on Staten Island during George Washington's presidency, he rose from boatman to builder of the nation's largest fleet of steamships to lord of a railroad empire. Lincoln consulted him on steamship strategy during the Civil War; Jay Gould was first his uneasy ally and then sworn enemy; and Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for president of the United States, was his spiritual counselor. We see Vanderbilt help to launch the transportation revolution, propel the Gold Rush, reshape Manhattan, and invent the modern corporation--in fact, as T. J. Stiles elegantly argues, Vanderbilt did more than perhaps any other individual to create the economic world we live in today. In The First Tycoon , Stiles offers the first complete, authoritative biography of this titan, and the first comprehensive account of the Commodore's personal life. It is a sweeping, fast-moving epic, and a complex portrait of the great man. Vanderbilt, Stiles shows, embraced the philosophy of the Jacksonian Democrats and withstood attacks by his conservative enemies for being too competitive. He was a visionary who pioneered business models. He was an unschooled fistfighter who came to command the respect of New York's social elite. And he was a father who struggled with a gambling-addicted son, a husband who was loving yet abusive, and, finally, an old man who was obsessed with contacting the dead. The First Tycoon is the exhilarating story of a man and a nation maturing together: the powerful account of a man whose life was as epic and complex as American history itself. - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
CT275.V23 S85 2009
Publication Date:
2010




Khruschev: The Man and His Era
by Taubman, William

9780393051445William TaubmanKhrushchev: The Man and His EraRemembered by many as the Soviet leader who banged his shoe at the United Nations, Nikita Khrushchev was in fact one of the most complex and important political figures of the twentieth century. Complicit in terrible Stalinist crimes, he managed to retain his humanity. His daring attempt to reform Communism--by denouncing Stalin and releasing and rehabilitating millions of his victims--prepared the ground for its eventual collapse. His awkward efforts to ease the Cold War triggered its most dangerous crises in Berlin and Cuba. The ruler of the Soviet Union during the first decade after Stalin''s death, Khrushchev left his contradictory stamp on his country and the world. More than that, his life and career hold up a mirror to the Soviet age as a whole: revolution, civil war, famine, collectivization, industrialization, terror, world war, cold war, Stalinism, post-Stalinism. The first full and comprehensive biography of Khrushchev, and the first of any Soviet leader to reflect the full range of sources that have become available since the USSR collapsed, this book weaves together Khrushchev''s personal triumphs and tragedy with those of his country. It draws on newly opened archives in Russia and Ukraine, the author''s visits to places where Khrushchev lived and work, plus extensive interviews with Khrushchev family members, friends, colleagues, subordinates, and diplomats who jousted with him. William Taubman chronicles Khrushchev''s life from his humble beginnings in a poor peasant village to his improbable rise into Stalin''s inner circle; his stunning, unexpected victory in the deadly duel to succeed Stalin; and the startling reversals of fortune that led to his sudden, ignominious ouster in 1964. Combining a page-turning historical narrative with penetrating political and psychological analysis, this account brims with the life and excitement of a man whose story personifies his era."A brilliant, stunning, magnificent book. One of the most important figures of the twentieth century, who had a lot to do with setting the stage for the twenty-first, Khrushchev finally has the biography he deserves--deep and detailed yet fast-paced, scholarly yet not stuffy, historical yet intensely human. Taubman brings Khrushchev alive in all his complexity, capturing both the humanity that somehow survived in him and became the bedrock for his political decency, and the cynicism that made him part of the brutality of the Soviet system. The book has the sweep of a Big Book about a Big Figure, yet its style is no-frills, no-nonsense, straight-from-the-shoulder, with judgments proferred judiciously. Taubman does a superb job of portraying the rogue''s gallery of Soviet leaders while providing a colorful canvas of the country and its history. Having spent several years of my own life in Khrushchev''s shadow, I couldn''t be more admiring of what Taubman has accomplished." --Strobe Talbott, former U.S. deputy secretary of state, editor and translator of Khrushchev''s memoirs "Monumental, definitive, rich in detail. Taubman pulls aside the curtain and shows us both a fascinating man and new facts about Soviet decision making during the most dangerous days of the Cold War. A highly readable, compelling story." --Anthony Lake, former U.S. national security adviser "The definitive account of Khrushchev''s career and personality, this is also a wonderful page-turner about the deadly duel for power in the Kremlin. Altogether it is one of the best books ever written about the Soviet Union." --Constantine Pleshakov, co-author, Inside the Kremlin''s Cold War "Few books in the field of Cold War history have been as eagerly awaited as William Taubman''s biography of Nikita Khrushchev. Reflecting years of research as well as a keen sensitivity to culture, context, and personality, this extraordinary book more than matches the extraordinary character of its subject. It is a superb portrayal of one of the most attractive--but also dangerous--leaders of the twentieth century." --John Lewis Gaddis, professor of history, Yale University "A portrait unlikely to be surpassed any time soon in either richness or complexity. This volume, with its brisk, enjoyable narrative, succeeds in every sense: sweep, depth, liveliness, color, tempo. Each chapter shines with mastery and authority."--Leon Aron, The New York Times Book Review "Masterful and monumental...one should salute its author for a wonderful achievement....Starting with a juicy subject...Taubman has drawn on a huge body of material, much of it from newly available Soviet sources....He spent nearly twenty years on the book. The result is fun to read, full of insight and more than a little terrifying."--Robert G. Kaiser, Washington Post "Thanks to Taubman, one of the most important figures of the 20th century finally has the biography he deserves....In reconstructing a single paradoxical life, he helps us understand better the complexity of the human condition."--Strobe Talbott, Los Angeles Times Book Review - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
DK275.K5 T38 2003
Publication Date:
2004









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Award Description
Pulitzer Prize for a distinguished biography or autobiography by an American author. The Pulitzer Prize honors excellence in journalism and the arts.

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Glendale Community College - North Campus - 5727 West Happy Valley Road - Phoenix Arizona 85310 - (623) 845-4000
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Modified: January 24, 2017