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Biography

Biography Book List

Cover of 'Alexander Robey Shepherd'

Alexander Robey Shepherd
The Man Who Built the Nation’s Capital
By John P. Richardson
· Foreword by Tony Williams

With Alexander Robey Shepherd, John P. Richardson gives us the first full-length biography of his subject, who as Washington, D.C.’s, public works czar (1871–74) built the infrastructure of the nation’s capital in a few frenetic years after the Civil War. The story of Shepherd is also the story of his hometown after that cataclysm, which left the city with churned-up streets, stripped of its trees, and exhausted.

Cover of 'The Sage in the Cathedral of Books'

The Sage in the Cathedral of Books
The Distinguished Chinese American Library Professional Dr. Hwa-Wei Lee
By Yang Yang
· Translation by Ying Zhang

The biography of Dr. Hwa-Wei Lee, who was awarded the highly prestigious Melvil Dewey Medal by the American Library Association in 2015, will be welcomed by readers interested in knowing not only more about Lee’s personal achievements and contributions in librarianship but also about the rapid changes in the library profession in general. The biography, written by Ms. Yang Yang of China Central Television in Beijing, was first published in Chinese in China in 2011.

Cover of 'The Boy Is Gone'

The Boy Is Gone
Conversations with a Mau Mau General
By Laura Lee P. Huttenbach

A story with the power to change how people view the last years of colonialism in East Africa, The Boy Is Gone portrays the struggle for Kenyan independence in the words of a freedom fighter whose life spanned the twentieth century's most dramatic transformations. Born into an impoverished farm family in the Meru Highlands, Japhlet Thambu grew up wearing goatskins and lived to stand before his community dressed for business in a pressed suit, crisp tie, and freshly polished shoes.

Cover of 'A Young General and the Fall of Richmond'

A Young General and the Fall of Richmond
The Life and Career of Godfrey Weitzel
By G. William Quatman

Despite his military achievements and his association with many of the great names of American history, Godfrey Weitzel (1835–1884) is perhaps the least known of all the Union generals. After graduating from West Point, Weitzel, a German immigrant from Cincinnati, was assigned to the Army Corps of Engineers in New Orleans.

Cover of 'The Collected Letters of Henry Northrup Castle'

The Collected Letters of Henry Northrup Castle
By Henry Northrup Castle
· Edited by George Herbert Mead and Helen Castle Mead
· Introduction by Alfred L. Castle
· Foreword by Marvin Krislov

Castle’s correspondence with family members and with George Herbert Mead— one of America’s most influential philosophers and his best friend at Oberlin College—reveals many of the intellectual, economic, and cultural forces that shaped American thought.

Cover of 'The Forger’s Tale'

The Forger’s Tale
The Search for Odeziaku
By Stephanie Newell

Between 1905 and 1939 a conspicuously tall white man with a shock of red hair, dressed in a silk shirt and white linen trousers, could be seen on the streets of Onitsha, in Eastern Nigeria. How was it possible for an unconventional, boy-loving Englishman to gain a social status among the local populace enjoyed by few other Europeans in colonial West Africa?

Cover of 'On the Fringes of History'

On the Fringes of History
A Memoir
By Philip D. Curtin

In the 1950s, professional historians claiming to specialize in tropical Africa were no more than a handful. The teaching of world history was confined to high school courses, and even those were focused on European history, with a chapter added to account for the history of East and South Asia. The change over the ensuing decades was revolutionary. Philip D. Curtin was a leader among a new generation of historians that emerged after the Second World War.

Cover of 'Zane Grey'

Zane Grey
Romancing the West
By Stephen J. May

One of the century’s most enduring American writers, Zane Grey left a legacy to our national consciousness that far outstrips the literary contribution of his often predictable plots and recurring themes. How did Grey capture the attention of millions of readers and promote the Western fantasy that continues to occupy many of the world’s leisure hours? This study assesses the Zane Grey phenomenon by examining Grey’s romantic novels in the context of his life and era.

Cover of 'Closing Arguments'

Closing Arguments
Clarence Darrow on Religion, Law, and Society
By Clarence Darrow
· Edited by S. T. Joshi

Clarence Darrow, son of a village undertaker and coffinmaker, rose to become one of America's greatest attorneys—and surely its most famous. The Ohio native gained renown for his central role in momentous trials, including his 1924 defense of Leopold and Loeb and his defense of Darwinian principles in the 1925 Scopes “Monkey Trial.”

Cover of 'Disarming Manhood'

Disarming Manhood
Roots of Ethical Resistance
By David A. J. Richards

Masculine codes of honor and dominance often are expressed in acts of violence, including war and terrorism. In Disarming Manhood: Roots of Ethical Resistance, David A. J. Richards examines the lives of five famous men—great leaders and crusaders—who actively resisted violence and presented more humane alternatives to further their causes. Richards argues that William Lloyd Garrison, Leo Tolstoy, Mohandas Gandhi, Winston Churchill, and Martin Luther King Jr.

Cover of 'Ohio Volunteer'

Ohio Volunteer
The Childhood and Civil War Memoirs of Captain John Calvin Hartzell, OVI
Edited by Charles I. Switzer

When his captain was killed during the Battle of Perryville, John Calvin Hartzell was made commander of Company H, 105th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He led his men during the Battle of Chickamauga, the siege of Chattanooga, and the Battle of Missionary Ridge.

Cover of 'Seeking the One Great Remedy'

Seeking the One Great Remedy
Francis George Shaw and Nineteenth-Century Reform
By Lorien Foote

A radical abolitionist and early feminist, Francis George Shaw (1809–1882) was a prominent figure in American reform and intellectual circles for five decades. He rejected capitalism in favor of a popular utopian socialist movement; during the Civil War and Reconstruction, he applied his radical principles to the Northern war effort and to freedmen's organizations. A partnership with Henry George in the late 1870s provided an international audience for Shaw's alternative vision of society.

Cover of 'Gabriela Mistral'

Gabriela Mistral
The Audacious Traveler
Edited by Marjorie Agosín

Gabriela Mistral is the only Latin American woman writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Even so, her extraordinary achievements in poetry, narrative, and political essays remain largely untold. Gabriela Mistral: The Audacious Traveler explores boldly and thoughtfully the complex legacy of Mistral and the way in which her work continues to define Latin America.

Cover of 'The Ceramic Career of M. Louise McLaughlin'

The Ceramic Career of M. Louise McLaughlin
By Anita J. Ellis

A tribute to a woman artist who rose to one of the highest positions in her field.

Cover of 'Guest Appearances and Other Travels in Time and Space'

Guest Appearances and Other Travels in Time and Space
By Peter I. Rose

Peter Rose has spent a lifetime exploring patterns of culture, examining issues of race and ethnicity, working with refugees, teaching sociology, and roaming the world. In Guest Appearances and Other Travels in Time and Space, he reflects on his adventures and the formative experiences that led him to a fascination with lives that seem quite unlike our own.