Biography

"For over thirty years, the author has written novels in which the natural world is as much a living presence as any character. In this beautiful, evocative, and sometimes provocative memoir, he explores Australia's unique landscape, and how that singular place has shaped him and his writing"--.

American author James Fenimore Cooper has been credited with inventing and popularizing a wide variety of genre fiction, including the Western, the spy novel, the high seas adventure tale, and the Revolutionary War romance. In this second volume of his definitive biography, Wayne Franklin concentrates on the latter half of Cooper's life, detailing a period of personal and political controversy, far-ranging international travel, and prolific literary creation. 

Norman Bel Geddes designed everything from Broadway sets to Chrysler cars; from the first all-weather stadium to Futurama, the prescient 1939 World's Fair exhibit that would go down as the most popular of all time. In The Man Who Designed the Future, B. Alexandra Szerlip tells the astonishing story of a 9th grade dropout with a Midwestern twang who presided over a seismic shift in American culture--a moment in which entertainment became immersive, people became consumers, and the country came to look the way it does today.

Guy Burgess was the most important, complex, and fascinating of The Cambridge Spies--Maclean, Philby, Blunt--brilliant young men recruited in the 1930s to betray their country to the Soviet Union. An engaging and charming companion to many, an unappealing, utterly ruthless manipulator to others, Burgess rose through academia, the BBC, the Foreign Office, MI5 and MI6, gaining access to thousands of highly sensitive secret documents which he passed to his Russian handlers.

This is the story of the political battles that have taken place in the court of Vladimir Putin since his rise to power, and a chronicle of friendship and hatred between the Russian leader and his foreign partners and opponents.

The raging question in the world today is who is the real Vladimir Putin and what are his intentions. Karen Dawisha's brilliant work provides an answer, describing how Putin got to power, the cabal he brought with him, the billions they have looted, and his plan to restore the Greater Russia.

May 3 has been designated as World Press Freedom Day in recognition of a "free, pluralistic and independent press" and its essential part of a democratic society. Indeed, the purpose of journalism, said Chicago newspaper columnist and humorist Peter Finley Dunne in the early 1900s, is to "comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable."  And in the words of President Barack Obama: "Journalists give all of us as citizens the chance to know the truth about our countries, ourselves, our governments. That makes us better, it makes us stronger, it gives voice to the voiceless,  it exposes injustice, and holds leaders like me accountable."

May 1, 1960.  An American U-2 spy plane piloted by Francis Gary Powers was shot down over Central Russia. Powers was tried, convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison, but was released in exchange for an imprisoned Soviet spy.

May 2, 2011.  Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. Special Forces during a raid on his secret compound in Pakistan.

May 4, 1886.  The Haymarket Square Riot occurred in Chicago after 180 police officers advanced on 1,300 persons gathered in the square listening to speeches of labor activists and anarchists. An incendiary device  thrown by an unknown person caused police to open fire and led to the death of several people, including eight policemen.

May 4, 1970.  At Kent State University, four students  were killed by National Guardsmen who opened fire on a crowd of 1,000 students protesting President Richard Nixon's decision to invade Cambodia.

In this definitive biography, veteran sportswriter Tom Callahan shines a spotlight on one of the greatest golfers ever to play the game.

Nevertheless : a memoir by Alec Baldwin

The Lowells of Massachusetts were a remarkable family. They were settlers in the New World in the 1600s, revolutionaries creating a new nation in the 1700s, merchants and manufacturers building prosperity in the 1800s, and scientists and artists flourishing in the 1900s. For the first time, Nina Sankovitch tells the story of this fascinating and powerful dynasty

National Poetry Month Biographies

Celebrate National Poetry Month by getting to know more about the lives of some of our greatest poets:
 

Longfellow: a rediscovered life by Charles C. Calhoun

 

 

Yeats's ghosts: the secret life of W.B. Yeats by Brenda Maddox

 

 

 

 

Dylan Thomas: a new life by Andrew Lycett

 

 

 

 

From noon to starry night: a life of Walt Whitman by Philip Callow

 

 

 

 

Rough magic: a biography of Sylvia Plath by Paul Alexander

 

Angela's ashes : a memoir by Frank McCourt

Carlos Eire's National Book Award-winning memoir of his childhood in 1950s Havana and the overnight upheaval of his world in January 1959, when the Batista government was toppled.

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