Biography

On February 21, 1965, Malcolm X was shot and killed before a crowd of people at the Audubon Ballroom in Manhattan, New York. Fifty-two years after his death, Malcolm X remains a highly controversial figure who was both loved and feared by many for his views. Check out some of the biographies below to learn more about him.

A biography of the powerful leader in the struggle for blacks to acieve equality.

A biography of one of the Civil Rights' most prominent and controversial leaders.

My life, my love, my legacy by Coretta Scott King

Two extraordinary women-Coretta Scott King, wife of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Dr. Betty Shabazz, wife of Malcolm X-come to life in this film. After their husbands' tragic assassinations, they developed a unique friendship spanning three decades as they carried on the Civil Rights movement while supporting their families as single mothers. Through their strength and dignity, they became role models for millions of women.

According to a recent Gallup Poll, Americans are reading more than they used to; "the survey did not track the types of books that Americans read by age group, but book reading in general is fairly similar by age group among U.S. adults. It is a bit more prevalent among the oldest and youngest age groups than among those in the middle years. Roughly nine in 10 adults aged 18 to 29 (91%) report reading at least one book in the past year -- possibly related to the required reading among college students within this age group. The percentage among those aged 65 and older is 85%. Nearly four in 10 respondents in both age groups say they read more than 10 books.

The most meaningful differences in reading behavior since 2002 are evident among Americans aged 65 and older. Collectively, they are reading more books than the same age group did in 2002. The percentage reading one or more books increased from 68% to 85%, including a four-percentage-point increase in those reading 11 or more, from 33% to 37%."

 

Lennon on Lennon is an authoritative, chronologically arranged anthology of some of Lennon's most illuminating interviews, spanning the years 1964 to 1980. The majority have not been previously available in print, and several of the most important have not been widely available in any format. Interspersed throughout the book are key quotes from dozens of additional Q&As. Together, this material paints a revealing picture of the artist in his own words while offering a window into the cultural atmosphere of the sixties and seventies.

Curtis Mayfield was one of the seminal vocalists and most talented guitarists of his era. But perhaps more important is his role as a social critic, and the vital influence his music had on the civil rights movement. "People Get Ready" is the black anthem of the 1960s, and on his soundtrack to the 1972 movie Super Fly, rather than glorifying the blaxploitation imagery of the film, Mayfield wrote and sang one of the most incisive audio portraits of black America on record. In this book Todd Mayfield tells his famously private father's story in riveting detail. Born into dire poverty, raised in the slums of Chicago, Curtis became a musical prodigy, not only singing like a dream but also growing into a brilliant songwriter. In the 1960s he became a pioneer, opening his own label and production company and working with many other top artists, including the Staple Singers. Curtis's life was famously cut short by an accident that left him paralysed, but in his declining health he received the long-awaited recognition of the music industry. Passionate, illuminating, vivid, and absorbing, Traveling Soul will doubtlessly take its place among the classics of music biography.

Peter O'Toole was supremely talented, a unique leading man and one of the most charismatic actors of his generation. Described by his friend Richard Burton as "the most original actor to come out of Britain since the war," O'Toole was also unpredictable, with a dangerous edge he brought to his roles and to his real life. With the help of exclusive interviews with colleagues and close friends, Robert Sellers' Peter O'Toole: The Definitive Biography paints the first complete picture of this complex and much-loved man. The book reveals what drove him to extremes, why he drank to excess for many years and hated authority, but it also describes a man who was fiercely intelligent, with a great sense of humor and huge energy. Giving full weight to his extraordinary career, this is an insightful, funny, and moving tribute to an iconic actor who made a monumental contribution to theater and cinema.
 

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Richard A. Serrano's new book American Endurance: The Great Cowboy Race and the Vanishing Wild West is history, mystery, and Western all rolled into one. In June 1893, nine cowboys raced across a thousand miles of American prairie to the Chicago World's Fair. For two weeks they thundered past angry sheriffs, governors, and Humane Society inspectors intent on halting their race. Waiting for them at the finish line was Buffalo Bill Cody, who had set up his Wild West Show right next to the World's Fair that had refused to allow his exhibition at the fair. The Great Cowboy Race occurred at a pivotal moment in our nation's history: many believed the frontier was settled and the West was no more. The Chicago World's Fair represented the triumph of modernity and the end of the cowboy age. Except no one told the cowboys. Racing toward Buffalo Bill Cody and the gold-plated Colt revolver he promised to the first to reach his arena, nine men went on a Wild West stampede from tiny Chadron, Nebraska, to bustling Chicago. But at the first thud of hooves pounding on Chicago's brick pavement, the race devolved into chaos. Some of the cowboys shipped their horses part of the way by rail, or hired private buggies. One had the unfair advantage of having helped plan the route map in the first place. It took three days, numerous allegations, and a good old Western showdown to sort out who was first to Chicago, and who won the Great Cowboy Race.
 

No single sea battle has had more far-reaching consequences than the one fought in the harbor at Hampton Roads, Virginia, in March 1862. The Confederacy, with no fleet of its own, built an iron fort containing ten heavy guns on the hull of a captured Union frigate named the Merrimack. The North got word of the project when it was already well along, and, in desperation, commissioned an eccentric inventor named John Ericsson to build the Monitor, an entirely revolutionary iron warship—at the time, the single most complicated machine ever made. Abraham Lincoln himself was closely involved with the ship’s design. 

Expand your mind.  What's it like to go to war?  Why do Americans move so frequently?  A brilliant neurosurgeon learns he has inoperable cancer, read how he decides to meet this challenge.  Women 'rocket sciences'? Yes!

The average restless American will move 11.7 times in a lifetime. For Melody Warnick, it was move #6, from Austin, Texas, to Blacksburg, Virginia, that threatened to unhinge her. In the lonely aftermath of unpacking, she wondered : Aren't we supposed to put down roots at some point? How does the place we live become the place we want to stay? This time, she had an epiphany. Rather than hold her breath and hope this new town would be her family's perfect fit, she would figure out how to fall in love with it-- no matter what. How we come to feel at home in our towns and cities is what Warnick sets out to discover.

"From master storyteller and historian H.W. Brands, twice a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, comes the riveting story of how President Harry Truman and General Douglas MacArthur squared off to decide America's future in the aftermath of World War II. At the height of the Korean War, President Harry S. Truman committed a gaffe that sent shock waves around the world. When asked by a reporter about the possible use of atomic weapons in response to China's entry into the war, Truman replied testily, 'The military commander in the field will have charge of the use of the weapons, as he always has.' This suggested that General Douglas MacArthur, the willful, fearless, and highly decorated commander of the American and U.N. forces, had his finger on the nuclear trigger. A correction quickly followed, but the damage was done; two visions for America's path forward were clearly in opposition, and one man would have to make way. Truman was one of the most unpopular presidents in American history. Heir to a struggling economy, a ruined Europe, and increasing tension with the Soviet Union, on no issue was the path ahead clear and easy. General MacArthur, by contrast, was incredibly popular, as untouchable as any officer has ever been in America. The lessons he drew from World War II were absolute: appeasement leads to disaster and a showdown with the communists was inevitable--the sooner the better. In the nuclear era, when the Soviets, too, had the bomb, the specter of a catastrophic third World War lurked menacingly close on the horizon. The contest of wills between these two titanic characters unfolds against the turbulent backdrop of a faraway war and terrors conjured at home by Joseph McCarthy. From the drama of Stalin's blockade of West Berlin to the daring landing of MacArthur's forces at Inchon to the shocking entrance of China into the war, The General and the President vividly evokes the making of a new American era"--.

20 Great Reads for Black History Month

New York Times bestselling author Douglas Preston takes readers on an adventure deep into the Honduran jungle in this riveting, danger-filled true story about the discovery of an ancient lost civilization.

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