So he checked himself into an insane asylum. There, from the perspective of a travel writer, he described his own journey through this strange and foreign place. Today, you cant read a page in the book without seeing him bump, unknowingly, into the basic principles of 12-step groups and then thwarted by well-meaning doctors (like the one who decides hes cured and can start drinking again). On a regular basis, he says things so clear, so self-aware that youre stunned an addict could have written itshocked that this book isnt a classic American text. Yet all his books are out of print and hard to find. Two of my copies are first editions from 19It breaks your heart to know that just a few years or decades later, his options (and outcome) would have been so very different (he eventually died of an opium overdose). No hiding Place and Asylum are indescribably good.
Biography autobiography ebooks
The writer has a voice that is utterly unique. Since reading this book, i have explored all of this further: I studied Zemurray (whose house was not far from mine in New Orleans and still stands) and use his story in my latest book the Obstacle Is The way. I interviewed the author, rich Cohen. The book has all sorts of things going for it: its the American Dream, its history via microcosm, its drama/violence/intrigue, and its a course in business rmit strategy and leadership. Empire State of Mind: How jay-z went from Street Corner to corner Office by zack omalley greenburg buy on Amazon Just because i didnt want this list to be all stuffy old classics, i thought Id put this interesting (and unofficial) biography of jay-z. This is a biography that also functions as a business book. It shows how jay report applied hustling techniques to the music business and eventually built his empire. And related to that, i also recommend The 50th Law, which while not technically a biography tells the stories of many such individuals and will stick with you just as long. No hiding Place: An Autobiography asylum: An Alcoholic takes the cure by william seabrook in 1934, william seabrook was one of the most famous journalists in the world. He was also an alcoholic. But there was no treatment for his disease.
First Ladies hadnt done anything in decades besides party planning and a few of her predecessors had had nervous breakdowns. She wanted to do something different. This is a book about her political and social acumenher ability to turn a meaningless position into a powerful platform for change and influence. I read this book and came away so impressed. We can learn a lot. The fish That Ate the Whale: The life and Times of Americas Banana salon king by rich Cohen buy on Amazon The book sucked me in completely. The subject, samuel Zemurray, is fascinating and compelling.
It just had to be a sweeping, conclusive picture of the man. Modern enough to be historically accurate, old enough to still have respect for ambition. No question, this is a big book but I learned a lot. For instance, i had no idea that Edison had been mostly deaf (and that that deafness fueled and improved many of his sound inventions). I didnt know about his friendship with Henry ford or what a shrewd businessman Edison was. If you like big biographies, read this. Eleanor roosevelt Volume One and Volume Two by Blanche weisen cook buy on Amazon The prospects Eleanor roosevelt faced when she entered the White house were not good.
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You can basically understand the entire period of American history from the civil War through wwi through one man who saw it all. Great sponsorship biography of politics, the press, and resume American society. Eisenhower in War and peace by jean Edward Smith, i did not fully appreciate what a strategic and political genius Eisenhower was until this book. He won wwii, ended Korea, kept us (mostly) out of vietnam, twice prevented the use of nuclear weapons (which sent a world changing precedent and those are the big ones in the book. He was a master of making it all look easywhich is why i think we forget to study him. Boyd: The fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War by robert Coram buy on Amazon boyd was a world class fighter pilot who changed warfare and strategy not just in the air, but on the ground and by sea.
His concepts pioneered the modern concept of maneuver warfare (and were used for the first Gulf War). His method of problem solving and problem analysis known as the ooda loop is now used in boardrooms and everywhere else. He also perfected the art of Getting Things Done whether that was in war or in the bureaucracy of the pentagon. You need to know and understand John boyd. Edison: a biography by matthew Josephson buy on Amazon Older biographies are better in my experience. This one is 50 years old and thats right in the sweet spot. It didnt have to be trendy, it didnt have to psychoanalyze, it didnt have to be political correct or controversial.
Paul Johnson is the kind of author whose sweeping judgements you can trust, so you leave this book with what feels like a very solid understanding of who his subjects are a people. Totto-Chan: The little girl at the window by tetsuko kuroyanagi. Buy on Amazon, the book has sold something like 5 million copies in Japan, which is insane. Totto-Chan is a special figure in modern Japanese culture—she is a celebrity on par with Oprah or Ellen, with a magazine, news show and exalted position to boot. The book describes a childhood in pre-wwii japan as a poorly misunderstood girl who obviously suffered from attention disorders and excess energy. It wasnt until she met a special school principal—unlike any i have ever heard of—who finally got her.
And I mean understood and cared about and unconditionally supported her in a way that both inspires me and makes me deeply jealous. If only all of us could be so lucky. All the Great Prizes: The life of John hay, from Lincoln to roosevelt by john Taliaferro, buy on Amazon. I had this recommended to me by a random old lady in an elevator in Austin. I suppose you never know where good book recommendations come from but this one turned out to be fascinating surprise. In his early 20s, john hay started as a teenage legal assistant in the law office of Abraham Lincoln. He ended his career as the secretary of State for William McKinley and Theodore roosevelt. How nuts is that?
Roald Dahl - author
Apparently, because this book. Its 1,000 pages and youll read and learn from every single one. It is incredibly long, but as one of the first books someone gave me when I moved to hollywood, it holds a special sway over. Like huey long and Willie stark, robert Moses was a man who got power, loved power and was transformed by power. We can learn from himmostly what not to be and who not to become. Buy on Amazon. Socrates: a man For Our Times, napoleon: a life, and, churchill by paul Johnson, these are short, clear, but eye-opening biographies from paul Johnson as part of a series. I strongly shredder suggest reading all of them. Each is a fascinating figure for their own reasons.
teaches us to be like the subject or often, to be nothing like the subject. I have not lived many years so my selection of biographies is only just getting started. I imagine i will take and add to these favorites the older I get and the more i read :. Plutarchs lives Volumes One two by Plutarch, buy on Amazon, there are few books more influential and ubiquitous in Western culture than Plutarchs histories. Aside from being the basis of much of Shakespeare, he was one of Montaignes favorite writers. His biographies and sketches of Pericles, demosthenes, Themistocles, cicero, alexander the Great, caesar, fabius, are all excellentand full of powerful anecdotes. The power Broker by robert Caro. Buy on Amazon, could the biography of the former parks commissioner of New York be the definitive study of power and legacy?
Theres a reason—its some of the most actionable and educational reading you can. Think about it, a biography is shredder a sweeping portrait of a life or a career. It covers vast swaths of material that the author must make immediately understood within the context of an individual and their life. To understand george washington, you have to understand the American revolution. To understand Rockefeller, you have to explain the gilded Age. To understand Amelia earhart, the author must make real to the reader what it was like to be a woman in the early 1900s. Often times, they do it better than books specifically about those topicsbecause there is a narrative and a lens through which to access the themes.
Author James Patterson, biography and Career Profile
Biography and True stories books whsmith. Refine by, pack size, price, size, age. Location, period, qualification, product Type, format. Season, products per page, copyright whsmith and its suppliers. Whsmith High Street Limited Greenbridge road, Swindon, wiltshire, united Kingdom, sn3 3ld, vat. Håkan Dahlström, smart people read biographies. Generalizations are usually worthless, but you can pretty much take this one to the bank. Look at their libraries and youll see, one biography and memoir and autobiography after another. Of course, they read other thingsits called online being well roundedbut biographies are usually the core.