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biography



  • Widow, slaveholder, mother of our first president

    by Marjoleine Kars

    Eager to uncover the real Mary, Martha Saxton, an emerita historian at Amherst College who has written biographies of Louisa May Alcott and Jayne Mansfield, set out to paint a more true-to-life portrait.


  • Ilhan Omar is a Reconstruction Reformer

    by William Horne

    The failure to hold the race-baiting press, politicians, and vigilantes responsible during Reconstruction undermined any semblance of equality for more than 100 years. We can't make the same mistake. 



  • The self-made man

    by Manisha Sinha

    Manisha Sinha on the long and eventful life of Frederick Douglass.



  • Jonathan Freedland: Review of Jonathan Sperber's "Karl Marx: A Nineteenth-Century Life"

    Jonathan Freedland is an editorial page columnist for The Guardian of London.The Karl Marx depicted in Jonathan Sperber’s absorbing, meticulously researched biography will be unnervingly familiar to anyone who has had even the most fleeting acquaintance with radical politics. Here is a man never more passionate than when attacking his own side, saddled with perennial money problems and still reliant on his parents for cash, constantly plotting new, world-changing ventures yet having trouble with both deadlines and personal hygiene, living in rooms that some might call bohemian, others plain “slummy,” and who can be maddeningly inconsistent when not lapsing into elaborate flights of theory and unintelligible abstraction.

  • President Barack Obama: The First Draft of History

    by Kathryn Moore

    The following is excerpted from The American President by Kathryn Moore, published by Barnes & Noble Books in 2013 (678 pages, $19.95).  It covers the life of Barack H. Obama and his presidency through his election to a second term in 2012.  For more information, go to: TheAmericanPresident.US. President Barack Obama on December 6, 2012. Credit: Wiki Commons.Table of Contents•Childhood •Hawaii •College •Community Organizing in Chicago •Africa •Harvard •Marriage •Launch of Political Career •State Politics •Senator •Campaign for the Presidency



  • 2 Female Biographers ‘Find’ 2 Female Historians

    Nineteenth-century female historians with minimal formal education but ambition and numerous servants documented world events in ways that are still admired and quoted.Two new biographies cover female antiquarians who invented themselves and became famous but maddeningly did not preserve their own archives.Sarah Losh, a historian and self-taught architect in a northern English village, traveled around Europe taking notes about streetscapes and rituals. She designed clusters of school and religious buildings near her home in Wreay, partly based on ancient and medieval ruins that she visited. She destroyed much of her writings, but her brilliance was recorded in the remembrances of friends and relatives....