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1 - The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X

Les Payne · Liveright

An epic biography of Malcolm X finally emerges, drawing on hundreds of hours of the author's interviews, rewriting much of the known narrative. Beginning in 1990 on a quest that would consume him for the rest of his life, the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Les Payne...
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2 - Sontag: Her Life and Work

Benjamin Moser · Ecco

The definitive portrait of one of the American Century's most towering intellectuals: her writing and her radical thought, her public activism and her hidden private face

No writer is as emblematic of the American twentieth century as Susan Sontag. Mythologized and misunderstood,...

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3 - The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke

Jeffrey C Stewart · Oxford University Press, USA

A tiny, fastidiously dressed man emerged from Black Philadelphia around the turn of the century to mentor a generation of young artists including Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and Jacob Lawrence and call them the New Negro -- the creative African Americans whose art, literature,...
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4 - Prairie Fires: The Life and Times of Laura Ingalls Wilder

CAROLINE FRASER · Metropolitan Books

The first comprehensive historical biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder, the beloved author of the Little House on the Prairie book series

Millions of readers of Little House on the Prairie believe they know Laura Ingalls -- the pioneer girl who survived blizzards and near-starvation...

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5 - The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between


The acclaimed memoir of a son's search for the truth behind his father's disappearance - one of The New York Times Book Review's ten best books of the year and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the PEN/Jean Stein Book AwardNAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS...
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6 - Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life

William Finnegan · Penguin Press

**Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Autobiography**

A deeply rendered self-portrait of a lifelong surfer by the acclaimed New Yorker writer

Barbarian Days is William Finnegan's memoir of an obsession, a complex enchantment. Surfing only looks like a sport. To initiates,...

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7 - The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe

David I. Kertzer · Random House; 1st Edition, 1st Printing edition

PULITZER PRIZE WINNER From National Book Award finalist David I. Kertzer comes the gripping story of Pope Pius XI's secret relations with Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. This groundbreaking work, based on seven years of research in the Vatican and Fascist archives, including reports...
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8 - Margaret Fuller: A New American Life

Megan Marshall · Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Biography   From an early age, Margaret Fuller provoked and dazzled New Englands intellectual elite. Her famous Conversations changed womens sense of how they could think and live her editorship of the Transcendentalist literary journal the Dial shaped...
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9 - The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo

Tom Reiss · Crown Trade

Here is the remarkable true story of the real Count of Monte Cristo - a stunning feat of historical sleuthing that brings to life the forgotten hero who inspired such classics as The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers.

The real-life protagonist of The...

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10 - George F. Kennan: An American Life

John Lewis Gaddis · Penguin Press HC, The; First Edition edition

Winner of the Pulitzer PrizeWinner of the National Book Critics Circle AwardSelected by The New York Times Book Review as a Notable Book of the Year Drawing on extensive interviews with George Kennan and exclusive access to his archives, an eminent scholar of the Cold War delivers a revelatory...
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11 - Washington: A Life

Ron Chernow · Penguin Press HC, The

From National Book Award winner Ron Chernow, a landmark biography of George Washington. In Washington: A Life celebrated biographer Ron Chernow provides a richly nuanced portrait of the father of our nation. With a breadth and depth matched by no other one-volume life of Washington, this...
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12 - The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt

T.J. Stiles · Knopf; First Edition edition

NATIONAL BESTSELLERWINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARDIn this groundbreaking biography, T.J. Stiles tells the dramatic story of Cornelius “Commodore” Vanderbilt, the combative man and American icon who, through his genius and force of will, did more than perhaps any other...
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13 - American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House

Jon Meacham · Random House

A thought-provoking study of Andrew Jackson chronicles the life and career of a self-made man who went on to become a military hero and seventh president of the United States, critically analyzing Jackson's seminal role during a turbulent era in history, the political crises and personal...
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14 - Eden's Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father

John Matteson · W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition

The beloved author of Little Women was torn between pleasing her idealistic father and planting her feet in the material world. Louisa May Alcott's name is known universally. Yet, during her youth, the famous Alcott was her father, Bronson—an eminent teacher, lecturer, and admired...
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15 - The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher

Debby Applegate · Doubleday

No one predicted success for Henry Ward Beecher at his birth in 1813. The blithe, boisterous son of the last great Puritan minister, he seemed destined to be overshadowed by his brilliant siblings—especially his sister, Harriet Beecher Stowe, who penned the century’s bestselling...
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16 - American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer

Kai Bird · Knopf; 1st edition

American Prometheus is the first full-scale biography of J. Robert Oppenheimer, "father of the atomic bomb," the brilliant, charismatic physicist who led the effort to capture the awesome fire of the sun for his country in time of war. Immediately after Hiroshima, he became the most...
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17 - De Kooning: An American Master

Mark Stevens · Knopf; 1St Edition edition

Willem de Kooning is one of the most important artists of the twentieth century, a true painters painter whose protean work continues to inspire many artists. In the thirties and forties, along with Arshile Gorky and Jackson Pollock, he became a key figure in the revolutionary American...
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18 - Khrushchev: The Man and His Era

William Taubman · W. W. Norton

Winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize in Biography and the 2004 National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography. The definitive biography of the mercurial Soviet leader who succeeded and denounced Stalin. "The book is a gift, as fascinating as it is important." - Robert Legvold,...
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19 - Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson III

Robert A Caro · Knopf

Book Three of Robert A. Caro's monumental work, The Years of Lyndon Johnson - the most admired and riveting political biography of our era - which began with the best-selling and prizewinning The Path to Power and Means of Ascent.Master of the Senate carries Lyndon Johnson's story...
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20 - John Adams

David G McCullough · Simon & Schuster

The Pulitzer Prize-winning, bestselling biography of America's founding father and second president that was the basis for the acclaimed HBO series, brilliantly told by master historian David McCullough.In this powerful, epic biography, David McCullough unfolds the adventurous life...
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21 - W.E.B. Du Bois: The Fight for Equality and the American Century 1919-1963

David Levering Lewis · Henry Holt and Co.; 1st edition

The second volume of the Pulitzer Prize--winning biography that The Washington Post hailed as "an engrossing masterpiece"Charismatic, singularly determined, and controversial, W.E.B. Du Bois was a historian, novelist, editor, sociologist, founder of the NAACP, advocate of women's...
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