Biography

Frequency Hopping

Hedy’s Folly avoids the pitfalls of other books about Lamarr, starting with the star’s own memoir, Ecstasy and Me. These volumes ultimately fail to ca

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The Voyage In

Alexandra Harris says that “much of Virginia Woolf’s writing life was devoted to … exposing the falsity involved in defining anyone as ‘this’ or ‘that

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The Call to Order

One closes this book feeling more than a little mentally repelled. Nobody who spends a goodly part of their leisure-time walking the English landscape

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The Unexamined Socrates

Paul Johnson’s Socrates aims to remove the mystery. Johnson writes in a robust, bluff tone. As he summarizes Socrates’s life and thought, he doesn’t m

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Irresistible

To read a full life of Steve McQueen is a strain on interest, but two minutes of Bullitt and you recall his coiled, lethal impact. He was beautiful on

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The Hater

Reinhard Heydrich might well have been the cruelest among the many cruel National Socialist leaders. Even though Heydrich has entered history as one o

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Richard Brookhiser saves his central argument for his final pages, and it might have been wiser to bring it out more explicitly much earlier. Madison

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The Star that Barked

Susan Orlean has done a fine job with this book, and it is to be numbered among the best Hollywood biographies. She seizes the bone at the end of her

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The Wendy Chronicles

Wendy Wasserstein may not belong in the ranks of the greatest American Jewish writers, but like Neil Simon before her, she helped to popularize the Je

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All Hat and No Cattle

There are (considering his enduring popularity with modern historians) surprisingly few biographies of Alcibiades. So how does P.J. Rhodes deal with h

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