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Old 07-21-2008, 03:40 AM   #1
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Best Biography ever written?

Auto or not. What is the best biography you've ever read?

The purpose of this thread isn't to decide what the best biography ever is. But for me to figure out what ones people have read and enjoyed so that I also may read and enjoy them. I'm going through a reading phase.

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Old 07-21-2008, 04:40 AM   #2
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Re: Best Biography ever written?

The best one I've read recently was John Adams by David McCullough. Knowing only what I'd read in history books it was fascinating to get a complete portrait of the man. McCullough does a great job of creating the world that he lived in and the driving motivations that led him to help start a revolution.
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Old 07-21-2008, 05:28 AM   #3
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Re: Best Biography ever written?

For me its not so much who writes the biography but the subject. The people I find fascinating I read and enjoy by any author who writes about them.
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Old 07-21-2008, 05:53 AM   #4
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Re: Best Biography ever written?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Number27 View Post
The best one I've read recently was John Adams by David McCullough. Knowing only what I'd read in history books it was fascinating to get a complete portrait of the man. McCullough does a great job of creating the world that he lived in and the driving motivations that led him to help start a revolution.
McCullough's biography on Truman is also really good.
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Old 07-21-2008, 06:00 AM   #5
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Re: Best Biography ever written?

I usually only read autobiographies, and the best I can recall was The Moon's a Balloon by David Niven. Especially the part where he house-shared with Errol Flynn. Errol Flynn was unbelievable.


I also liked Michael Caine's one an awful lot.
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Old 07-21-2008, 06:22 AM   #6
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Re: Best Biography ever written?

Hence the phrase "In like Flynn"
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Old 07-21-2008, 06:40 AM   #7
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Re: Best Biography ever written?

autobiography of malcolm x

autobiography of lucky luciano

and

the greatest


were my favorites.
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Old 07-21-2008, 06:42 AM   #8
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Re: Best Biography ever written?

Beyond Band of Brothers - The War Memoirs of Maj. Dick Winters

does that count?
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Old 07-21-2008, 07:08 AM   #9
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Re: Best Biography ever written?

Isn't really a biography, but Spirit of The Age by William Hazlitt is very worth reading. Basicially it contains chapter-long mini-biographical articles on prominent public figures from the early 1800s, including Lord Byron, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Robert Southey, Jeremy Bentham, Thomas Malthus, Sir Walter Scott, William Wilberforce etc etc.

I found it very interesting and Hazlitt writes extremely well. It's even on Project Gutenburg http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/11068

I also recently read Room Full of Mirrors by Charles R. Cross, a biography of Hendrix. It wasn't bad.
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Old 07-21-2008, 07:40 AM   #10
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Re: Best Biography ever written?

The Greatest is also pretty damn good
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Old 07-21-2008, 09:31 AM   #11
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Re: Best Biography ever written?

I'd have to put "The Diary of Anne Frank" up there.
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Old 07-21-2008, 10:20 AM   #12
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Re: Best Biography ever written?

For me it's "It's Not About the Bike", by Lance Armstrong. The guy is a real hero of mine.
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Old 07-21-2008, 10:28 AM   #13
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Re: Best Biography ever written?

The best one I've read recently is "American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer". Really just a phenomenal book. I wrote a review about it in the "What are you reading tonight thread".
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Old 07-21-2008, 11:03 AM   #14
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Re: Best Biography ever written?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleChamp View Post
autobiography of malcolm x

autobiography of lucky luciano

and

the greatest


were my favorites.
Definitely. That book should be required reading at all schools. It's just amazing to see the dramatic swings in Malcolm X's life as he traveled towards his ultimate ideology of unity, which then became his downfall. It's not just an interesting read, but very easy, and his charm and charisma emanate through the words.
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Old 07-21-2008, 11:40 AM   #15
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Re: Best Biography ever written?

i read a good one on teddy roosevelt, is was good because they said he was really sickly as a child but then become like a rugged cowboy,

weird though they didn't mention mental illness but then today i read he's supposed to be bipolar
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