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Nation Topics - Biography


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The swirl of controversy over Jodi Kantor’s biography reflects deep cultural anxieties about the limits we place on women in power.

Ann Beattie

Ann Beattie is an artist of the things we don’t say, or can’t, and that find expression anyway.

Passport photograph of William Carlos Williams, 1921

A new biography shortchanges the poetic achievement of William Carlos Williams.

Gandhi and Hermann Kallenbach reunited, June 1937

Why was Joseph Lelyveld’s history of Gandhi’s years in South Africa attacked by India’s Hindu right?

A biographer's flawed attempt to rediscover the politics in the decidedly political life of Malcolm X.

Christopher Lasch

Christopher Lasch and his quest for the moral resources of the next New Deal.

Cigarette card, circa 1922–39

Bettany Hughes's biography of Socrates is a book that Socrates himself, on a mean day, would have torn to shreds.

Portraits of Stavin’ Chain and Wayne Perry performing, Lafayette, Louisiana

How Alan Lomax became the most significant Baedeker of America’s folkways.

Isaac Casaubon was a model citizen of the republic of letters—a community more durable than any church and broader than academia.

Dmitri Shostakovich

The musical and political strands of Dmitri Shostakovich's life were intertwined like the braids of a noose.


 A look back on John Lennon's New York years.

November 22, 2010