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Nation Topics - Biography


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The career of W.C. Minor is a reminder that the legacy of Yale's lexicographers is no less noteworthy than that of its deconstructionists.

For William James, all our certitudes depend on the pretense that there are no radical mysteries underlying them.

Robert Gottlieb's vigorous biography of Sarah Bernhardt shows the actress in all her workaholic, passionate and unsentimental force.

Ed Koch rebuilt New York City by demolishing its long-running experiments in urban liberalism.

Justice William Brennan's watchword was human dignity, and to protect it he interpreted individual rights expansively.

Poisoning the Press tells the tale of Jack Anderson's fall from muckraking hero to blustering pundit.

The enigma of George Price: He derived an equation for the evolution of altruism, yet he died believing himself a failed good Samaritan.

Emily Dickinson's reclusiveness was a way of protecting the world from herself.

Like Charles Dickens's Gradgrind, Justice Louis Brandeis wanted facts.

Ayn Rand was a melodramatist of the moral life: the battle is between the producer and the moochers, and it must end in life or death.


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

November 22, 2010