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Nation Topics - Biography


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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.

"There is such a thing as a moral atmosphere." So said Violet Gibson, the woman who shot Mussolini.

At Berkeley in 1964, Mario Savio embodied the need to speak and act in the face of doubt.

Terry Teachout's new biography of Louis Armstrong is stuck in the discophile groove.

The axis of moral struggle, a stroke of salvation--these are the spiritual dimensions of Tolstoy's late fiction.

Who is the purest archetype of the conservative legal movement, Antonin Scalia or John Roberts?

The novelist Dominique Fernandez struggles to understand his father's years as a Nazi collaborator.

Thelonious Monk was a more nuanced figure than the flimsy characterization of a way-out jazz cat could ever convey.

T.J. Stiles's The First Tycoon is a gilded portrait of the robber baron Cornelius Vanderbilt.


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

November 22, 2010