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Biography news and analysis from The Nation
October 4, 2021
Was Jimmy Carter an Outlier?
Politicians say things to get elected and then, once in office, do otherwise; that’s politics. But Carter demanded that we grade him on a curve.
July 28, 2021
What Happened to Andrew Cuomo?
tracks how the son of a progressive New York governor transformed into one focused on one thing above all else: power.
June 9, 2021
Behind the Hedonist Persona of Francis Bacon
Annalyn Swan and Mark Stevens’s comprehensive study of the British artist is a sensitive investigation into his artistic identity.
June 8, 2021
The Anti-Nostalgia of Walker Evans
A recent biography reveals the many contradictions of the photographer who fastidiously documented postwar American life.
May 4, 2021
Graham Greene’s God
As a new biography shows, the British novelist was always haunted by, and uncertain about, his own faith.
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April 30, 2021
Philip Roth and His Defensive Fans Are Their Own Worst Enemies
Why did it take a sexual assault scandal to raise red flags about a deeply flawed biography?
April 28, 2021
Blake Bailey’s Life as a Man
The disgraced writer’s Philip Roth biography is a document of a misogynist literary world. But I had to read the book to get the whole story.
April 20, 2021
Joe From Scranton
Since Biden has taken office, he has signed a wide array of legislation into law. But once the more immediate emergencies have passed, will he have the will and desire to enact a set of more radical and permanent policies?
April 19, 2021
Was Marx Also a Social Democrat?
In a new book, Shlomo Avineri explores the social democratic impulses and Jewish origins of Karl Marx.
April 5, 2021
The General, the Mistress, and the Love Stories That Blind Us
Vernadette Vicuña Gonzalez discusses her new book on Isabel Cooper, a Filipina American actress and Douglas MacArthur’s lover.