Life Stories: Biographies of Great Americans

River of DoubtThe River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey by Candice Millard
After a disastrous political defeat, the intrepid Roosevelt and his son undertake a treacherous Amazonian voyage, complete with cannibals.  Surmounting all obstacles, they survive to tell the tale.

John Adams by David McCullough
McCullough masterfully describes the complex life of one of the most important men in our history.  Irascible, brilliant, visionary, scrupulously honest and a loving husband, Adams is a captivating character. 

Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years by Sarah Louise and Annie Elizabeth Delany, with Amy Hill Hearth  
Appealing centenarian sisters offer a glimpse into the immense changes they as black Americans have experienced, and even helped create, in the past century.  Told with everyday wisdom and humor.

The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family by Annette Gordon-Reed
Winner of the National Book Award, this examination of the interwoven families of Thomas Jefferson, his slave Sally Hemings and their children highlights complexities of race and relationships in early America.   

American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin
Oppenheimer’s life, after the release of the atom bomb he created, is an example of the unexpected consequences of being caught in the intersection between science and power: both thrilling and crushing.

        ~ Ann & Misha, Central

This entry was posted in BOOKS, History and Biography, LISTS, Nonfiction and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Life Stories: Biographies of Great Americans

  1. Audrey says:

    These all sound fascinating! I especially love the ones which represent voices we don’t often hear.

    However, for a good, straightforward biography of a prominent figure, I really like Walter Isaacson’s Benjamin Franklin: An American Life. It’s not a groundbreaking perspective, but his writing style is light and enjoyable.

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