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Biography / Autobiography

Will to Live

Will to Live

$21.95
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This story of a Jewish family's survival in Nazi-occupied Poland by assuming "Aryan" identities shows the Starkopf family's courage and tremendous will to live. The book documents their journey from Warsaw to the immediate vicinity of one of the most frightful places on earth--the Treblinka death camp. The Starkopfs survive on false papers and false identities as they witness the tragedy of millions.
William & Catherine

William & Catherine

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""I'd been carrying around the ring with me....I would not let it go. You hear a lot of ""horror stories about proposing and things go horribly wrong, but it went really, really well." "--HRH, Prince William of Wales

The marriage of Prince William to Catherine Middleton is one of the most significant royal events of recent times. As second in line to the throne, the elder son of the much mourned Diana, Princess of Wales-whose famous sapphire and diamond engagement ring he bestowed on his future bride-William embodies the hopes and expectations of millions of people around the world. And as a "commoner" who will become a princess, Catherine brings romance and freshness to a very traditional union.
Acclaimed biographer Andrew Morton, who was trusted by Diana herself to recount her true story to the outside world, has been covering Prince William since birth. Now he brings his unique insights to this portrait of the histories and characters of the bride and groom-from their family backgrounds, their childhoods, and the early days of their relationship at university, through their ups and downs as a couple in the public eye, their private engagement in Kenya, and all the glamour and drama of the wedding itself. Lavishly illustrated with color photographs, both a chronicle and a lasting memento of a day to remember, "William & Catherine" brings us both the public spectacle and the private moments as only the author of "Diana: Her True Story "can reveal them.

William Howard Taft Presidency

William Howard Taft Presidency

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The only president to later serve as chief justice of the United States, William Howard Taft remarked in the 1920s that I don't remember that I ever was President. Historians have agreed, and Taft is usually portrayed, when written about at all, as nothing more than a failed chief executive. In this provocative new study, the first treatment of the Taft presidency in four decades, Lewis L. Gould presents a compelling assessment of Taft's accomplishments and setbacks in office. Rich in human interest and fresh analysis of the events of Taft's four years in Washington, Gould's book shows why Taft's presidency is very much worth remembering on its own terms.

Gould argues that Taft wanted to be president and had an ambitious agenda when he took power in March 1909. Approaching his duties more as a judge than as a charismatic executive in the mold of Theodore Roosevelt, Taft soon found himself out of step with public opinion. Gould shows how the Payne-Aldrich Tariff and the Ballinger-Pinchot controversy squandered Taft's political capital and prepared the ground for Democratic victories in the elections of 1910 and 1912. His seamless narrative provides innovative treatments of these crucial episodes to make Taft's presidency more understandable than in any previous account. On Canadian Reciprocity, Dollar Diplomacy, and international arbitration, Gould's well-researched work goes beyond earlier stale clichs about Taft's administration to link his tenure to the evolution of the modern presidency. Taft emerges as a hard-working but flawed executive who lacked the excitement of Theodore Roosevelt or the inspiration of Woodrow Wilson.

The break with Theodore Roosevelt in 1912 doomed the Taft presidency, and Gould supplies an evenhanded analysis of the erosion of their once warm friendship. At bottom, the two men clashed about the nature of presidential power, and Gould traces with insight how this personal and ideological rupture influenced the future of the Republican party and the course of American politics. In Gould's skilled hands, this neglected presidency again comes alive. Leaving the White House in 1913, Taft wrote that the people of the United States did not owe me another election. What his presidency deserved is the lively and wise appraisal of his record in office contained in this superb book.

William Jennings Bryan: A Godly Hero

William Jennings Bryan: A Godly Hero

$30.00
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An illuminating and dramatic biography of William Jennings Bryan that restores him to his place of importance in American history - as a hero and leader of the Christian left.
Bryan is remembered today mostly as the fundamentalist voice in the 1925 Scopes trial. But as Michael Kazin makes clear, he was a man of exceptional accomplishment. The most popular speaker of his time, he gained a vast and passionate following among both rural and urban Americans, to whom he embodied the righteousness of a pastor and the practical vision of a reform politician. As leader of a major political party, he was able to put the fight to improve the welfare of ordinary Americans in a moral and religious frame. He preached that the nation should expand the power of the federal government and counter the overweening power of banks and industrial corporations by legalizing strikes and supporting labor unions, banning private campaign spending, giving the vote to women, instituting a progressive income tax, and prohibiting the sale of alcohol.
At the 1896 Democratic convention, he delivered the famous Cross of Gold speech and made the fight against the gold standard, believing it was the cause of the nation's economic travails, his own Christian mission. Thereafter, the size of his following mushroomed: for the first time, millions outside the industrial north felt they had a champion with a chance to take power in Washington. Bryan became their "godly hero," in honor of whom they named their sons and to whom they wrote fervent letters of admiration. In 1896, 1900, and 1908, the Democratic Party nominated him to be its presidential candidate, relying on the discontent of the heartland to tip the balance in his favor. But despite his immense popularity, the Republican opposition was able to defeat him each time.
Yet Bryan's legacy in American political history is enormous. He did more than any other man to transform the Democratic Party from a bulwark of laissez-faire into the citadel of liberalism we identify with Franklin D. Roosevelt. As secretary of state, Bryan helped craft the idealistic foreign policies of Woodrow Wilson before resigning in protest against the administration's drift toward entering World War I.
This is the first major biography of Bryan in almost forty years--and the first to draw on the countless letters Bryan received from his followers as well as on his speeches and the lively journalism of his time. The result is a clarifying portrait both of a seminal figure in the history of our national politics and religion and of the richly diverse and volatile political landscape in America during the early twentieth century.
William Maxwell: A Literary Life

William Maxwell: A Literary Life

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Known as a beloved, longtime fiction editor at The New Yorker, William Maxwell worked closely with such legendary writers as Vladimir Nabokov, John Updike, Mary McCarthy, and John Cheever. His own novels include They Came Like Swallows and the American Book Award-winning So Long, See You Tomorrow, and many consider him to be one of the twentieth century's most important writers. Barbara Burkhardt's William Maxwell: A Literary Life represents the first major critical study of this Illinois writer's life and work.

Writing with an economy and elegance befitting her subject, Burkhardt addresses Maxwell's highly autobiographical fiction by skillfully interweaving his biography with her own critical interpretations. She contextualizes his fiction in terms of events including his mother's early death from influenza, his marriage, and the role of his psychoanalysis under the guidance of Theodor Reik. Drawing on a wide range of previously unavailable material, Burkhardt includes letters Maxwell received from authors such as Eudora Welty and Louise Bogan, excerpts from his unpublished manuscripts and correspondence, and her own interviews with Maxwell and key figures from his life, including John Updike, Roger Angell, New Yorker fiction editor Robert Henderson, and Maxwell's family and friends.

William Shakespeare: World as Stage (Eminent Lives )

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William Shakespeare, the most celebrated poet in the English language, left behind nearly a million words of text, but his biography has long been a thicket of wild supposition arranged around scant facts. With a steady hand and his trademark wit, Bill Bryson sorts through this colorful muddle to reveal the man himself.

Bryson documents the efforts of earlier scholars, from today's most respected academics to eccentrics like Delia Bacon, an American who developed a firm but unsubstantiated conviction that her namesake, Francis Bacon, was the true author of Shakespeare's plays. Emulating the style of his famous travelogues, Bryson records episodes in his research, including a visit to a bunkerlike room in Washington, D.C., where the world's largest collection of First Folios is housed.

Bryson celebrates Shakespeare as a writer of unimaginable talent and enormous inventiveness, a coiner of phrases (vanish into thin air, foregone conclusion, one fell swoop) that even today have common currency. His Shakespeare is like no one else's--the beneficiary of Bryson's genial nature, his engaging skepticism, and a gift for storytelling unrivaled in our time.

William the Conqueror

William the Conqueror

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A landmark reinterpretation of the life of William the Conqueror--a pivotal figure in British and European history

"[The] definitive biography of the man who forever changed England with his invasion of 1066."--Tony Barber, "Best books of 2016," Financial Times

In this magisterial addition to the Yale English Monarchs series, David Bates combines biography and a multidisciplinary approach to examine the life of William the Conqueror. Using a framework derived from studies of early medieval kingship, he assesses each phase of William's life to establish why so many trusted him to invade England in 1066 and the consequences of this on the history of the so-called Norman Conquest after the Battle of Hastings and for generations to come.

A leading historian of the period, Bates is notable for having worked extensively in the archives of northern France and discovered many eleventh- and twelfth-century charters largely unnoticed by English-language scholars. Taking an innovative approach, he argues for a move away from old perceptions and controversies associated with William's life and the Norman Conquest. This deeply researched volume is the scholarly biography for our generation.

William Wells Brown

William Wells Brown

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Born into slavery in Kentucky, raised on the Western frontier on the farm adjacent to Daniel Boone's, "rented" out in adolescence to a succession of steamboat captains on the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, the young man known as "Sandy" reinvented himself as "William Wells" Brown after escaping to freedom. He lifted himself out of illiteracy and soon became an innovative, widely admired, and hugely popular speaker on antislavery circuits (both American and British) and went on to write the earliest African American works in a plethora of genres: travelogue, novel (the now canonized Clotel), printed play, and history. He also practiced medicine, ran for office, and campaigned for black uplift, temperance, and civil rights.

Ezra Greenspan's masterful work, elegantly written and rigorously researched, sets Brown's life in the richly rendered context of his times, creating a fascinating portrait of an inventive writer who dared to challenge the racial orthodoxies and explore the racial complexities of nineteenth-century America.

Willie Nelson's Letters to America

Willie Nelson's Letters to America

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Following his bestselling memoir, It's a Long Story, Willie Nelson now delivers his most intimate thoughts and stories in Willie Nelson's Letters to America.

A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestseller!

From his opening letter "Dear America" to his "Dear Willie" epilogue, Willie digs deep into his heart and soul--and his music catalog--to lift us up in difficult times, and to remind us of the endless promise and continuous obligations of all Americans--to themselves, to one another, and to their nation.

In a series of letters straight from the heart, Willie sends his thanks and his thoughts to:

  • Americans past, present, and future,
  • his closest family members, andhis parents, sister, and children,
  • his other family members
  • his guitar "Trigger",
  • his hero Gene Autry,
  • the US founding fathers,
  • his personal heroes, from our founding fathers to the leaders of future generations and to young songwriters as well as leaders of our future generations.
  • Willie's letters are rounded out with the moving lyrics to some of his most famous and insightful songs, including "Let Me Be a Man," "Family Bible," "Summer of Roses," "Me and Paul," "A Horse called Music," "Healing Hands of Time," and "Yesterday's Wine."

    Willie Nelson: An Epic Life

    Willie Nelson: An Epic Life

    $27.99
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    From his first performance at age four, Willie Nelson was driven to make music and live life on his own terms. But though he is a songwriter of exceptional depth - "Crazy" was one of his early classics - Willie only found success after abandoning Nashville and moving to Austin, Texas.

    Red Headed Stranger made country cool to a new generation of fans. Wanted: The Outlaws became the first country album to sell a million copies. And "On the Road Again" became the anthem for Americans on the move. A craggy-faced, pot-smoking philosopher, Willie Nelson is one of America's great iconoclasts and idols.

    Now Joe Nick Patoski draws on over 100 interviews with Willie and his family, band, and friends to tell Nelson's story, from humble Depression-era roots, to his musical education in Texas honky-tonks and his flirtations with whiskey, women, and weed; from his triumph with #1 hit "Always On My Mind" to his nearly career-ending battles with debt and the IRS; and his ultimate redemption and ascension to American hero

    Willie Nelson: The Outlaw

    Willie Nelson: The Outlaw

    $14.95
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    With a face that wouldn't look out of place carved into Mount Rushmore, Willie Nelson has done and seen it all. A dope-smoking, whisky-drinking, latter-day cowboy with Native American blood, four wives, and seven children, Nelson has acareer that spans half a century of American music. In this revealing, intimate, and insightful biography, Graeme Thomson goes beyond the myths, talking with Nelson himself, his band, and those who know him best to discover the real Willie Nelson. Nelson's life has been a journey of incredible highs and crashing lows. The armfuls of awards, huge record sales, famous friends, and creation of Farm Aid and his annual Fourth of July picnics have been achieved in the shadow of his mother's early desertion, penury, three turbulent marriages, drug busts, drinking, bankruptcy, and his son's suicide. This biography brilliantly describesa complex, compelling man, whose life and music reveal and reflect something fundamental at the very heart of 20th-century America, explaining along the way why Willie Nelson is nothing short of a living legend."
    Wilma Mankiller

    Wilma Mankiller

    $26.95
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    Wilma Pearl Mankiller's great-grandfather survived the deadly forced westward march of Native Americans known as the Trail of Tears. She rose to lead the Cherokee Nation more than 150 years later as principal chief, the first elected female chief of a Native nation in modern times. Throughout her reign from 1985-1995, cut short only by her own severe health challenges, she advocated for extensive community development, self-help, and education and healthcare programs that revitalized the Nation of 300,000 citizens. Wilma Mankiller will continue to shine as an inspirational example of the faith in her belief that ethnicity should never be forgotten--nor come before family unity, society, and country.
    Wilson

    Wilson

    $22.00
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    From the #1 New York Times bestselling author, a brilliant biography* of the 28th president of the United States.
    *Doris Kearns Goodwin

    One hundred years after his inauguration, Woodrow Wilson still stands as one of the most influential figures of the twentieth century, and one of the most enigmatic. And now, after more than a decade of research and writing, Pulitzer Prize-winning author A. Scott Berg has completed Wilson--the most personal and penetrating biography ever written about the twenty-eighth President.

    In addition to the hundreds of thousands of documents in the Wilson Archives, Berg was the first biographer to gain access to two recently discovered caches of papers belonging to those close to Wilson. From this material, Berg was able to add countless details--even several unknown events--that fill in missing pieces of Wilson's character, and cast new light on his entire life.

    From the visionary Princeton professor who constructed a model for higher education in America to the architect of the ill-fated League of Nations, from the devout Commander in Chief who ushered the country through its first great World War to the widower of intense passion and turbulence who wooed a second wife with hundreds of astonishing love letters, from the idealist determined to make the world "safe for democracy" to the stroke-crippled leader whose incapacity--and the subterfuges around it--were among the century's greatest secrets, from the trailblazer whose ideas paved the way for the New Deal and the Progressive administrations that followed to the politician whose partisan battles with his opponents left him a broken man, and ultimately, a tragic figure--this is a book at once magisterial and deeply emotional about the whole of Wilson's life, accomplishments, and failings. This is not just Wilson the icon--but Wilson the man.

    INCLUDES PHOTOGRAPHS

    Wilson

    Wilson

    $40.00
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    Longlisted for the 2014 PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography
    With the prescience that all truly great biographers possess, Berg discovered in Woodrow Wilson a figure who would understand Washington s current state of affairs. Vanity Fair
    A brilliant biography that still resonates in Washington today. Doris Kearns Goodwin

    From Pulitzer Prize winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author A. Scott Berg comes the definitive and revelatory biography of one of the great American figures of modern times.
    One hundred years after his inauguration, Woodrow Wilson still stands as one of the most influential figures of the twentieth century, and one of the most enigmatic. And now, after more than a decade of research and writing, Pulitzer Prize-winning author A. Scott Berg has completed Wilson--the most personal and penetrating biography ever written about the 28th President.
    In addition to the hundreds of thousands of documents in the Wilson Archives, Berg was the first biographer to gain access to two recently-discovered caches of papers belonging to those close to Wilson. From this material, Berg was able to add countless details--even several unknown events--that fill in missing pieces of Wilson s character and cast new light on his entire life.
    From the scholar-President who ushered the country through its first great world war to the man of intense passion and turbulence, from the idealist determined to make the world safe for democracy to the stroke-crippled leader whose incapacity and the subterfuges around it were among the century s greatest secrets, the result is an intimate portrait written with a particularly contemporary point of view a book at once magisterial and deeply emotional about the whole of Wilson s life, accomplishments, and failings. This is not just Wilson the icon but Wilson the man."
    Wind at My Back

    Wind at My Back

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    From celebrated ballerina and New York Times bestselling author Misty Copeland, a heartfelt memoir about her friendship with trailblazer Raven Wilkinson which captures the importance of mentorship, shared history, and honoring the past to ensure a stronger future.

    Misty Copeland made history as the first African-American principal ballerina at the American Ballet Theatre. Her talent, passion, and perseverance enabled her to make strides no one had accomplished before. But as she will tell you, achievement never happens in a void. Behind her, supporting her rise was her mentor Raven Wilkinson. Raven had been virtually alone in her quest to breach the all-white ballet world when she fought to be taken seriously as a Black ballerina in the 1950s and 60s. A trailblazer in the world of ballet decades before Misty's time, Raven faced overt and casual racism, hostile crowds, and death threats for having the audacity to dance ballet.

    The Wind at My Back tells the story of two unapologetically Black ballerinas, their friendship, and how they changed each other--and the dance world--forever. Misty Copeland shares her own struggles with racism and exclusion in her pursuit of this dream career and honors the women like Raven who paved the way for her but whose contributions have gone unheralded. She celebrates the connection she made with her mentor, the only teacher who could truly understand the obstacles she faced, beyond the technical or artistic demands.

    A beautiful and wise memoir of intergenerational friendship and the impressive journeys of two remarkable women, The Wind at My Back captures the importance of mentorship, of shared history, and of respecting the past to ensure a stronger future.

    Wind, Sand, and Stars

    Wind, Sand, and Stars

    $13.00
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    Recipient of the Grand Prix of the Academie Francaise, "Wind, Sand and Stars" is unsurprassed in capturing the grandeur, danger, and isolation of flight. Its exciting account of air adventure - through the treacherous passes of the Pyrenees, above the Sahara, along the snowy ramparts of the Andes - combined with lyrical prose and the soaring spirit of a philosopher, make this book one of the most popular works ever written about flying.
    Windsor Diaries

    Windsor Diaries

    $30.00
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    The never-before-published diaries of Alathea Fitzalan Howard--who spent her teenaged years living out World War II in Windsor Great Park with her close friends Princess Margaret and Princess Elizabeth, the future queen of the United Kingdom--provide an extraordinary and intimate look at the British Royal Family.

    Like so many others in Great Britain, young Alathea Fitzalan Howard's life was turned upside down by the start of the Second World War. Sent to stay with her grandfather at the historic Cumberland Lodge in Windsor Great Park, Alathea found the affection she so craved through her close friendship with the two princesses Elizabeth and Margaret, and their parents King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, her neighbors at nearby Windsor Castle.

    Together, the girls enjoyed parties, cinema evenings, picnics, and more, all recorded in honest and captivating detail in Alathea's diary, which she kept as a constant source of comfort. Day by day, from ages sixteen to twenty-two, she recorded the intimate details of her life with the Royal Family and the anxieties of wartime Britain. Now, published for the first time, these unique diaries unveil a candid and vivid portrait of the British Royal Family and of Princess Elizabeth in particular, the warm, quiet young girl who was already on her journey to her ultimate destiny: the Crown.

    Wine Girl

    Wine Girl

    $26.99
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    An affecting memoir from the country's youngest sommelier, tracing her path through the glamorous but famously toxic restaurant world


    At just twenty-one, the age when most people are starting to drink (well, legally at least), Victoria James became the country's youngest sommelier at a Michelin-starred restaurant. Even as Victoria was selling bottles worth hundreds and thousands of dollars during the day, passing sommelier certification exams with flying colors, and receiving distinction from all kinds of press, there were still groping patrons, bosses who abused their role and status, and a trip to the hospital emergency room.

    It would take hitting bottom at a new restaurant and restorative trips to the vineyards where she could feel closest to the wine she loved for Victoria to re-emerge, clear-eyed and passionate, and a proud leader of her own Michelin-starred restaurant.

    Exhilarating and inspiring, Wine Girlis the memoir of a young woman breaking free from an abusive and traumatic childhood on her own terms; an ethnography of the glittering, high-octane, but notoriously corrosive restaurant industry; and above all, a love letter to the restorative and life-changing effects of good wine and good hospitality.