More than simply profiles of more than one person, these collected biographies focus on relationships and reveal insight into their subjects’ time and place in history.
Lucia: A Venetian Life in the Age of Napoleon by Andrea di Robilant
The world of late 18th and early 19th century Venice is described through the letters Lucia Mocenigo wrote to her sister detailing the lives of the Venetian aristocracy, the fall of Venice to Napoleon and her relationship with the Empress Josephine.
Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World by Liaquat Ahamed
A portrait of four men, whose personal and professional actions as heads of their respective central banks changed the course of the twentieth century, provides an overview of the world economic collapse during the late 1920s.
The Book of Dead Philosophers by Simon Critchley
The author presents a compilation of the writings from prominent philosophers providing their points of view on death, with details of how they actually died.
Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different by Gordon S. Wood
An analysis of America’s founding leaders identifies the qualities that enabled them to make pivotal contributions to the country’s formation.
The Brothers Bulger: How They Terrorized and Corrupted Boston for a Quarter Century by Howie Carr
A portrait of Boston’s infamous Bulger brothers Whitey and Billy, one the city’s most feared mobster and the other a powerful Massachusetts State senator.
America’s First Dynasty: The Adamses, 1735-1918 by Richard Brookhiser
Four Adams men had major effects on their times: John Adams and his son John Quincy were presidents, John Quincy’s son Charles served as a distinguished diplomat and Charles’ son Henry was an eminent writer.
My Thoughts Be Bloody: The Bitter Rivalry Between Edwin and John Wilkes Booth That Led to An American Tragedy by Nora Titone
John Wilkes Booth was desperate for his alcoholic father’s approval and jealous of his brother Edwin who was known as the greatest actor of the 19th century.
One Drop: My Father’s Hidden Life, A Story of Race and Family Secrets by Bill Broyard
The daughter of the late literary critic Anatole Broyard recounts her father’s deathbed revelation about his Creole heritage, a confession the author investigated during a visit to unknown family members in New Orleans.
The Peabody Sisters: Three Women Who Ignited American Romanticism by Megan Marshall
Elizabeth, Mary and Sophia Peabody participated as editors, writers and reformers in the American Romanticism movement, a late-19th century reaction against the Industrial Revolution and scientific rationalization.
Archie and Amelie: Love and Madness in the Gilded Age by Donna M. Lucey
The marriage between Archie Chanler, the troubled heir to the Astor fortune, and Amelie Rives, a beautiful but tortured novelist, began at the height of society and ended in madness and drug addiction.
Love Letters: A Mennonite Courtship by Paul J. Lehman
Paul and Naomi, raised in the families of neighboring Mennonite Bishops and now married 57 years, rediscovered love letters written during their four-year courtship that began in 1938.
A Thousand Miles of Dreams: The Journeys of Two Chinese Sisters by Sasha Su-ling Welland
The author presents the story of her grandmother, who won a scholarship in 1925 to study medicine in the United States, and her great-aunt, a writer and painter who remained in China until 1945.
The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million by Daniel Mendelsohn
Entranced by the stories his grandfather told about growing up in a small Ukraine town, the author sets out to discover the fate of his grandfather’s oldest brother, his wife and four daughters lost during WWII and believed killed by the Nazis.
Two Lives by Vikram Seth
The author’s uncle Shanti Behari Seth was sent from India to Germany as a young man in the 1930s to study medicine and dentistry where he met Helga, a Jewish German he later married.
Consuelo and Alva Vanderbilt: The Story of a Daughter and a Mother in the Gilded Age by Amanda Mackenzie Stuart
Alva Vanderbilt was determined to take her family to the extreme height of social prominence and she engineered the marriage of her daughter to the Duke of Marlborough in 1895.
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Originally published on June 28, 2013 in the Lititz Record Express.