New Biographies

Paradise lost : a life of F. Scott Fitzgerald

Wed, 05/24/2017 - 12:38
by Brown, David S. (David Scott), 1966-
Publisher The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2017. ©2017
397 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
Books
Call Number B FITZGERALD
Summary Pigeonholed in popular memory as a Jazz Age epicurean, a playboy, and an emblem of the Lost Generation, F. Scott Fitzgerald was at heart a moralist struck by the nation's shifting mood and manners after World War I. In Paradise Lost, David Brown contends that Fitzgerald's deepest allegiances were to a fading antebellum world he associated with his father's Chesapeake Bay roots. Yet as a midwesterner, an Irish Catholic, and a perpetually in-debt author, he felt like an outsider in the haute bourgeoisie haunts of Lake Forest, Princeton, and Hollywood--places that left an indelible mark on his worldview. In this comprehensive biography, Brown reexamines Fitzgerald's childhood, first loves, and difficult marriage to Zelda Sayre. He looks at Fitzgerald's friendship with Hemingway, the golden years that culminated with Gatsby, and his increasing alcohol abuse and declining fortunes which coincided with Zelda's institutionalization and the nation's economic collapse. Placing Fitzgerald in the company of Progressive intellectuals such as Charles Beard, Randolph Bourne, and Thorstein Veblen, Brown reveals Fitzgerald as a writer with an encompassing historical imagination not suggested by his reputation as "the chronicler of the Jazz Age." His best novels, stories, and essays take the measure of both the immediate moment and the more distant rhythms of capital accumulation, immigration, and sexual politics that were moving America further away from its Protestant agrarian moorings. Fitzgerald wrote powerfully about change in America, Brown shows, because he saw it as the dominant theme in his own family history and life.--

Note to self

Wed, 05/24/2017 - 06:37
by Franta, Connor, 1992-
Publisher Keywords Press/Atria, 2017. ©2017
First Keywords Press/Atria books edition.
xi, 308 pages : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 22 cm
Books
Call Number XX(1623965.6)
Summary In his first memoir, A Work in Progress, Connor Franta shared his journey from small-town Midwestern boy to full-fledged Internet sensation. Now, two years later, Connor is ready to bring to light a side of himself he has rarely shown on or off camera. In this diary-like look at his life since A Work in Progress, Connor talks about his battles with clinical depression, social anxiety, self-love, and acceptance; his desire to maintain an authentic self in a world that values shares and likes over true connections; his struggles with love and loss; and his renewed efforts to be in the moment -- with others and himself. Told through short essays, letters to his past and future selves, poetry, and original photography, Note to Self is a raw, in-the-moment look at the interior life of a young creator turning inward in order to move forward.

Captain Fantastic : Elton John's stellar trip through the '70s

Sun, 05/21/2017 - 12:25
by Doyle, Tom, 1967-
Publisher Ballantine Books, [2017] ©2017
First edition.
xxiv, 302 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Books
Call Number B JOHN
Summary "Draws on first-person interviews to trace the iconic rock artist's meteoric rise in the 1970s, documenting his significant achievements and the private struggles that led to his suicide attempts and temporary retirement. By the author of Man on the Run."--NoveList. "Based on rare one-on-one interviews with the flamboyant rock 'n' roll icon, this is the first book to trace Elton John's meteoric rise from obscurity to worldwide celebrity in the wildest, weirdest decade of the twentieth century. In August 1970, Elton John achieved overnight fame with a rousing performance at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. Over the next five years, the artist formerly known as Reginald Dwight went from unheard of to unstoppable, scoring seven consecutive #1 albums and sixteen Top Ten singles in America. By the middle of the decade, he was solely responsible for 2 percent of global record sales. One in fifty albums sold in the world bore his name. Elton John's live shows became raucous theatrical extravaganzas, attended by all the glitterati of the era. But beneath the spangled bodysuits and oversized eyeglasses, Elton was a desperately shy man, conflicted about his success, his sexuality, and his narcotic indulgences. In 1975, at the height of his fame, he attempted suicide. After coming out as bisexual in a controversial Rolling Stone interview that nearly wrecked his career, and announcing his retirement from live performance in 1977 at the age of thirty, he gradually found his way back to the thing he cared about most: the music. Captain Fantastic gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at the rise, fall, and return to glory of one of the world's most mercurial performers. Rock journalist Tom Doyle's insider account of the Rocket Man's turbulent ascent is based on a series of one-on-one interviews in which Elton laid bare many previously unrevealed details of his early career. Here is an intimate exploration of Elton's working relationship with songwriting partner Bernie Taupin, whose lyrics often chronicled the ups and downs of their life together in the spotlight. Through these pages pass a parade of legends whose paths crossed with Elton's during the decade--including John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Groucho Marx, Katharine Hepburn, Princess Margaret, Elvis Presley, and an acid-damaged Brian Wilson. A fascinating portrait of the artist at the apex of his celebrity, Captain Fantastic takes us on a rollicking fame-and-drug-fueled ride aboard Elton John's rocket ship to superstardom."--Jacket.

Otis Redding : an unfinished life

Sun, 05/21/2017 - 12:25
by Gould, Jonathan, 1951-
Publisher Crown Archetype, [2017]
First edition.
viii, 533 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Books
Call Number B REDDING
Summary "Otis Redding remains an immortal presence in the canon of American music on the strength of such classic hits as "(Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay," "I've Been Loving You Too Long," "Try a Little Tenderness," and "Respect," a song he wrote and recorded before Aretha Franklin made it her own. As the architect of the distinctly southern, gospel-inflected style of rhythm & blues associated with Stax Records in Memphis, Redding made music that has long served as the gold standard of 1960s soul. Yet an aura of myth and mystery has always surrounded his life, which was tragically cut short at the height of his career by a plane crash in December 1967. In chronicling the story of Redding's life and music, Gould also presents a social history of the time and place from which they emerged. His book never lets us forget that the boundaries between black and white in popular music were becoming porous during the years when racial tensions were reaching a height throughout the United States. His indelible portrait of Redding and the mass acceptance of soul music in the 1960s is both a revealing look at a brilliant artist and a provocative exploration of the tangled history of race and music in America that resonates strongly with the present day" -- provided by publisher.

Toussaint Louverture : a revolutionary life

Sun, 05/21/2017 - 12:25
by Girard, Philippe R.,
Publisher Basic Books, [2016]
340 pages ; illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Books
Call Number B TOUSSAINT
Summary "Toussaint Louverture's life was one of hardship, triumph, and contradiction. It began on Saint-Domingue, the richest colony in the Western Hemisphere, where he witnessed first-hand the torture of the enslaved population. Yet he managed to earn his freedom and establish himself as a small-scale planter. He even purchased slaves of his own. In Toussaint Louverture, Philippe Girard tells the incredible tale of how Louverture transformed himself from lowly freedman to revolutionary hero. Working as a coachman for his wealthy, white owners, Louverture traveled across Saint-Domingue, building a network among slaves and free blacks that would form the basis of the slave revolt he engineered in 1791. What followed was a decade of unprecedented bloodletting: about 200,000 people in the colony of Saint-Domingue were killed in battle or murdered. By 1801, Louverture was general and governor of the colony, now called Haiti. But his lifelong quest to be accepted as a member of the French colonial elite ended in despair: in 1802, on Napoleon's orders, he was exiled to France, where he spent the last year of his life in a prison cell. Ten years in the making, Toussaint Louverture is based on extensive archival research in France, Britain, Spain, the United States, and the Caribbean. The book contains many revelations about Louverture's life, from a previously unknown first marriage to the circumstances of his manumission, his exact role in the outbreak of the 1791 Haitian slave revolt, his actions as governor of France's richest colony, and the tragic nature of his death"--Provided by publisher.

Dorothy Day : the world will be saved by beauty : an intimate portrait of my grandmother

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 06:08
by Hennessy, Kate, 1960-
Publisher Scribner, 2017.
First Scribner hardcover edition.
xii, 372 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Books
Call Number 267 HEN

Jefferson : architect of American liberty

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 06:08
by Boles, John B.,
Publisher Basic Books, [2017] ©2017
xi, 626 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Books
Call Number B JEFFERSON
Summary "As Alexander Hamilton's star has risen, Thomas Jefferson's has fallen, largely owing to their divergent views on race. Once seen as the most influential American champion of liberty and democracy, Jefferson is now remembered largely for his relationship with his slave Sally Hemings, and for electing not to free her or most of the other people he owned. In this magisterial biography, the eminent scholar John B. Boles does not ignore the aspects of Jefferson that trouble us today, but strives to see him in full, and to undertstand him amid the sweeping upheaval of his times. We follow Jefferson from his early success as an abnormally precocious student and lawyer in colonial Virginia through his drafting of the Declaration of Independence at age 33, his travels in Europe on the eve of the French Revolution, his acidic personal battles with Hamilton, his triumphant ascent to the presidency in 1801, his prodigious efforts to found the University of Virginia, and beyond. From Jefferson's inspiring defenses of political and religious liberty to his heterodox abridgment of Christian belief, Boles explores Jefferson's expansive intellectual life, and the profound impact of his ideas on the world. Boles overturns conventional wisdom at every turn, arguing, among other things, that Jefferson did not--as later southerners would--deem the states rightfully superior to the federal government. Yet Boles's view is not limited to politics and public life; we also meet Jefferson the architect, scientist, bibliophile, and gourmet--as well as Jefferson the gentle father and widower, doting on his daughters and longing for escape from the rancorous world of politics. As this authoritative, evenhanded portrait shows, Jefferson challenges us more thoroughly than any other founder; he was at once the most idealistic, contradictory, and quintessentially American of them all." --

Ernest Hemingway : a biography

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 12:05
by Dearborn, Mary V,
Publisher Alfred A. Knopf, 2017.
First edition.
738 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Books
Call Number BIO HEMINGWAY, ERNEST
Summary A full biography of Ernest Hemingway draws on a wide range of previously untapped material and offers particular insight into the private demons that both inspired and tormented him.

JFK : a vision for America in words and pictures

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 12:05
by Smith, Stephen Kennedy,
Publisher Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2017] ©2017
First Edition.
493 pages : illustrtions (some color) ; 28 cm
Books
Call Number 973.922 JFK

Rising star : the making of Barack Obama

Mon, 05/15/2017 - 05:52
by Garrow, David J., 1953-
Publisher William Morrow, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers, [2017] ©2017
First edition.
viii, 1460 pages : map ; 24 cm
Books
Call Number B OBAMA BARRACK
Summary "Barack Obama is arguably the most dynamic political figure to grace the American stage since John F. Kennedy. His meteoric rise from promise to power has stunned even the cynics and inspired a legion of devout followers. For anyone who wants to know more about the man, David Mendell's Obama is essential reading. Mendell, who covered Obama for the Chicago Tribune, had far-reaching access to the Chicago politician as Obama climbed the ladder to the White House, the details of which he shares in this compelling biography. Positioning Obama as the savior of a fumbling Democratic party, Mendell reveals how Obama conquered Illinois politics and paved the way brick by brick for a galvanizing, historic presidential run" -- Provided by the publisher.

In the great green room : the brilliant and bold life of Margaret Wise Brown

Fri, 05/12/2017 - 02:38
by Gary, Amy,
Publisher Flatiron Books, 2017.
First edition.
xv, 288 pages, 16 unnumbered pages : illustrations (some color) ; 22 cm
Books
Call Number B BROWN

Sing for your life : a story of race, music, and family

Thu, 05/11/2017 - 02:33
by Bergner, Daniel
Publisher Little, Brown and Company, 2016.
First edition.
311 pages ; 24 cm
Books
Call Number 782.1092 BER
Summary The touching, triumphant story of a young black man's journey from violence and despair to one of the world's most elite artistic institutions. In 2011, at the age of twenty-four, Ryan won a nationwide competition hosted by New York's Metropolitan Opera. Today, he is a rising star performing major roles at the Met and Europe's most prestigious opera houses.

My life, my love, my legacy

Mon, 05/08/2017 - 17:23
by King, Coretta Scott, 1927-2006
Publisher Henry Holt and Company, 2017.
First edition.
viii, 356 pages, 8 unnumbered pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Books
Call Number B KING
Summary "The life story of Coretta Scott King--wife of Martin Luther King Jr., founder of the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change, and singular twentieth-century American civil rights activist--as told fully for the first time, toward the end of her life, to one of her closest friends. Born in 1927 to daringly enterprising black parents in the Deep South, Coretta Scott had always felt called to a special purpose. One of the first black scholarship students recruited to Antioch College, a committed pacifist, and a civil rights activist, she was an avowed feminist--a graduate student determined to pursue her own career--when she met Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist minister insistent that his wife stay home with the children. But in love and devoted to shared Christian beliefs and racial justice goals, she married King, and events promptly thrust her into a maelstrom of history throughout which she was a strategic partner, a standard bearer, a marcher, a negotiator, and a crucial fundraiser in support of world-changing achievements. As a widow and single mother of four, while butting heads with the all-male African American leadership of the times, she championed gay rights and AIDS awareness, founded the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change, lobbied for fifteen years to help pass a bill establishing the US national holiday in honor of her slain husband, and was a powerful international presence, serving as a UN ambassador and playing a key role in Nelson Mandela's election. Coretta's is a love story, a family saga, and the memoir of an independent-minded black woman in twentieth-century America, a brave leader who stood committed, proud, forgiving, nonviolent, and hopeful in the face of terrorism and violent hatred every single day of her life"--Provided by publisher.

Bleeding blue : giving my all for the game

Mon, 05/08/2017 - 05:22
by Clark, Wendel, 1966-
Publisher Simon & Shuster, 2016.
Simon & Schuster Canada edition.
210 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 24 cm
Books
Call Number BIO CLARK, WENDEL
Summary As a young boy growing up in Kelvington, Saskatchewan, Wendel Clark never dreamed of an NHL career. The pro league just seemed too far away from the young man's small-town life in the Prairies. But Wendel had a talent for hockey that was surpassed only by his love for the sport, and it wasn't long before he embarked on a path that would take him away from his hometown to a new life.

Elizabeth Bishop : a miracle for breakfast

Mon, 05/08/2017 - 05:22
by Marshall, Megan,
Publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017. ©2017
xv, 365 pages ; 24 cm
Books
Call Number B BISHOP
Summary "Since her death in 1979, Elizabeth Bishop, who published only one hundred poems in her lifetime, has become one of America's best-loved poets. And yet -- painfully shy and living out of public view in Key West and Brazil, among other hideaways -- she has never been seen so fully as a woman and an artist. Megan Marshall makes incisive and moving use of a newly discovered cache of Bishop's letters -- to her psychiatrist and to three of her lovers -- to reveal a much darker childhood than has been known, a secret affair, and the last chapter of her passionate romance with the Brazilian modernist designer Lota de Macedo Soares."--

Expect great things : the life and search of Henry David Thoreau

Mon, 05/08/2017 - 05:22
by Dann, Kevin T., 1956-
Publisher TarcherPerigee, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, [2017] ©2017
387 pages ; 24 cm
Manuscript
Call Number BIO THOREAU, HENRY DAVID
Summary "To coincide with the bicentennial of Thoreau's birth in 2017, this...biography by naturalist and historian Kevin Dann fills a gap in our understanding of one of modern history's most important spiritual visionaries by capturing the full arc of Thoreau's life as a mystic, spiritual seeker, and explorer in transcendental realms"--

Jane Crow : the life of Pauli Murray

Mon, 05/08/2017 - 05:22
by Rosenberg, Rosalind, 1946-
Publisher Oxford University Press, [2017]
xvii, 494 pages : illustrations, portraits ; 25 cm
Books
Call Number BIO MURRAY, PAULI
Summary "Throughout her prodigious life, activist and lawyer Pauli Murray systematically fought against all arbitrary distinctions in society, channeling her outrage at the discrimination she faced to make America a more democratic country. In this definitive biography, Rosalind Rosenberg offers a poignant portrait of a figure who played pivotal roles in both the modern civil rights and women's movements. A mixed-race orphan, Murray grew up in segregated North Carolina before escaping to New York, where she attended Hunter College and became a labor activist in the 1930s. When she applied to graduate school at the University of North Carolina, where her white great-great-grandfather had been a trustee, she was rejected because of her race. She went on to graduate first in her class at Howard Law School, only to be rejected for graduate study again at Harvard University this time on account of her sex. Undaunted, Murray forged a singular career in the law. In the 1950s, her legal scholarship helped Thurgood Marshall challenge segregation head-on in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case. When appointed by Eleanor Roosevelt to the President's Commission on the Status of Women in 1962, she advanced the idea of Jane Crow, arguing that the same reasons used to condemn race discrimination could be used to battle gender discrimination. In 1965, she became the first African American to earn a JSD from Yale Law School and the following year persuaded Betty Friedan to found an NAACP for women, which became NOW. In the early 1970s, Murray provided Ruth Bader Ginsburg with the argument Ginsburg used to persuade the Supreme Court that the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution protects not only blacks but also women - and potentially other minority groups - from discrimination. By that time, Murray was a tenured history professor at Brandeis, a position she left to become the first black woman ordained a priest by the Episcopal Church in 1976. Murray accomplished all this while struggling with issues of identity. She believed from childhood she was male and tried unsuccessfully to persuade doctors to give her testosterone. While she would today be identified as transgender, during her lifetime no social movement existed to support this identity. She ultimately used her private feelings of being "in-between" to publicly contend that identities are not fixed, an idea that has powered campaigns for equal rights in the United States for the past half-century."-- "Euro-African-American activist Pauli Murray was a feminist lawyer who played pivotal roles in both the modern civil rights and women's movements, and later become the first woman ordained a priest by the Episcopal Church. Born in 1910 and identified as female, she believed from childhood that she was male. Jane Crow is her definitive biography, exploring how she engaged the arguments used to challenge race discrimination to battle gender discrimination in the 1960s and 70s. Before there was a social movement to support transgender identity, she mounted attacks on all arbitrary categories of distinction. In the 1950s, her legal scholarship helped Thurgood Marshall to shift his course and attack segregation frontally in Brown v. Board of Education. In the 1960s, Murray persuaded Betty Friedan to help her found an NAACP for women, which Friedan named NOW. Appointed by Eleanor Roosevelt to the President's Commission on the Status of Women in 1962, she advanced the idea of Jane Crow, arguing that the same reasons used to attack race discrimination n could be used to battle gender discrimination. In the early 1970s, Murray provided Ruth Bader Ginsberg with the argument Ginsberg used to persuade the Supreme Court that the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution protects not only blacks but also women--and potentially other minority groups--from discrimination. helping to propel Ruth Bader Ginsberg to her first Supreme Court victory for women's rights and greatly expanding the idea of equality in the process. Murray accomplished all of this as someone who would today be identified as transgender but who, due to the limitations of her time, focused her attention on dismantling systematic injustices of all sorts, transforming the idea of what equality means"--

Jonathan Swift : the reluctant rebel

Mon, 05/08/2017 - 05:22
by Stubbs, John, 1977-
Publisher W. W. Norton & Company, 2017. ©2016
First American edition.
739 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm
Books
Call Number B SWIFT
Summary A detailed portrait of the man behind "Gulliver's Travels" traces his early loss of a parent, the contradictions that marked his character, and his achievements as a political writer and dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin.

Shoot like a girl : one woman's dramatic fight in Afghanistan and on the home front

Mon, 05/08/2017 - 05:22
by Hegar, Mary Jennings.
Publisher New American Library, [2017]
First edition.
viii, 292 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Books
Call Number 958.1047 HEG

Writer, sailor, soldier, spy : Ernest Hemingway's secret adventures, 1935-1961

Mon, 05/08/2017 - 05:22
by Reynolds, Nicholas E.,
Publisher William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2017] ©2017
First edition.
xxi, 357 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Books
Call Number BIO HEMINGWAY, ERNEST
Summary A former CIA officer and curator of the CIA Museum reveals the untold story of Ernest Hemingway's secret life as a spy for both the Americans and Soviets before and during World War II, and explores how his espionage activities influenced his literary work.

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