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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
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    Lois Leveen 9781476757445

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1 Burnside Western Civilization- Historiography

Biography: A Brief History

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Biography: A Brief History Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

For thousands of years we have recorded real lives--the lives of others, and of ourselves. For what purpose and for whom has this universal and timeless pursuit endured? What obstacles have lain in the path of biographers in the past, and what continues to confound biographers today? Above all, how is it that biographies and autobiographies play such a contested, popular role in contemporary Western culture, from biopics to blogs, from memoir to docudrama?

Award-winning biographer and teacher Nigel Hamilton addresses these questions in an incisive and vivid narrative that will appeal to students of human nature and self-representation across the arts and sciences. Tracing the remarkable and often ignored historical evolution of biography from the ancient world to the present, this brief and fascinating tour of the genre conveys the passionate quest to capture the lives of individuals and the many difficulties it has entailed through the centuries. From the Epic of Gilgamesh to American Splendor, from cuneiform to the Internet, from commemoration to deconstruction, from fiction to fact--by way of famous biographical artists such as Plutarch, Saint Augustine, Sir Walter Raleigh, Samuel Johnson, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Lord Byron, Sigmund Freud, Lytton Strachey, Abel Gance, Virginia Woolf, Leni Riefenstahl, Orson Welles, Julian Barnes, Ted Hughes, Frank McCourt, and many others--Nigel Hamilton's Biography: A Brief History will change the way you think about biography and real lives.

Review:

"Biography, Nigel Hamilton insists toward the end of this brief history of the genre, today is at 'the forefront of Western culture.' By the turn of the millennium, 'it was represented in almost every field of human inquiry, of communications, and of academic study. ... In fact, as the third millennium got under way it was clear to all but the most myopic that biography had become the most popular,... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

About the Author

Nigel Hamilton is the author of prize-winning biographies of Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery and of John F. Kennedy. He is currently a Fellow of the McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies, University of Massachusetts Boston, where he is writing a three-volume biography of President Clinton.

Table of Contents

Prologue

1. Evolutionary Biography

2. Hagiography

3. The Renaissance of Biography

4. Victorian Pseudobiography

5. The Early Twentieth Century

6. The Rise of Film

7. The People's War

8. Death of the Author

9. New Directions

10. Biography Comes of Age

11. Biography on Trial

12. The Miner's Canary

13. Biography Today

Epilogue

Notes

Bibliography

Acknowledgments

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780674024663
Subtitle:
A Brief History
Author:
Hamilton, Nigel
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Historiography
Subject:
Biography as a literary form
Subject:
Regional, Ethnic, Genre, Specific Subject
Subject:
General
Subject:
World history -- Historiography.
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Cloth
Publication Date:
March 2007
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
20 halftones
Pages:
360
Dimensions:
7.00 x 5.50 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Western Civilization » Historiography
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