Biographies & Memoirs

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  • Wondrous Beauty: The Life and Adventures of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte

    Wondrous Beauty: The Life and Adventures of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Carol Berkin
    Format:   
    Publisher:   Knopf (2014, Feb 11th).
    Pages:   

    From the award-winning historian and author of Revolutionary Mothers (“Incisive, thoughtful, spiced with vivid anecdotes. Don’t miss it.”—Thomas  Fleming) and Civil War Wives (“Utterly fresh . . . Sensitive, poignant, thoroughly fascinating.”—Jay Winik), here is the remarkable life of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte, renowned as the most beautiful woman of nineteenth-century Baltimore, whose marriage in 1803 to Jérôme Bonaparte, the youngest brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, became inextricably bound to the diplomatic and political histories of the United States, France, and England. In Wondrous Beauty, Carol Berkin tells the story of this audacious, outsized life. We see how the news of the union infuriated Napoleon and resulted in his banning the then­pregnant Betsy Bonaparte from disembarking in any European port, offering his brother the threat of remaining married to that “American girl” and forfeiting all wealth and power—or renouncing her, marrying a woman of Napoleon’s choice, and reaping the benefits. more

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  • Balancing It All: My Story of Juggling Priorities and Purpose

    Balancing It All: My Story of Juggling Priorities and Purpose

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Dana Wilkerson
    Format:   
    Publisher:   B&H Books (2014, Jan 1st).
    Pages:   

    “How do you do it all?”That’s the question that wife, mom, actress, and best-selling author Candace Cameron Bure is often asked. And it’s a question that women everywhere are asking themselves as we seek to balance all of our roles, responsibilities, and opportunities.So, how do we do it? Working since the age of 5, Candace has been in a balancing act for nearly her entire life. She is the first to tell you that there is no miracle formula for perfect execution in every area of your life, but there definitely are some lessons to be learned, lessons that come to life in Candace's story.Come along and dig into Candace’s story from her start in commercials, the balance-necessitating years on Full House, to adding on the roles of wife and mom while also returning to Hollywood. more

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  • Eliot Ness: The Rise and Fall of an American Hero

    Eliot Ness: The Rise and Fall of an American Hero

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Douglas Perry
    Format:   
    Publisher:   Viking Adult (2014, Feb 20th).
    Pages:   

    The true story of Eliot Ness, the legendary lawman who led the Untouchables, took on Al Capone, and saved a city’s soul Eliot Ness is famous for leading the Untouchables against the notorious mobster Al Capone. But it turns out that the legendary Prohibition Bureau squad’s daring raids were only the beginning. Ness’s true legacy reaches far beyond Big Al and Chicago. Eliot Ness follows the lawman through his days in Chicago and into his forgotten second act. As the public safety director of Cleveland, he achieved his greatest success: purging the city of corruption so deep that the mob and the police were often one and the same. And it was here, too, that he faced one of his greatest challenges: a brutal, serial killer known as the Torso Murderer, who terrorized the city for years. more

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  • Pat and Dick: The Nixons, An Intimate Portrait of a Marriage

    Pat and Dick: The Nixons, An Intimate Portrait of a Marriage

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Will Swift
    Format:   
    Publisher:   Threshold Editions (2014, Jan 7th).
    Pages:   

    When Americans remember the controversial Nixons, they usually focus on the political triumphs, the turbulent White House years, and the humiliating public downfall. But a very different image of the polarizing president emerges in this fascinating portrait of his relationship with Pat. Now, the couple’s recently released love letters and other private documents reveal that as surely as unremitting adversity can fray the fabric of a marriage, devotion can propel it to surmount disgrace and defeat. In Pat and Dick, biographer Will Swift brings his years of experience as a historian and as a marital therapist to this unique examination of a long-misunderstood marriage. Nixon the man was enormously complicated: brilliant, insecure, sometimes coldly calculating, and capable of surprising affection with his wife. more

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  • Handbook for an Unpredictable Life: How I Survived Sister Renata and My Crazy Mother, and Still Came Out Smiling

    Handbook for an Unpredictable Life: How I Survived Sister Renata and My Crazy Mother, and Still Came Out Smiling

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Rosie Perez
    Format:   
    Publisher:   Crown Archetype (2014, Feb 25th).
    Pages:   

    Oscar-nominated actress Rosie Perez’s never-before-told story of surviving a harrowing childhood and of how she found success—both in and out of the Hollywood limelight. Rosie Perez first caught our attention with her fierce dance in the title sequence of Do the Right Thing and has since defined herself as a funny and talented actress who broke boundaries for Latinas in the film industry. What most people would be surprised to learn is that the woman with the big, effervescent personality has a secret straight out of a Dickens novel. At the age of three, Rosie’s life was turned upside down when her mentally ill mother tore her away from the only family she knew and placed her in a Catholic children’s home in New York’s Westchester County. more

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  • The Heir Apparent: A Life of Edward VII, the Playboy Prince

    The Heir Apparent: A Life of Edward VII, the Playboy Prince

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Jane Ridley
    Format:   Hardcover
    Publisher:   Random House (2013, Dec 3rd).
    Pages:   752

    NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW AND THE BOSTON GLOBEThis richly entertaining biography chronicles the eventful life of Queen Victoria’s firstborn son, the quintessential black sheep of Buckingham Palace, who matured into as wise and effective a monarch as Britain has ever seen. Granted unprecedented access to the royal archives, noted scholar Jane Ridley draws on numerous primary sources to paint a vivid portrait of the man and the age to which he gave his name.   Born Prince Albert Edward, and known to familiars as “Bertie,” the future King Edward VII had a well-earned reputation for debauchery. A notorious gambler, glutton, and womanizer, he preferred the company of wastrels and courtesans to the dreary life of the Victorian court. more

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  • Arik: The Life of Ariel Sharon

    Arik: The Life of Ariel Sharon

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   David Landau
    Format:   
    Publisher:   Knopf (2014, Jan 21st).
    Pages:   

    A portrait of the Israeli political and military leader evaluates his decisive roles in major historical events throughout the past four decades while analyzing the dramatic reversal that marked his decisions as prime minister. more

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  • HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton

    HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Jonathan Allen
    Format:   
    Publisher:   Crown (2014, Feb 18th).
    Pages:   

    The mesmerizing story of Hillary Clinton's political rebirth, based on eyewitness accounts from deep inside her inner circleHillary Clinton’s surprising defeat in the 2008 Democratic primary brought her to the nadir of her political career, vanquished by a much younger opponent whose message of change and cutting-edge tech team ran circles around her stodgy campaign. And yet, six years later, she has reemerged as an even more powerful and influential figure, a formidable stateswoman and the presumed front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, marking one of the great political comebacks in history.   The story of Hillary’s phoenixlike rise is at the heart of HRC, a riveting political biography that journeys into the heart of “Hillaryland” to discover a brilliant strategist at work. more

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  • Blücher: Scourge of Napoleon

    Blücher: Scourge of Napoleon

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Michael V. Leggiere
    Format:   
    Publisher:   University of Oklahoma Press (2014, Jan 29th).
    Pages:   

    One of the most colorful characters in the Napoleonic pantheon, Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher (1742–1819) is best known as the Prussian general who, along with the Duke of Wellington, defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo. Throughout his long career, Blücher distinguished himself as a bold commander, but his actions at times appeared erratic and reckless. This magnificent biography by Michael V. Leggiere, an award-winning historian of the Napoleonic Wars, is the first scholarly book in English to explore Blücher’s life and military career—and his impact on Napoleon.Drawing on exhaustive research in European archives, Leggiere eschews the melodrama of earlier biographies and offers instead a richly nuanced portrait of a talented leader who, contrary to popular perception, had a strong grasp of military strategy. more

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  • Roosevelt's Centurions: FDR and the Commanders He Led to Victory in World War II

    Roosevelt's Centurions: FDR and the Commanders He Led to Victory in World War II

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Joseph E. Persico
    Format:   Hardcover
    Publisher:   Random House (2013, May 28th).
    Pages:   672

    All American presidents are commanders in chief by law. Few perform as such in practice. In Roosevelt’s Centurions, distinguished historian Joseph E. Persico reveals how, during World War II, Franklin D. Roosevelt seized the levers of wartime power like no president since Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. Declaring himself “Dr. Win-the-War,” FDR assumed the role of strategist in chief, and, though surrounded by star-studded generals and admirals, he made clear who was running the war. FDR was a hands-on war leader, involving himself in everything from choosing bomber targets to planning naval convoys to the design of landing craft. Persico explores whether his strategic decisions, including his insistence on the Axis powers’ unconditional surrender, helped end or may have prolonged the war. more

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