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Biography

New Tech City

Biographies in the Age of Email

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

For centuries, biographers have relied on letters to bring historical figures to life, from Gandhi to Catherine the Great. But over the past two decades, most people have switched from writing paper letters to email.

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New Tech City

Computerized Confessions: Biographies and Wedding Toasts in the Digital Age

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Biographers have relied on handwritten letters for centuries, but more and more, they're using emails, texts and online chats to tell the story of a person's life.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Life and Times of Charles Manson

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Jeff Guinn gives an account of how an ordinary juvenile delinquent named Charles Manson became the notorious murderer whose crimes still shock and horrify us today. More than 40 years ago Manson and his mostly female commune killed nine people, among them the pregnant actress Sharon Tate. His book Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson puts the killer in the context of his times, the turbulent late 1960s, an era of race riots and street protests when authority in all its forms was under siege.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Reporting Civil Rights; Conserving Digital Art; Novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; the Life and Times of Charles Manson

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Bill Kovach and Clayborne Carson, editors of a new anthology of writing about the civil rights movement, tell how James Baldwin, Robert Penn Warren, Gordon Parks and many others captured the struggle for equality. We’ll find how curators and conservators are preserving digital art. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie talks about exploring race and identity in her latest novel, Americanah. Jeff Guin talks about interviewing Charles Manson’s sister and cousin to trace the roots of the infamous murderer’s criminal career.

Soundcheck

Beat The Heat With Soundcheck's Summer Music Reading List

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Whether you're sitting on a beach, relaxing at the pool, or simply escaping the peaking temperatures, hot sidewalks, and unrelenting, soupy humidity inside this summer, Soundcheck has a few favorite music-related books you will love to read.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

A Man of Misconceptions

Monday, July 01, 2013

John Glassie tells the unconventional story of Athanasius Kircher, the legendary 17th-century priest-scientist whose interests ranged from optics to music to magnetism to medicine. His inventions and theories for everything made him famous across Europe. Glassie’s book A Man of Misconceptions: The Life of an Eccentric in an Age of Change traces Kircher's rise, success, and eventual fall as he attempted to come to terms with a changing world.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Margaret Thatcher's Early Years

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Charles Moore discusses Margaret Thatcher’s early life, rise to power, and first years as prime minister, and the ways she transformed Britain and the world in the late 20th century. Margaret Thatcher: From Grantham to the Falklands is the first volume of Charles Moore’s authorized biography, and sheds new light on the spectrum of British political life from Thatcher’s entry into Parliament in 1959 to what was arguably the zenith of her power—victory in the Falklands in 1982.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Love and Wars of Lina Prokofiev

Friday, May 10, 2013

Simon Morrison reveals the life story of the composer Serge Prokofiev’s wife, Lina. In Lina & Serge: The Love and Wars of Lina Prokofiev, Morrison depicts her as a remarkable woman who fought for survival in the face of unbearable betrayal—she spent eight years in a Soviet gulag—by the irresistibly talented but self-absorbed musician she married.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Life and Work of David Foster Wallace

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

D. T. Max talks about his biography of David Foster Wallace, one of the most influential writers of his generation. In Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace, Max charts Wallace’s battle to succeed as a novelist as he fights off depression and addiction to emerge with his masterpiece, Infinite Jest. Since his death by suicide at the age of forty-six in 2008, Wallace has become a symbol of sincerity and honesty in an inauthentic age.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Mary Pickford: Queen of the Movies

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Christel Schmidt talks about Mary Pickford, cinema's first great star, along with Ben Model, piano accompanist. Schmidt is editor of Mary Pickford: Queen of the Movies, a collection of essays by film historians that sheds new light on this icon's incredible life and legacy. Pickford is revealed as a gifted actress, a philanthropist, and a savvy industry leader who fought for creative control of her films and ultimately became her own producer.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Lost Weekends and Literary Dreams of Charles Jackson

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Prizewinning biographer Blake Bailey talks about his new biography of Charles Jackson, the author of The Lost Weekend, the story of five disastrous days in the life of alcoholic Don Birnam, which was published in 1944 and was very successful. Jackson was a doting family man with two daughters, and was often industrious and sober, but he found it nearly impossible to write without pills or alcohol. Bailey’s book Farther & Wilder: The Lost Weekends and Literary Dreams of Charles Jackson looks at a writer whose life and work encapsulated what it meant to be an addict and a closeted gay man in mid-century America, and what one had to do with the other.

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Soundcheck

Dennis Hopper's Weird Musical World

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Journalist Tom Folsom has made a study out of the screen star’s life in his new book, Hopper: A Journey Into The American Dream. Folsom tells us about a trilogy of Hopper's films that were pioneering in their use of music: Easy Rider (1969), Out of the Blue (1980) and Colors (1988). 

 

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Workrooms and World of Balenciaga

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Mary Blume looks at the life and work of fashion designer Cristóbal Balenciaga, one of the most innovative and admired figures in the history of haute couture. In The Master of Us All: Balenciaga, His Workrooms, His World, Blume tells the story of the man and his house through the eyes of the woman who knew him best, Florette Chelot, his adviser and saleswoman who worked with him for over 30 years.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Rosa Parks, Activist

Monday, February 04, 2013

On the 100th anniversary of Rosa Parks' birth, Jeanne Theoharis, author of The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks, talks about her new biography and its focus on Parks' activism.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Life of Henry Ford

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sarah Colt, director of the documentary “Henry Ford,” and Greg Grandin, professor of history at NYU and author of Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford’s Forgotten Jungle City, discuss the life of Henry Ford, a farm boy who became the most influential American innovator of the 20th century. Ford created the Model T, the most successful car in history, and introduced the groundbreaking five-dollar-a-day wage, ushering in the modern world as we know it. One of the nation’s richest men, he was a hero to many ordinary Americans, although he battled his workers and bullied his own son, despised the wealthy, and blamed Jews for what he deemed society’s degeneration. “Henry Ford” will premiere on American Experience on January 29, 9:00-11:00 p.m. on PBS, in conjunction with the 150th anniversary of Ford’s birth.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

A Life of David Foster Wallace

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

D. T. Max talks about his biography of David Foster Wallace, one of the most influential writers of his generation who not only captivated readers with his prose but also mesmerized them with his brilliant mind. In Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace, Max charts Wallace’s battle to succeed as a novelist as he fights off depression and addiction to emerge with his masterpiece, Infinite Jest. Since his death by suicide at the age of forty-six in 2008, Wallace has become a symbol of sincerity and honesty in an inauthentic age.

Comments [2]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Inside Outside

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright investigates the inner workings of the Church of Scientology, and the controversy that surrounds it. D. T. Max discusses the life and legacy of the writer David Foster Wallace. Michael Dahlie talks about his comic novel about an introverted ghost writer. Plus, we’ll look at immigration reform—and find out who gets into this country, who doesn’t, and why.

The Leonard Lopate Show

The Lives of Margaret Fuller

Thursday, January 17, 2013

John Matteson talks about the writer and a fiery social critic, Margaret Fuller (1810-1850), who was perhaps the most famous American woman of her generation. She was the leading female figure in the transcendentalist movement, wrote a celebrated column of literary and social commentary, served as the first foreign correspondent for an American newspaper, and she authored the first great work of American feminism: Woman in the Nineteenth Century. Matteson tells her story and examines her legacy in his biography of her, The Lives of Margaret Fuller.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Commanding Attention

Thursday, January 17, 2013

General Stanley McChrystal reflects on his tenure as the commanding officer of all US & coalition forces in Afghanistan. John Matteson discusses the life and times of the fiery social critic Margaret Fuller. Emmy winner Laurie Metcaff and her daughter Zoe Perry talk about staring in “The Other Room” on Broadway.

The Leonard Lopate Show

Risk and Reward

Monday, January 14, 2013

Ping Fu talks about her remarkable journey escaping the Chinese Cultural Revolution to becoming an entrepreneurial leader in the United States. National Book Award Winner Deidre Bair discusses her new biography of iconic New Yorker artist Saul Steinberg. We’ll get a preview of The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival. Plus, Glenn Croston explains how we misinterpret risk.