Solomon Northup was a free man who was lured from his home in Saratoga and kidnapped into slavery in 1841. His life is the subject of the upcoming film, 12 Years A Slave which opens at The Spectrum Theatre in Albany this Friday.
The new biography, Solomon Northup: The Complete Story of the Author of Twelve Years A Slave provides a compelling chronological narrative of Northup's entire life, from his birth in an isolated settlement in upstate New York to the activities he pursued after his release from slavery.
The biography was written by Clifford Brown, a political science professor at Union College in Schenectady, Rachel Seligman, former head of Union’s gallery (she now works at the Tang at Skidmore College); and David Friske, former librarian for the state.
Duke Ellington was the greatest jazz composer of the 20th century. His songs—he wrote more than 1500 of them—have been recorded by a who’s who of popular music, from Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, and Tony Bennett to Steely Dan.
The grandson of a slave, he dropped out of high school to become one of the world’s most famous musicians, a showman of incomparable suavity who was as comfortable in Carnegie Hall as in the nightclubs where he honed his style. Many of his compositions, like “Mood Indigo” and “Sophisticated Lady,” remain beloved standards.
In Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington, Terry Teachout, drama critic of The Wall Street Journal, jazz musician, and author of Pops, an acclaimed biography of Louis Armstrong, reveals the many layers of a man as unique and complex as the music he created.
In the new book Brigham Young: A Concise Biography of the Mormon Moses, author Ed Breslin examines Young’s life using a scholarly focus with a sense of measured admiration, but he doesn’t gloss over the darker aspects such as Young’s role in the Mountain Meadows Massacre.
Breslin left his job as publisher and senior vice president of HarperCollins to be a full-time writer after more than two decades in publishing, and has co-written biographies of William Tecumseh Sherman and George S. Patton. In 2008, he collaborated on Sen. Mel Martinez’s memoir, A Sense of Belonging.