In American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell, a biographer and art critic Deborah Solomon draws on a wealth of unpublished letters and documents to explore the relationship between Rockwell’s despairing personality and his genius for reflecting America’s brightest hopes.
Although derided by critics in his lifetime as a mere illustrator whose work could not compete with that of the Abstract Expressionists and other modern art movements, Rockwell has since attracted a passionate following in the art world.
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.
After his mysterious death, Dag Hammarskjöld was described by John F. Kennedy as the "greatest statesman of our century." The second secretary-general of the United Nations, he is the only person to have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize posthumously.
Through extensive research in little explored archives and personal correspondence, Roger Lipsey has written a massive biography of Dag Hammarskjöld. Hammarskjöld: A Life provides vivid new insights into Hammarskjöld’s life.
Roger Lipsey is an author, art historian, editor, and translator and has written on a wide range of topics and intellectual figures.
Simón Bolivar freed six countries from Spanish rule, traveled more than 75,000 miles on horseback to do so, and became the greatest figure in Latin American history. His life is epic, heroic, straight out of Hollywood: he fought battle after battle in punishing terrain, forged uncertain coalitions of competing forces and races, lost his beautiful wife soon after they married and never remarried (although he did have a succession of mistresses, including one who held up the revolution and another who saved his life), and he died relatively young, uncertain whether his achievements would endure.
Drawing on a wealth of primary documents, novelist and journalist Marie Arana brilliantly captures early nineteenth-century South America and the explosive tensions that helped revolutionize Bolívar.
Novelist Ellen Meister is a serious Dorothy Parker fan. So much so, she created a Facebook page dedicated to the literary icon and celebrated wit. When it came to writing about her, since Meister is a novelist not a biographer, she decided to write in Dorothy Parker's voice - as a ghost. We’ll talk with Ellen Meister about her book Farewell, Dorothy Parker.
Dennis Hopper was the chopper-riding hippie outlaw in Easy Rider, the prophetic madman in the jungle in Apocalypse Now, the terrifying psychopath in Blue Velvet and the kid gone wrong in Rebel Without a Cause.
The actor was taken under the wing of James Dean, a friendship that set Dennis Hopper on his path to becoming a star. He was a quintessentially American dreamer longing to be the next Orson Welles, a hell-raising director who revolutionized Hollywood.