Category: Biography

Fearless World Traveler: Adventures Of Marianne North, Botanical Artist by Laurie Lawlor & Becca Stadtlander

I thought I had a fairly good knowledge of obscure Victorian women who became explorers against the odds, so I was pleasantly surprised to learn of yet another one via this beautiful picture book for children (tho I continue to be chagrined by eras and societies that deny people opportunities on the basis of sex …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/05/10/fearless-world-traveler-adventures-of-marianne-north-botanical-artist-by-laurie-lawlor-becca-stadtlander/

Genghis Khan by Leo de Hartog

I’m glad that Leo de Hartog did not title this biography A Life of Genghis Khan because there is astonishingly little life between its covers. I would have thought the biography of someone who rose from a tribal noble to rule the largest land empire this world has ever known would be positively gripping, but …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/04/14/genghis-khan-by-leo-de-hartog/

Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson

Ben Franklin's Song

On the second page of his biography of Benjamin Franklin, Walter Isaacson offers a thumbnail sketch of his subject: “He was, during his eighty-four-year-long life, America’s best scientist, inventor, dimplomat, writer, and business strategist, and he was also one of its most practical, though not most profound, political thinkers. He proved by flying a kite …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/09/14/benjamin-franklin-by-walter-isaacson/

The Bridge by David Remnick

Because I am all about timely reading, I have just finished The Bridge, whose subtitle is The Life and Rise of Barack Obama, and which was published in 2010. As Remnick explains in the acknowledgments, his “hope was to write a piece of biographical journalism that, through interviews with his contemporaries and certain historical actors, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/03/09/the-bridge-by-david-remnick/

Don’t Panic by Neil Gaiman

Don’t Panic, subtitled Douglas Adams & The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy began as a labor of friendship in 1987 when Nick Landau of Titan Books, which had Adams’ agreement to write a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy companion book, called up Neil Gaiman “and asked if I was interested. I wanted to write this …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/02/10/dont-panic-by-neil-gaiman/

The House of Government by Yuri Slezkine

The first half of The House of Government located the Bolshevik party within a specifically Russian tradition of millennarianism. Revolutionary socialism would redeem the world, starting with Russia, and usher in a new era, a time of plenty, a time of the perfectibility of humanity. The second half of the book details what life is …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/12/17/the-house-of-government-by-yuri-slezkine-2/

The House of Government by Yuri Slezkine — Halftime Report

One of the unexpected pleasures of The House of Government is Yuri Slezkine’s occasional playful way with words. Given the subject matter, and particularly given Slezkine’s argument that Bolshevism can best be understood as a millennarian sect that gained control of the state, a reader would be forgiven for thinking that his prose would range …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/05/12/the-house-of-government-by-yuri-slezkine-halftime-report/

The House of Government by Yuri Slezkine

When it was built, the House of Government — maybe better known in English as the House on the Embankment thanks to the book by Yuri Trefonov — was the largest residential building in Europe. With The House of Government, Yuri Slezkine gives the building, its people and its first era an equally enormous treatment. The main …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/02/13/the-house-of-government-by-yuri-slezkine/

Celine: A Novel by Peter Heller

I always love an older female crime solver, and Celine is hopefully the first in a series featuring such a heroine, loosely based on the author’s mother, who was also a blue blood debutante turned private investigator, handling primarily cases of family reunion. Hired by a beautiful middle-aged woman to investigate the disappearance of her …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/06/22/celine-a-novel-by-peter-heller/

Traveler of Worlds by Alvaro Zinos-Amaro

The important information on this book’s cover is the subtitle, Conversations with Robert Silverberg. Traveler of Worlds is entirely a set of interviews with Silverberg, who recently passed 80 years of age. He’s one of the grand old men of science fiction; he has attended every Hugo award ceremony; he was incredibly prolific back in …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/05/24/traveler-of-worlds-by-alvaro-zinos-amaro/