“A biography about writing biography! Very meta, and very much in the interdisciplinary tradition of American Studies. In his gorgeous braid of cultural history, Cornell University professor Sachs entwines the lives and work of poet and fiction writer Herman Melville (1819-1891) and the philosopher and literary critic Lewis Mumford (1895-1990), illuminating their coextending concerns about their worlds in crisis. Sachs brilliantly provides the connective tissue between Melville and his biographer Mumford so that these writers seem to be in conversation with one another, both deeply affected by their dark times.” Read more...
The Best Biographies of 2023: The National Book Critics Circle Shortlist