Elizabeth Taylor, the chair of the National Book Critics Circle, chooses the best biographies of 2019. As she says the genre is booming. Lyndall Gordon chooses five that she feels push the boundaries of the genre.
The summit of British politics is well represented. Tony Blair’s biographer, Anthony Seldon, chooses his best biographies of British prime ministers and the former foreign secretary, Douglas Hurd chooses five of Tory prime ministers. James Shapiro looks at the summit of British literary life with a selection of the best books on Shakespeare’s life.
Justine Picardie gives us her best fashion biographies.
Biographies of prominent philosophers can be found in our philosophy section and of politicians in the relevant country of our World section. The lives of religious leaders and thinkers can be found in our Religion section.
Flash: The Making of Weegee the Famous
by Christopher Bonanos
Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret
by Craig Brown
Inseparable: The Original Siamese Twins and Their Rendezvous with American History
by Yunte Huang
The Man in the Glass House: Philip Johnson, Architect of the Modern Century
by Mark Lamster
The Big Fella: Babe Ruth and the World He Created
by Jane Leavy
Biography is booming, says the longtime book critic and biographer Elizabeth Taylor. Here she highlights the five fantastic books shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle 2019 biography award, and how historical lives provide insight into contemporary culture.
It’s their frailty that makes politicians such interesting characters, says Tony Blair’s biographer Anthony Seldon. He tells us about the art of political biography and the writers who’ve best captured leaders such as Churchill and Thatcher