Uncover the inspiring stories of history’s most influential figures with these 90+ must-read biographies that will captivate, educate, and leave you in awe of the resilience and determination of the human spirit.
“A Beautiful Mind” by Sylvia Nasar is the inspiring story of Nobel Prize-winning mathematician John Nash and his remarkable journey through a debilitating mental illness.
Experience the power of resilience and self-discovery through the eyes of a young African-American woman in Angela Jackson’s uplifting novel, A Surprised Queenhood in the New Black Sun.
Explore the incredible story of Alan Turing, the brilliant mathematician and pioneer of computer science, in Andrew Hodges’ acclaimed biography, “Alan Turing: The Enigma”.
Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton is a sweeping, riveting biography that brings to life the man behind the founding of America.
This definitive biography of Muhammad Ali offers an inspiring and insightful look into the life of the legendary boxer and civil rights activist.
This biography of Alice Walker paints a vivid picture of the Pulitzer Prize-winning author’s remarkable journey through life.
In Zora Neale Hurston’s Barracoon, explore the captivating story of the last survivor of the Atlantic slave trade, who was born in Africa and brought to the United States against his will.
Jan Swafford’s Beethoven, Anguish and Triumph is an intense and captivating exploration of the life and music of one of the greatest composers in history.
In Begin Again, Eddie Glaude Jr. encourages us to take action in the pursuit of racial justice and collective liberation.
Evan Thomas takes a deep dive into the life of President Richard Nixon, exploring the inner turmoil and complexities that made up the man in his acclaimed biography, Being Nixon: A Man Divided.
Walter Isaacson’s Benjamin Franklin: An American Life is an engaging and insightful biography of one of America’s most influential Founding Fathers.
Marie Arana’s Bolívar: American Liberator is a captivating biography of the legendary South American leader and his fight for freedom, justice, and independence.
Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War by Robert Coram is an inspiring story of an American fighter pilot who revolutionized modern warfare tactics.
Dana Stevens’ Camera Man takes us on a heart-pounding journey of a small-town photographer whose ambition leads him to the dark and mysterious underbelly of Hollywood.
This captivating biography of one of history’s most powerful women, Catherine the Great, provides a compelling look into her life and reign as Empress of Russia.
Martin Gilbert’s Churchill: A Life is an authoritative and comprehensive biography of Britain’s iconic leader, Winston Churchill.
Clemente is a captivating biography of the legendary baseball player Roberto Clemente, written by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Maraniss.
Explore the fascinating history behind the world’s most famous equation, E=mc², in David Bodanis’ captivating biography that traces the equation’s development and its revolutionary impact on science.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Thomas Edison, Edison – A Biography, provides an in-depth exploration of the life of the legendary inventor.
Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson is a riveting biography that takes readers on a journey through the life and work of the genius physicist.
This groundbreaking biography of Dwight D. Eisenhower examines his remarkable leadership and vision in both war and peace.
Explore the remarkable journey of Eleanor Roosevelt from her childhood in the late 1800s to the beginning of her rise to power in this definitive biography by Blanche Wieson Cook.
From the rise of her family’s dynasty to her personal life and relationships, Sally Bedell Smith’s Elizabeth the Queen is an enthralling and captivating biography of one of the most powerful women in history.
Discover the incredible story of the brilliant, ambitious entrepreneur Elon Musk, who is revolutionizing industries from space exploration to electric cars, in Ashlee Vance’s inspiring biography.
Enrique’s Journey is an unforgettable true story of a Honduran boy’s remarkable and dangerous quest to reunite with his mother in the United States.
Meryle Secrest’s “Frank Lloyd Wright: A Biography” gives readers an in-depth look into the life and works of one of the world’s most influential architects.
David W. Blight’s Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom captures the extraordinary life of the visionary leader who courageously fought for justice and equality for African Americans during the 19th century.
Follow the life of iconic Mexican painter Frida Kahlo through her art, relationships, and struggles in Hayden Herrera’s acclaimed biography, “Frida”.
Follow the journey of Mahatma Gandhi as he leads India’s fight for independence from British colonial rule in Ramachandra Guha’s ‘Gandhi: The Years That Changed the World’.
“Jack Weatherford’s “Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World” takes an in-depth look into the life and legacy of the legendary Mongol leader, exploring how his influence shaped the world we live in today.”
Diane C. Fujino’s “Heartbeat of Struggle” reveals the hidden history of Japanese American activists, their fight for justice, and the vibrant culture that emerged from their resilience.
Ida: A Sword Among Lions is Paula J. Giddings’ biography of civil rights activist Ida B. Wells, exploring her life and her revolutionary fight for justice in America.
Experience a powerful, uplifting story of courage and dedication in Stephen M. Ward’s In Love and Struggle, a story of family, faith, and friendship.
Experience the adventure and tragedy of Christopher McCandless’s two-year odyssey into the Alaskan wilderness in Jon Krakauer’s bestselling novel, “Into the Wild”.
Inventor of the Future is a captivating exploration of the lives and accomplishments of some of the world’s most brilliant, yet often overlooked, inventors.
Discover the captivating story of Joan of Arc, the courageous French peasant girl who rose to become a military leader in this acclaimed history by Helen Castor.
Anthony Bourdain’s bestselling Kitchen Confidential provides an eye-opening insight into the real world of professional chefs and the culinary industry.
This captivating biography charts the rise of Elvis Presley to stardom, detailing his journey from a small-town Mississippi boy to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Walter Isaacson’s Leonardo da Vinci is an engaging look at the life, art, and science of the ultimate Renaissance man.
Nelson Mandela’s autobiography “Long Walk to Freedom” is a powerful and inspiring story of one man’s fight against apartheid and his triumphant journey to freedom.
“Follow author Imani Perry as she weaves a captivating tale of discovery, resilience, and hope in her exploration of the life and legacy of Lorraine Hansberry.”
From the author of the acclaimed “Beautiful Madness” comes a captivating, heartbreaking story of a young woman’s battle with mental illness and her journey to find love.
Mao: The Unknown Story by Jung Chang is a gripping account of the life and times of one of the 20th century’s most controversial figures.
John Berendt’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is an intriguing true story of murder, mystery, and the eccentricities of a small southern town.
Tracy Kidder’s “Mountains Beyond Mountains” is an inspiring and captivating exploration of a remarkable doctor’s journey to cure the world’s most overlooked diseases.
Andrew Roberts’ Napoleon: A Life is an engrossing biography of one of the world’s most fascinating figures, exploring the life and legacy of the French Emperor.
Matthew Sturgis’ Oscar Wilde: A Life is a captivating story of a remarkable life, revealing the highs and lows of a man whose philosophies, wit, and talent remain timeless.
Monica Brown’s Pablo Neruda, Poet of the People celebrates the life and legacy of the beloved Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet.
A captivating biography of Penelope Fitzgerald, the acclaimed English writer and Booker Prize winner, by award-winning author Hermione Lee.
Discover the man behind the infamous title of ‘Pontius Pilate’ with Ann Wroe’s engrossing biography of the Roman governor who sentenced Jesus Christ to death.
“Prairie Fires” is an extraordinary biography of one of America’s greatest icons, Laura Ingalls Wilder, told through the lens of her extraordinary life and works.
Experience an intimate and unprecedented look at the life of the legendary musician, Prince, through the eyes of his personal photographer, Afshin Shahidi.
Discover the extraordinary life of Marie and Pierre Curie and their groundbreaking research in Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie by Lauren Redniss.
Arnold Rampersad’s Ralph Ellison: A Biography is a captivating exploration of the life and work of the iconic American writer.
Bob Spitz’s Reagan, An American Journey is an unparalleled look into the life of one of the most iconic presidents in American history.
Reagan, The Life by H. W. Brands is an in-depth exploration of the life and legacy of one of the most influential presidents in American history.
“Red Comet” is a thrilling account of the life of Russian revolutionary leader, Leon Trotsky, and his tumultuous fight for justice in a world of turmoil.
Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter by Kate Clifford Larson is a gripping tale of a forgotten Kennedy and the powerful family secrets that surrounded her.
Nancy Milford’s Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay is an intimate and captivating exploration of the trailblazing poet’s life and work.
This sweeping biography of the Romantic poet Mary Shelley follows her tumultuous life, from her childhood as a daughter of two of the greatest minds of the age to her emergence as one of the most influential and beloved authors of all time.
Ruth Franklin’s Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life is a riveting biography of the celebrated writer whose works continue to haunt readers to this day.
“In Shoe Dog, Phil Knight takes readers on a thrilling and inspiring ride as he shares the remarkable story of his journey to build Nike into one of the world’s most iconic brands.”
Paul Johnson’s Socrates, A Man for Our Times is an engaging exploration of Socrates’ life and legacy, providing insight into his enduring relevance for modern society.
Follow the life and career of one of the most influential innovators of our time in Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs – a captivating, in-depth biography of the Apple co-founder.
“Team of Rivals” by Doris Kearns Goodwin is a captivating historical narrative that chronicles Abraham Lincoln’s rise to power in the midst of a divided Union.
The Black Count compellingly recounts the incredible life story of one of history’s most extraordinary figures: General Alex Dumas, the father of the legendary novelist Alexandre Dumas.
Miriam Pawel’s The Crusades of Cesar Chavez: A Biography is a captivating exploration of the life and legacy of the legendary American labor leader.
In The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X, Les Payne and Tamara Payne provide a comprehensive and engaging look into the life and legacy of one of the most important figures in American history.
In The Death and Life of Aida Hernandez, Aaron Bobrow-Strain paints an intimate portrait of the challenges of living in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands and the fight for justice by an undocumented immigrant family.
Experience the extraordinary story of a young girl’s courage and hope in the face of adversity through her own words in Anne Frank’s classic, The Diary Of A Young Girl.
In The Equivalents, Maggie Doherty tells the story of five pioneering women at Harvard University in the 1930s who formed a unique bond of friendship and creativity.
Rebecca Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks tells the remarkable story of an unknowing woman whose cells have revolutionized modern medicine.
Experience the powerful journey of the Lakota leader Crazy Horse, as told by renowned Lakota historian Joseph M. Marshall III.
This seminal biography of the famous literary figure Samuel Johnson by James Boswell offers an insightful and lively look into Johnson’s life and personality.
Embark on a thrilling journey of discovery with David Grann as he uncovers the secrets of the mysterious Lost City of Z, and the deadly obsession that has kept it hidden in the Amazon for centuries.
The Man Who Knew Infinity is a stunning and inspiring true story of the genius and perseverance of Srinivasa Ramanujan, the self-taught mathematical genius from India.
The Mayor of Castro Street is a captivating and groundbreaking biography of the life and times of Harvey Milk, America’s first openly gay elected official.
The Minds of Billy Milligan is a riveting exploration into the puzzling case of a man with multiple personalities, and the emotional and legal battles he faced.
Jeffrey C. Stewart’s The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke is an inspiring and illuminating biography of the influential African American philosopher, writer, and educator who helped shape the Harlem Renaissance.
Robert A. Caro’s The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson IV is an authoritative and captivating exploration of the life and presidency of one of the 20th century’s most significant and influential political figures.
The Professor and the Madman is a riveting and captivating story of madness, genius, and the incredible quest to compile the Oxford English Dictionary.
Follow the inspiring story of Theodore Roosevelt, from a sickly youth to a vivacious leader and the 26th President of the United States, in Edmund Morris’ “The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt”.
A riveting look into Warren Buffett’s rise to success, The Snowball is Alice Schroeder’s captivating biography of the world’s most successful investor.
In The Song Poet: A Memoir of My Father, Kao Kalia Yang explores her father’s life in the Hmong diaspora, weaving together his stories of love, loss, and resilience.
Discover the incredible true story of Christopher Knight, a man who lived in the Maine woods for 27 years in complete isolation with no human contact in Michael Finkel’s “The Stranger in the Woods”.
Suetonius’ The Twelve Caesars offers an unprecedented glimpse into the lives and legacies of Rome’s most influential rulers.
This biographical exploration of Thelonious Monk’s life and musical legacy provides a thoughtful and intimate look into the life and work of one of the most influential jazz musicians of all time.
This captivating biography by Jon Meacham offers an in-depth look into the life and accomplishments of Thomas Jefferson, one of the most influential political figures in American history.
This inspiring biography tells the remarkable story of athlete Jesse Owens and his heroic journey of determination, courage, and triumph.
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand is the inspiring true story of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic athlete and World War II POW whose incredible determination and courage brought him through the darkest of times.
Adam Begley’s Updike dives deep into the life and writing of one of the most celebrated American authors of the 20th century.
Uncover the intimate life of Véra Nabokov, the woman behind one of the greatest literary minds of the 20th century.
Ron Chernow’s Washington: A Life offers an unparalleled portrait of the leader who shaped a nation, giving readers a deeper understanding of the man and his legacy.
In Will in the World, Stephen Greenblatt uses biographical and historical evidence to explore the world that shaped the life of the great playwright, William Shakespeare.