Coming Months Offer Many Worthwhile Bios

By James McGrath Morris
’Tis fall and ‘tis time for the big biographies of the season for 2015. The fall list will not disappoint readers who are fans of biography. And, predictably, publishers are rushing books to stores on Pope Francis, as well as presidential candidates such as Donald Trump, Mike Huckabee, and—with a title too irresistible not to mention—American Governor: Chris Christie’s Bridge to Redemption by Matt Katz (Threshold).

As usual, TBC publishes on the BIO website a longer listing of forthcoming biographies, as drawn from the major publishing databases. You may see the list hereTBC does its best to learn about upcoming releases. Should we have missed any, please let us know so we can add it to the list.

Reviewing the lengthy list, TBC came up with the following short list of biographies mostly likely to garner considerable attention.

  • Peggy Guggenheim: The Shock of the Modern by Francine Prose (Yale University Press)
  • Kissinger: 1923-1968: The Idealist by Niall Ferguson (Penguin) [It will compete against Kissinger’s Shadow: The Long Reach of America’s Most Controversial Statesman by Greg Grandin, which was released in August]
  • Showdown: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court Nomination That Changed America by Wil Haygood (Knopf)
  • Hitler’s Art Thief: Hildebrand Gurlitt, the Nazis, and the Looting of Europe’s Treasures by Susan Ronald (St. Martin’s Press)
  • The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin by Steven Lee Myers (Knopf)
  • PT 109: An American Epic of War, Survival, and the Destiny of John F. Kennedy by William Doyle (William Morrow)
  • Custer’s Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America by T. J. Stiles (Knopf)
  • The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff (Little, Brown and Company)
  • Empire of Self: A Life of Gore Vidal by Jay Parini (Doubleday)
  • Empire of Imagination: Gary Gygax and the Birth of Dungeons & Dragonsby Michael Witwer (Bloomsbury)
  • Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bushby Jon Meacham (Random House)
  • Sinatra: The Chairman by James Kaplan (Doubleday)
  • Young Orson: The Years of Luck and Genius on the Path to Citizen Kane by Patrick McGilligan (Harper)
  • Lady Bird and Lyndon: The Hidden Story of a Marriage That Made a President by Betty Caroli (Simon & Schuster)
  • John le Carré: The Biography by Adam Sisman (Harper)
  • Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock ‘n’ Roll by Peter Guralnick (Little, Brown, and Company)
  • Curtain Up: Agatha Christie: A Life in the Theatre by Julius Green (Harper)
  • Margaret Thatcher: Everything She Wants by Charles Moore (Knopf)
  • The Golden Lad: The Haunting Story of Quentin and Theodore Rooseveltby Eric Burns (Pegasus)