Fall 2019 Preview

We’re highlighting here  some of the books due out this fall and winter that are likely to garner critical and popular acclaim, because of their subject, their author, or both. The titles already getting buzz are drawn from Publishers WeeklyKirkus ReviewsBooklistLibrary Journal, LitHub, and Amazon, among others. BIO members with upcoming releases are noted in bold type.

Please note: We do our best to learn about new books, and the ongoing monthly “In Stores” feature in The Biographer’s Craft will include even more fall and winter releases. But, if we’ve missed any members’ upcoming releases, please let us know so we can add them to this list.


The Education of Brett Kavanaugh by Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly (Portfolio)

Plaintiff in Chief: A Portrait of Donald Trump in 3,500 Lawsuits by James D. Zirin (All Points)

All the Powers of Earth: The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln, Vol. III, 1856–1863 by Sidney Blumenthal (Simon & Schuster)

A Guest of the Reich: The Story of American Heiress Gertrude Legendre and her Dramatic Captivity and Daring Escape from Nazi Germany by Peter Finn (Pantheon)

Carlos Slim: The Power, Money, and Morality of One of the World’s Richest Men by Diego Osorno, translated by Juana Adcock (Verso)

Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control by Stephen Kinzer (Henry Holt)

The Ambassadors: American Diplomats on the Front Lines by Paul Richter (Simon & Schuster)

Not Afraid: The Evolution of Eminem by Anthony Bozza (Da Capo)

Queen Meryl: The Iconic Roles, Heroic Deeds, and Legendary Life of Meryl Streep by Erin Carlson (Hachette)

Passionate Spirit: The Life of Alma Mahler by Cate Haste (Basic Books)

Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction by Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson (Quirk)

Sontag: Her Life and Work by Benjamin Moser (Ecco)

The Quantum Astrologer’s Handbook: A History of the Renaissance Mathematics That Birthed Imaginary Numbers, Probability, and the New Physics of the Universe by Michael Brooks (Scribe US)

Transaction Man: The Rise of the Deal and the Decline of the American Dream by Nicholas Lemann (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

The Enigma of Clarence Thomas by Corey Robin (Metropolitan)

Prince Albert: The Man Who Saved the Monarchy by A. N. Wilson  (Harper)

Gertrude Stein Has Arrived: The Homecoming of a Literary Legend by Roy Morris Jr.
(Johns Hopkins University Press)

Summertime: George Gershwin’s Life in Music by Richard Crawford (W. W. Norton)

Scan Artist: How Evelyn Wood Convinced the World That Speed-Reading Worked by Marcia Biederman (Chicago Review Press)

Murdered Midas: A Millionaire, His Gold Mine, and a Strange Death on an Island Paradise by Charlotte Gray (HarperCollins)

Condé Nast: The Man and His Empire by Susan Ronald (St. Martin’s Press)

The Bourbon King: The Life and Crimes of George Remus, Prohibition’s Evil Genius by Bob Batchelor (Diversion Books)



Saving America’s Cities: Ed Logue and the Struggle to Renew Urban America in the Suburban Age by Lizabeth Cohen (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

The Europeans: Three Lives and the Making of a Cosmopolitan Culture by Orlando Figes, (Metropolitan)

Wounded Shepherd: Pope Francis and His Struggle to Convert the Catholic Church by Austen Ivereigh (Henry Holt)

Barack and Joe: The Making of an Extraordinary Partnership by Steven Levingston (Hachette)

My Name Is Prince by Randee St. Nicholas (Amistad)

A Castle in Wartime: One Family, Their Missing Sons, and the Fight to Defeat the Nazis by Catherine Bailey (Viking)

The Queens of Animation: The Untold Story of the Women Who Transformed the World of Disney and Made Cinematic History by Nathalia Holt (Little, Brown)

Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister: Three Women at the Heart of Twentieth-Century China by Jung Chang (Knopf)

Hitler: A Global Biography by Brendan Simms (Basic Books)

Plagued by Fire: The Dreams and Furies of Frank Lloyd Wright by Paul Hendrickson (Knopf)

The Cartiers: The Untold Story of the Family Behind the Jewelry Empire by Francesca Cartier Brickell (Ballantine)

A Marvelous Life: The Amazing Story of Stan Lee by Danny Fingeroth (St. Martin’s Press)

Janis: Her Life and Music by Holly George-Warren (Simon & Schuster)

The Lives of Lucian Freud: The Restless Years, 1922–1968 by William Feaver (Knopf)

Still Here: The Madcap, Nervy, Singular Life of Elaine Stritch by Alexandra Jacobs (Farrar, Strauss and Giroux)

The Contender: The Story of Marlon Brando by William J. Mann (Harper)

Edison by Edmund Morris (Random House)

The Life and Afterlife of Harry Houdini by Joe Posnanski (Avid Reader)

Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and Their Astonishing Odyssey Home by Richard Bell (37 INK)

Return to the Reich: A Holocaust Refugee’s Secret Mission to Defeat the Nazis by Eric Lichtblau (Houghton Harcourt Mifflin)

The Many Lives of Michael Bloomberg: Innovation, Money, and Politics by Eleanor Randolph (Simon & Schuster)

Thomas Jefferson’s Education by Alan Taylor (W. W. Norton)

Three Days at the Brink: FDR’s Daring Gamble to Win World War II by Bret Baier and Catherine Whitney (William Morrow)

Hitler: A Biography by Peter Longerich (Oxford University Press)

Margaret Thatcher: The Authorized Biography, Volume Three: Herself Alone by Charles Moore (Allen Lane)

Attlee and Churchill: Allies in War, Adversaries in Peace by Leo McKinstry (Atlantic Books)

The Spy Who Changed History: The Untold Story of How the Soviet Union Stole America’s Top Secrets by Svetlana Lokhova (Pegasus Books)

Marjorie Merriweather Post: The Life Behind the Luxury by Estella M. Chung (GILES)

Boy on the Bridge: The Story of John Shalikashvili’s American Success by Andrew Marble (University Press of Kentucky)

The Brothers Mankiewicz: Hope, Heartbreak, and Hollywood Classics by Sydney Ladensohn Stern (University Press of Mississippi)

Forever Seeing New Beauties: The Forgotten Impressionist Mary Rogers Williams, 1857–1907 by Eve Kahn (Wesleyan University Press)

Jerome Robbins, by Himself: Selections from His Letters, Journals, Drawings, Photographs, and an Unfinished Memoir by Jerome Robbins, edited and with commentary by Amanda Vaill (Knopf)

Boss of the Grips: The Life of James H. Williams and the Red Caps of Grand Central Terminal  by Eric K. Washington (Liveright)

The Lost Brothers: A Family’s Decades-Long Search by Jack El-Hai  (University of Minnesota Press)


Team of Five: The Presidents Club in the Age of Trump by Kate Andersen Brower (Harper)

The Hermit King: The Dangerous Game of Kim Jong Un by Chung Min Lee (All Points)

Revolutionary Brothers: Thomas Jefferson, the Marquis de Lafayette, and the Friendship that Helped Forge Two Nations by Tom Chaffin (St. Martin’s Press)

The Girl in the Photograph: The True Story of a Native American Child, Lost and Found in America by Byron L. Dorgan (Thomas Dunne)

All Blood Runs Red: The Legendary Life of Eugene Bullard—Boxer, Pilot, Soldier, Spy by Phil Keith and Tom Clavin (Hanover Square)

Mary Ball Washington: The Untold Story of George Washington’s Mother by Craig Shirley (Harper)

The Mutual Admiration Society: How Dorothy L. Sayers and her Oxford Circle Remade the World for Women by Mo Moulton (Basic Books)

In That Time: Michael O’Donnell and the Tragic Era of Vietnam by Daniel H. Weiss (PublicAffairs)

Ian McKellen: A Biography by Garry O’Connor (St. Martin’s Press)

Carrie Fisher: A Life on the Edge by Sheila Weller (Sarah Crichton)

The Program: Inside the Mind of Keith Raniere and the Rise and Fall of NXIVM by Toni Natalie and Chet Hardin (Grand Central)

Jay-Z: Made in America by Michael Eric Dyson (St. Martin’s Press)

Metternich: Strategist and Visionary by Wolfram Siemann, translated by Daniel Steuer (Belknap Press)

Irving Berlin: New York Genius by James Kaplan (Yale University Press)

Walter Ralegh: Architect of Empire by Alan Gallay (Basic Books)

Agent Jack: The True Story of MI5’s Secret Nazi Hunter by Robert Hutton (St. Martin’s Press)

A New Orleans Author in Mark Twain’s Court: Letters from Grace King’s New England Sojourns by Miki Pfeffer (LSU Press)



Sidney Lumet: His Life and His Films by Maura Spiegel (St. Martin’s Press)

The Shadow of Vesuvius: A Life of Pliny by Daisy Dunn (Liveright)

Free, Melania: The Unauthorized Biography by Kate Bennett (Flatiron Books)

Heaven on Earth: How Copernicus, Brahe, Kepler, and Galileo Discovered the Modern World by J. S. Fauber (Pegasus Books)

Virginia Woolf: And the Women Who Shaped Her World by Gillian Gill (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

An Unconventional Wife: The Life of Julia Sorell Arnold by Mary Hoban (Scribe US)

Alice Adams: Portrait of a Writer by Carol Sklenicka (Scribner)



How Madness Shaped History: An Eccentric Array of Maniacal Rulers, Raving Narcissists, and Psychotic Visionaries by Christopher J. Ferguson (Prometheus)

A Game of Birds and Wolves: The Young Women Who Played to Win World War II by Simon Parkin (Little, Brown)

Father of Lions: One Man’s Remarkable Quest to Save the Mosul Zoo by Louise Callaghan (Forge Books)

Race of Aces: WWII’s Elite Airmen and the Epic Battle to Become the Masters of the Sky by John R. Bruning (Hachette)

Mengele: Unmasking the “Angel of Death” by David G. Marwell (W. W. Norton)

Dante by John Took (Princeton University Press)

The Great Rift: Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, and the Broken Friendship That Defined an Era by James Mann (Henry Holt)

Imperfect Union: How Jessie and John Frémont Mapped the West, Invented Celebrity, and Helped Cause the Civil War by Steve Inskeep (Penguin)

The Sun and Her Stars: Salka Viertel and Hitler’s Exiles in the Golden Age of Hollywood by Donna Rifkind (Other Press)

Tonight We Bombed the U.S. Capitol: The Explosive Story of M19, America’s First Female Terrorist Group by William Rosenau (Atria Books)

Life in a Cold Climate: Nancy Mitford: The Biography by Laura Thompson (Pegasus Books)

Facebook: The Inside Story of Mark Zuckerberg and the Social Network’s Fight for Survival by Steven Levy (Blue Rider Press)



The Man in the Red Coat by Julian Barnes

Franklin & Washington: The Founding Partnership by Edward J. Larson (William Morrow)

Citizen Reporters: S. S. McClure, Ida Tarbell, and the Magazine That Rewrote America by Stephanie Gorton (Ecco)

Eight Days at Yalta: How Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin Shaped the Post-War World by Diana Preston (Atlantic Monthly)

Fighting for Space: Two Pilots and Their Historic Battle for Female Spaceflight by Amy Shira Teitel (Grand Central)

The Falcon Thief: A True Tale of Adventure, Treachery, and the Hunt for the Perfect Bird by Joshua Hammer (Simon & Schuster)

The Black Auxiliary: The Untold Story of 18 African Americans Who Defied Jim Crow and Adolf Hitler To Compete in the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Deborah Riley Draper and Travis Thrasher (Atria)

Chanel’s Riviera: Glamour, Decadence and Survival in Peace and War, 1930–1944 by Anne de Courcy (St. Martin’s Press)

Dave Brubeck: A Life in Time by Philip Clark (Da Capo Press)

American Sherlock: Murder, Forensics, and the Birth of American CSI by Kate Winkler Dawson  (G. P. Putnam’s Sons)

The Dalai Lama: An Extraordinary Life by Alexander Norman (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Theodor Herzl: The Charismatic Leader by Derek Jonathan Penslar (Yale University Press)