Spring 2019 Preview

We’re highlighting here  some of the books due out this spring and summer 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, 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.


L.E.L.: The Lost Life and Scandalous Death of Letitia Elizabeth Landon, the Celebrated “Female Byron” by Lucasta Miller (Knopf)

Monument Man: The Life and Art of Daniel Chester French by Harold Holzer (Princeton Architectural Press)

The Catalogue of Shipwrecked Books: Christopher Columbus, His Son, and the Quest to Build the World’s Greatest Library by Edward Wilson-Lee (Scribner)

Funny Man: Mel Brooks by Patrick McGilligan (Harper)

The Club: Johnson, Boswell, and the Friends Who Shaped an Age by Leo Damrosch (Yale University Press)

Zora and Langston: A Story of Friendship and Betrayal by Yuval Taylor (W. W. Norton)

Walter Gropius: Visionary Founder of the Bauhaus by Fiona MacCarthy (Faber)

American Cipher: Bowe Bergdahl and the U.S. Tragedy in Afghanistan by Matt Farwell and   Michael Ames (Penguin Press)

The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick by Mallory O’Meara (Hanover Square Press)

The Chief: The Life and Turbulent Times of Chief Justice John Roberts by Joan Biskupic (Basic Books)

First: Sandra Day O’Connor by Evan Thomas (Random House)

The Trial of Lizzie Borden by Cara Robertson (Simon & Schuster)

Ray Bolger: More than a Scarecrow by Holly Van Leuven (Oxford University Press)

White Shoe: How a New Breed of Wall Street Lawyers Changed Big Business and the American Century by John Oller (Dutton)

Foursome: Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O’Keeffe, Paul Strand, Rebecca Salsbury by Carolyn Burke (Knopf)

Midnight: Three Women at the Hour of Reckoning by Victoria Shorr (W. W. Norton)

Girl in Black and White: The Story of Mary Mildred Williams and the Abolition Movement by Jessie Morgan-Owens (W. W. Norton)

Ten Caesars: Roman Emperors from Augustus to Constantine by Barry Strauss (Simon & Schuster)

When the Irish Invaded Canada by Christopher Klein (Doubleday)

Outsiders: Five Women Writers Who Changed the World by Lyndall Gordon (Johns Hopkins University Press)



Working by Robert A. Caro (Knopf)

Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump by Rick Reilly (Hachette Books)

American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race by Douglas Brinkley (Harper)

Eric Hobsbawm: A Life in History by Richard J. Evans (Oxford University Press)

Jimmy Page: The Definitive Biography by Chris Salewicz (Da Capo)

The Matriarch: Barbara Bush and the Making of an American Dynasty by Susan Page (Twelve)

The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II by Sonia Purnell (Viking)

The League of Wives: The Untold Story of the Women Who Took on the U.S. Government to Bring Their Husbands Home by Heath Hardage Lee (St. Martin’s Press)

The Problem of Democracy: The Presidents Adams Confront the Cult of Personality by Nancy Isenberg and Andrew Burstein (Viking)

Henrik Ibsen: The Man and the Mask by Ivo de Figueiredo, translated by Robert Ferguson (Yale University Press)

Revolutionary: George Washington at War by Robert L. O’Connell (Random House)

Never a Lovely So Real: The Life and Work of Nelson Algren by Colin Asher (W. W. Norton)

Chaucer: A European Life by Marion Turner (Princeton University Press)

Mr. Straight Arrow: The Career of John Hersey, Author of Hiroshima by Jeremy Treglown (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Alfred Stieglitz: Taking Pictures, Making Painters by Phyllis Rose (Yale University Press)

Germaine: The Life of Germaine Greer by Elizabeth Kleinhenz (Scribe US)

The Death and Life of Aida Hernandez: A Border Story by Aaron Bobrow-Strain (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)



CSNY: Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young by Peter Doggett (Atria)

War and Peace: FDR’s Final Odyssey: D-Day to Yalta, 1943–1945 by Nigel Hamilton (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century by George Packer (Knopf)

Theodore Roosevelt for the Defense: The Courtroom Battles to Save His Legacy by Dan Abrams and David Fisher (Hanover Square Press)

The Impeachers: The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of a Just Nation by Brenda Wineapple (Random House)

Becoming Dr. Seuss: Theodor Geisel and the Making of an American Imagination by Brian Jay Jones (Dutton)

The World’s Fastest Man: The Extraordinary Life of Major Taylor, America’s First Black Sports Hero by Michael Kranish (Scribner)

Oliver Wendell Holmes: A Life in War, Law, and Ideas by Stephen Budiansky (W. W. Norton)

The First Wave: The D-Day Warriors Who Led the Way to Victory in World War II by Alex Kershaw

The Second Most Powerful Man in the World: The Life of Admiral William D. Leahy, Roosevelt’s Chief of Staff by Phillips Payson O’Brien (Dutton)

Sol LeWitt: A Life of Ideas by Lary Bloom (Wesleyan University Press)

Ernesto: The Untold Story of Hemingway in Revolutionary Cuba by Andrew Feldman (Melville House)

Wright and New York: The Making of America’s Architect by Anthony Alofsin (Yale University Press)

The Life of Mark Twain: The Middle Years, 1871–1891 by Gary Scharnhorst (University of Missouri Press)

Why They Marched: Untold Stories of the Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote by Susan Ware (Belknap Press)

A Well-Read Woman: The Life, Loves, and Legacy of Ruth Rappaport by Kate Stewart (Little A)

Rebels and Sisters: A Struggle for the Soul of America, by Jacquelyn Hall (W. W. Norton)



The Kennedy Heirs: John, Caroline, and the New Generation – A Legacy of Triumph and Tragedy by J. Randy Taraborrelli (St. Martin’s Press)

The Crowded Hour: Theodore Roosevelt, the Rough Riders, and the Dawn of the American Century by Clay Risen (Scribner)

The Widow Washington: The Life of Mary Washington by Martha Saxton (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Superpower: One Man’s Quest to Transform American Energy by Russell Gold (Simon & Schuster)

Young Castro: The Making of a Revolutionary by Jonathan M. Hansen (Simon & Schuster)

Alone at Dawn: Medal of Honor Recipient John Chapman and the Untold Story of the World’s Deadliest Special Operations Force by Dan Schilling and Lori Longfritz (Grand Central)

Tchaikovsky: The Man Revealed by John Suchet (Pegasus Books)

The Last Pirate of New York: A Ghost Ship, a Killer, and the Birth of a Gangster Nation by Rich Cohen (Spiegel & Grau)

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

Creative Gatherings: Meetingplaces of Modernism by Mary Ann Caws (REAKTION)



George Marshall: Defender of the Republic by David L. Roll (Dutton Caliber)

The Vagabonds: The Story of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison’s Ten-Year Road Trip by Jeff Guinn (Simon & Schuster)

Elvis in Vegas: How the King Reinvented the Las Vegas Show by Richard Zoglin (Simon & Schuster)

The Great Partnership: Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and the Fate of the Confederacy by Christian B. Keller (Pegasus Books)

If: The Untold Story of Kipling’s American Years by Christopher Benfey (Penguin Press)

The Liberation of Paris: How Eisenhower, de Gaulle, and von Choltitz Saved the City of Light by Jean Edward Smith (Simon & Schuster)

Alexander von Humboldt: How the Most Famous Scientist of the Romantic Age Found the Soul of Nature by Maren Meinhardt (BlueBridge)

Bagehot: The Life and Times of the Greatest Victorian by James Grant (W. W. Norton)



A State at Any Cost: The Life of David Ben-Gurion by Tom Segev and Haim Watzman (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Agrippina: The Most Extraordinary Woman of the Roman World by Emma Southon (Pegasus Books)

Becoming Beauvoir: A Life by Kate Kirkpatrick (Bloomsbury Academic)

In Montparnasse: The Emergence of Surrealism in Paris, from Duchamp to Dalí by Sue Roe (Penguin Press)

Barnum: An American Life by Robert Wilson (Simon & Schuster)