biography

Podcast Episode #84 – Gary Ginsberg

Happy New Year! This week we interview Gary Ginsberg, author of The New York Times bestseller, First Friends: The Powerful, Unsung (and Unelected) People Who Shaped Out Presidents, published by Twelve in July 2021. The book explores nine select American presidents (Thomas Jefferson, Franklin Pierce, Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman, Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton) and the relationships they had with their best friends. A lawyer by training, Ginsberg worked for the Clinton administration, served as a senior editor and counsel at the political magazine, George, and held executive positions at the News Corporation, Time Warner and SoftBank. He has published pieces in The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and he was as an on-air political contributor during the early days of MSNBC. Gary Ginsberg was interviewed online, via Zoom, on October 12, 2021 by fellow biographer and BIO member Kitty Kelley.

 

Podcast Episode #83 – Writing the First Biography of Your Subject

This week we offer the next episode in a special mini-series featuring highlights from panel discussions conducted during BIO’s first virtual annual conference, held May 14-16, 2021. The session, Writing the First Biography of Your Subject, featured biographers Justin Gifford (Revolution or Death: The Life of Eldridge Cleaver), Abigail Santamaria (Joy: Poet, Seeker, and the Woman Who Captivated C. S. Lewis) and Carol Sklenicka (Alice Adams: Portrait of a Writer). The panel was moderated by author and BIO member Debby Applegate (Madam: The Biography of Polly Adler, Icon of the Jazz Age).

 

Podcast Episode #82 – The Art and Technology of Interviewing

This week we offer the next episode in a special mini-series featuring highlights from panel discussions conducted during BIO’s first virtual annual conference, held May 14-16, 2021. The session, The Art and Technology of Interviewing, featured authors John Brady (The Art of Interviewing), Claudia Dreifus (Interview; The New York Times’ Scientific Conversations: Interviews on Science) and Brian Jay Jones (Becoming Dr. Seuss: Theodor Geisel and the Making of an American Imagination). The panel was moderated by author & BIO member James McGrath Morris (Tony Hillerman: A Life).

 

 

Podcast Episode #81 – How to Pay for It…Or Funding Your Biography

This week we offer the next episode in a special mini-series featuring highlights from panel discussions conducted during BIO’s first virtual annual conference, held May 14-16, 2021. The session, “How to Pay For It, Or Funding Your Biography,” featured biographer Carla Kaplan (Miss Anne in Harlem: The White Women of the Black Renaissance), Steve Hindle of California’s Huntington Library, and Mark Silver of the National Endowment for the Humanties. The panel was moderated by author and BIO member Heath Hardage Lee (The League of Women: The Untold Story of the Women Who Took on the U.S. Government to Bring Their Husbands Home).

 

 

Podcast Episode #80 – Researching Under-Documented Lives

This week we offer the next episode in a special mini-series featuring highlights from panel discussions conducted during BIO’s first virtual annual conference, held May 14-16, 2021. The session, “Researching Under-Documented Lives, featured biographers Gaiutra Bahadur (Coolie Woman: The Odyssey of Indenture), Channing Gerald Joseph and Pamela Newkirk (Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga), The panel was moderated by author and BIO member Kavita Das (Poignant Song: The Life and Music of Lakshmi Shankar).

 

 

Podcast Episode #79 – Swipe Right for your Subject: How Do You Know It’s the Right One?

This week we offer the first in a mini-series of special episodes featuring highlights from panel discussions conducted during BIO’s first virtual annual conference, held May 14-16, 2021. The session, Swipe Right for your Subject: How Do You Know It’s the Right One?, featured biographer Mary V. Dearborn (Ernest Hemingway: A Biography), long time book editor Gerald Howard and biographer Eric K. Washington (Boss of the Grips: The Life of James H. Williams and the Red Caps of Grand Central Terminal). The panel was moderated by author and BIO member Gayle Feldman.

 

 

Podcast Episode #78 – Daniel de Visé

This week we interview veteran Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist and writer, Daniel de Visé. Exploring the life and times of a legendary guitarist and singer, his latest biography, King of the Blues, The Rise and Reign of B.B. King, was published by Grove Press in October 2021. De Visé’s previous books include biographies of actors Andy Griffin and Don Knotts (Andy & Don, Simon & Schuster), as well as professional cyclist and Congressional Gold Medal recipient Greg LeMond (The Comeback, Grove Atlantic). Daniel de Visé was interviewed on October 1, 2021 via Zoom by BIO member and fellow biographer John “Jack” Farrell.

Author photo credit: John M.W. King

 

Podcast Episode #77 – David Hajdu and John Carey

In this week’s episode, we interview David Hajdu and John Carey, collaborators on a biography in graphic form about three vaudeville stars. A Revolution in Three Acts: The Radical Vaudeville of Bert Williams, Eva Tanguay and Julian Eltinge was published Columbia University Press in September 2021. David Hajdu is a biographer, cultural historian, novelist, and songwriter. His previous biographies include Lush Life, Positively 4th Street and Adrianne Geffel, and he teaches at the Columbia University Journalism School. John Carey is a painter who served as the editorial cartoonist for Greater Media Newspapers for many years. Hajdu and Carey were interviewed via Zoom by BIO member Eric K. Washington on September 29, 2021.

Author photo credit: Takato Harkness