Top 34 Best Biography Books of All Time Reviews [2021]

Best Biography Books of All Time Reviews [2021]
  • MatthewDusQues

Young people should read autobiographies and memoirs. They provide valuable lessons that can be applied to their lives. The great biographies give us insight into the lives of successful people and how they deal with complex problems. We are invited into people’s lives to observe how they deal with difficult situations and make crucial decisions. Then, what are the best biography books? If you are looking for good biography books to read, Penn Book has compiled a list of the top best biography books.

Best Biographies Ever Written

Best Biographies Ever Written

Churchill: A Life
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Gilbert, Martin (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 1088 Pages - 10/15/1992...
Totto-Chan: The Little Girl at the Window
  • Kodansha
  • Kuroyanagi, Tetsuko (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 232 Pages - 03/23/2012...
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Eisenhower in War and Peace
  • Random House Trade Paperbacks
  • Smith, Jean Edward (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 976 Pages - 05/07/2013...
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Alexander Hamilton
17,455 Reviews
Alexander Hamilton
  • Brand New in box. The product...
  • Chernow, Ron (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 818 Pages - 03/29/2005...
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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
  • New York Times Bestseller
  • Skloot, Rebecca (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 381 Pages - 03/08/2011...
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The Autobiography of Malcolm X (As Told to Alex...
  • Ballantine Books
  • Malcolm X (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 527 Pages - 01/15/1992...

Churchill: A Life by Martin Gilbert

Although many biographies of Winston Spencer Churchill have been written, Gilbert’s biography is the definitive on him widely considered Britain’s most excellent prime minister. This biography is a tribute to the charismatic man who led Britain through World War II. It features a deft balance of detailed research and personal details.

Churchill: A Life
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Gilbert, Martin (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 1088 Pages - 10/15/1992...

Totto-Chan: The Little Girl at the Window by Tetsuko Kuroyanagi

Totto-Chan, a unique figure in Japanese culture, is at the same level of celebrity status as Oprah in the United States. The story tells the story of a pre-World War II Japanese girl who was misunderstood as a child. She suffered from attention disorders, excessive energy and later was mentored and supported by a particular school principal. Japan has sold over 5 million copies of the book.

Eisenhower in War and Peace by Jean Edward Smith

Dwight D. Eisenhower is the man responsible for winning World War II. He also prevented the use of nuclear weapons twice and tried to keep our troops out of Vietnam. All this while looking easy. This biography offers a history lesson and a glimpse into the mind of a genius man.

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

Best biography that inspired a hit musical

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow, a hit Broadway musical that was a huge success, is also a work by creative genius. This massive work of more than 800 pages covers every moment of the youngest Founding Father’s life, from his involvement in the Revolutionary War and early American government to his infamous (and ultimately career-destroying!) affair with Maria Reynolds. Although he may not have been elected president, he was an exciting and unique figure in American History. It’s also fun to find the truth behind the songs.

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Alexander Hamilton
17,455 Reviews
Alexander Hamilton
  • Brand New in box. The product...
  • Chernow, Ron (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 818 Pages - 03/29/2005...

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Rebecca Skloot is a writer with a fascinating background. Although she has published more than 200 essays and short stories, her most famous work is The Immortal Live of Henrietta Lacks.

The most remarkable biographical achievement of the twenty-first Century is The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. It’s about a woman whose cells changed the course of modern medicine. Rebecca Skloot expertly recollects the life of a black woman who had her cancer cells taken without her consent for medical testing. Without her knowledge, we wouldn’t be able to access many of the crucial cures we have today.

This biography has attracted so much attention in the last decade than Oprah Winfrey produced an HBO film about it.

The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley

The Autobiography of Malcolm X is one of the most famous biographies of all time. It remains a classic and essential book. Malcolm X’s politics are controversial, but they offer a provocative perspective that will challenge your views on America and the American Dream.

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

A co-founder and innovator of Apple, Steve Jobs is known for his inventiveness that reimagined technology in the 21st century. Water Issacson uses 40 interviews with Steve Jobs, plus interviews with more than 100 of his friends and family members, to paint a fascinating portrait of this influential man.

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Steve Jobs
  • Simon Schuster
  • Isaacson, Walter (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 656 Pages - 09/15/2015...

Trump Revealed: The Definitive Biography of the 45th President by Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher

Donald Trump is the most divisive US President of all time, whether you love him or not. A team of award-winning Washington Post journalists has compiled a comprehensive biography about Trump. It was co-authored by Marc Fisher and Michael Kranish, an investigative journalist and senior editor. The book provides a detailed look into Trump’s life, including his childhood in Queens and his turbulent career in entertainment and real estate. It also gives insight into his remarkable rise to the top as a Republican presidential candidate.

Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman by Jon Krakauer

This is the story of a professional football player who quit a $3 million NFL contract to join the Army Rangers following 9/11. He died under suspicious circumstances in Afghanistan. Although Pat Tillman was not perfect, he was an example that we could all learn from. His incredible story of courage and selflessness will always be linked to the aftermath of the 2001 terrorist attacks.

Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo” by Zora Neale Hurston

Hurston was a prolific essayist, short-story writer, and novelist. In 1927, she turned her hand to biographical writing with this fantastic work. It was kept secret until its publication in 2018.

Cudjo Lewis was captured and enslaved 50 years after the Atlantic slave market was banned in the United States. The author spent three months in Cudjo’s company, learning about his life from Africa to crossing the Middle Passage and the years before the Civil War. This biography is a first-hand account of this part of painful History.

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Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo"
  • Hurston, Zora Neale (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 256 Pages - 01/07/2020...

Empire: The Life, Legend, and Madness of Howard Hughes by Donald Barlett

This is the epic biography of an extraordinary man. This biography reveals his extraordinary success and his inner struggles. The story focuses on the eccentric but brutal character of this aviator and film producer.

Alan Turing: The Enigma: The Book That Inspired the Film The Imitation Game – Updated Edition by Andrew Hodges

Hodges’ 1983 biography about Alan Turing reveals the inside workings of this brilliant mathematician and cryptologist. Despite its title (a reference to his work during WWII), this book covers many of the “enigmatic Turing.” It includes his heroic code-breaking efforts during the Second World War, his contributions to mathematical biology and computer pioneer in the years that followed, as well as the vicious persecution he suffered in the 1950s when homosexual acts were still criminalized by English law.

Prince: A Private View by Afshin Shahidi

This intimate snapshot of Prince’s life was compiled just after the superstar’s untimely death in 2016. It is primarily a visual work. Shahidi was his private photographer from 2000 to his death. Pictures are worth a thousand words. But Shahidi’s pictures show Prince’s extraordinary vibrance, contagious excitement, and singular personality.

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Prince: A Private View
  • Hardcover Book
  • Shahidi, Afshin (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 256 Pages - 10/24/2017...

The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke by Jeffrey C Stewart

Alain Locke was an artist, writer, and theorist. He is best known for his leadership of the Harlem Renaissance. Alain Locke’s life is a vivid portrayal of his personal and private life. It also highlights his influences and the many ways that he supported African American literary and artistic creations.

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

Louis Zamperini, a lieutenant bombardier, crashed into the Pacific Ocean during World War II. In an attempt to survive, Zamperini managed to pull himself onto a life raft, where he faced many trials, including starvation, shark attacks, and the attack of enemy aircraft. This biography depicts Louis’s life from his childhood to his military service. It also includes a historical account of atrocities that occurred during World War II.

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

Alexander Supertramp, Christopher McCandless, also known as Alexander Supertramp, hitchhiked from Alaska to Alaska in April 1992 and then disappeared into the Denali wilderness. McCandless, now five months old, was found dead in his shelter. But what caused it? Krakauer’s McCandless biography traces McCandless’s steps back to the beginning, trying to determine what the young man was seeking on his trek and whether he understood the dangers ahead.

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Into the Wild
  • Random House Into the Wild,...
  • Jon Krakauer (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 240 Pages - 02/01/1997...

Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo by Hayden Herrera

Herrera’s 1983 great biography about Frida Kahlo one of the most recognizable names in modern art) has become the definitive account of her life. While Kahlo was undoubtedly subject to a lot of pain (a terrible accident at age 18 and a husband with constant affairs), the focal point of the book’s biography is not her suffering. It’s her artistic brilliance, immense resolve, her determination to make a difference in the world, and her dedication to her work that will never be forgotten.

The book covers her childhood during the Mexican Revolution and her passionate relationships. It also intertwines her paintings and their stories through her story.

Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter by Kate Clifford Larson

Rosemary Kennedy may not have been assassinated or killed in a mysterious plane crash, but her fate is the worst of the Kennedy Curse. Her parents kept her from society and rarely saw her again. This new biography, written by Kate Larson, is the full truth of Rosemary’s life after a lobotomy.

The Black Rose: The Dramatic Story of Madam C.J. Walker, America’s First Black Female Millionaire by Tananarive Due

Madam C.J. Walker is best known for being the first Black female millionaire. However, she was also an entrepreneur, philanthropist, born to former slaves in Louisiana. The book was researched and written by Alex Haley before his death. Tananarive Due, an author, brought Haley’s life to life in this captivating biography of an American pioneer.

The Black Rose: The Dramatic Story of Madam C.J....
  • human spirit create odds...
  • Due, Tananarive (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 384 Pages - 01/02/2001...

Surviving Hiroshima: A Young Woman’s Story by Anthony Drago and Douglas Wellman

Kaleria Palichikoff, a daughter of Russian immigrants, fled Russia to be with her family in Japan. Then, at 22 years old, the atomic bomb fell on Hiroshima. Amid such devastation, Kaleria tried to help survivors and treat radiation-related injuries. The US Army interviewed Kaleria, one of few English-speaking survivors. She was eventually able to start a new life in America after the war.

Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson

Isaacson is the standard in contemporary biographers. His book on Leonardo da Vinci is a bestseller. Isaacson can provide a personal portrait of the most well-known painter of all times, albeit centuries removed.

Ida: A Sword Among Lions by Paula J. Giddings

This biography about Ida B. is an award-winning one. This award-winning biography of Ida B. is beloved for its ability to highlight racially motivated abuses. Black women suffered in America during her lifetime and celebrated Ida’s activism. Ida traveled across the country reporting on the horrendous acts and the stories of the affected families and communities.

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Ida: A Sword Among Lions: Ida B. Wells and the...
  • Giddings, Paula J (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 832 Pages - 03/03/2009...

Mao: The Unknown Story by Jung Chang

Many are familiar with Mao Zedong, the revolutionary leader of China. Jung Chang has carefully curated a biography that reveals more about the life and times of the “Red Emperor.” You won’t find these stories or interviews in historical books. The horrific statistic that Mao was responsible for more than 70,000,000 deaths during his reign begins this extensive account.

The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel

This 2017 book by Christopher Knight will appeal to fans of Into the Wild, The Lost City of Z, and Into the Wild. It tells the story of a man who lived in the Maine woods for almost 30 years. Readers who dream of escape will be captivated by the story of Knight, the so-called “last true hermit,” with vivid descriptions of Knight’s rural setting, carefully planned moves, and how he survived the Maine winters.

A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar

This biography of John Nash, a respected mathematician, was a finalist in the 1998 Pulitzer Prize. It also served as the basis for the award-winning film of the same name. Nasar explores Nash’s illustrious career from his early days at MIT to the RAND Corporation. He also discusses his internal struggle against schizophrenia that almost cost him his life.

A Beautiful Mind : A Biography of John Forbes...
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Hardcover Book
  • Nasar, Sylvia (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 464 Pages - 06/12/1998...

Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar by Simon Sebag Montefiore

Biographies are not always about the great people of life. This biography is about Joseph Stalin, one of the best villains of all time. This book is primarily about his rise to absolute power. The book goes into great detail about the madman’s actions and the court he kept. This book is recommended for mature readers only due to the disturbing scenes and emotions scattered throughout.

“Those who don’t learn from the past are doomed not to repeat it,” old saying. The subject matter makes it a difficult read, not because of its language but because of its difficulty. It is difficult to believe that one man could be capable of such a multitude of monstrosities. Understanding this is important so that we, as a society, can prevent similar events from happening again.

Titan: The Life of John. D. Rockefeller Sr. by Ron Chernow

Ron Chernow has created some of the best biographies of all time. This biography of John is 832-pages long. D. Rockefeller shares the most important lessons that you can learn from Rockefeller. He is a strangely stoic and resilient man but humble and compassionate, despite his reputation for being a robber baron. Rockefeller was more open-minded and generous than most successful people. You can also read his mistakes and make your assessment of Rockefeller.

The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann

This gripping 2009 biography features another mysterious explorer. Grann tells the story of Percy Fawcett, the archaeologist who disappeared in the Amazon with his son in 1925, searching for an ancient lost city. Grann also describes his 80-year-old journeys through the Amazon, describing the dangers Fawcett might have faced and finally discovering the “Lost City of Z.”

The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in...
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Vintage (Publisher)

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford

While most depictions of the Mongols are bloodthirsty pillagers and ruthless thieves, this biography shows how they made many advances for their conquered countries. Genghis Khan created universal religious freedom and abolished torture.

The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk by Randy Shilts

Harvey Milk, the first openly homosexual elected official in California, was assassinated 11 months into his term. Harvey Milk’s inspiring biography, set against the rise in LGBTQIA+ activism during the 1970s, tells Harvey Milk’s story and the story of hope and perseverance within the queer community.

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin

His rivals were stunned and dismayed when Lincoln won the presidency. Lincoln’s ability to connect with the people and his unwavering sense of dignity and poise made him the victor. This ability enabled him to create one of the unique presidential cabinets in History. He assembled it from his most politically experienced and robust rivals.

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Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham...
  • Simon Schuster
  • Goodwin, Doris Kearns (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 944 Pages - 09/26/2006...

Bohemian Rhapsody: The Definitive Biography of Freddie Mercury by Leslie-Ann Jones

Bohemian Rhapsody, the biography of Freddie Mercury that you didn’t know you needed. This book was primarily about the 1980s when Queen started to fall apart-mainly before Live Aid. It has been described as an emotional rollercoaster that takes the reader from Freddie’s childhood in India, Zanzibar, to his wilder years of the ’70s & ’80s.

Leonardo da Vinci: The Marvelous Works of Nature and Man by Martin Kemp

Kemp’s biography of da Vinci is the most widely used biography of the Renaissance figure. This fantastic book sheds light upon one of the most significant creative figures ever to live. It guides readers through a comprehensive account of da Vinci’s scientific, artistic, and technological works, as well as the life events which shaped them.

The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York by Robert Caro

Robert Moses, the former New York parks commissioner, was a man who loved power and gained power. He was also transformed by it. This biography of over 1,000 pages could be the definitive guide to power and legacy. This biography is a valuable learning tool that reveals who you should not be and what you should do.

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The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New...
  • Vintage
  • Caro, Robert A. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 1344 Pages - 07/12/1975...

Other Best Biography Books

  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou

Why Are Biographies Important

 

Why Are Biographies Important?

A biography is often overlooked, but it contains more than the story of a person’s life. Although the stories are entertaining, there’s another benefit to writing and reading biography books.

For readers: Biographies

Three main points are apparent when looking at the benefits that readers can gain from biographies:

  • Biographies provide real-life lessons.
  • Inspirational biographies.
  • You can walk a mile in the shoes of another person with Biographies.

Biographies for Writers

Biographies can be beneficial to readers as well. Biographers learn from the process. These are some of the benefits that biographers may reap.

  • Each one comes with its subject matter.
  • They will make you feel humane and humble.

Best Biographies FAQs

Why should you read biographies?

The best well-written biographies combine life lessons and wisdom with the ease of reading and storytelling expected from novels. These biographies are often simple to read and offer a unique way to see the world through someone else’s eyes.

What is the best-selling autobiography of all time?

Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl is the best-selling autobiography of all time. Although there is no data available on the top-selling biographies, Anne Frank’s diary ranks high on this list of best-selling books. Night, #1 (The Night Trilogy) and The Glass Castle are two other best-selling autobiographies.

What’s the best autobiography to read?

The two top-ranked books on this list – Night, #1 and The Automobilia of Malcolm X – are great autobiographies. Famous autobiographies such as Diary of a Young Girl and Why the Cagedbird Sings are also top-ranked. You may also like these ideas.

Conclusion

Reading biographies can inspire new career options for those just launching their careers and serve as an inspiring reminder for seasoned executives about what makes their journey so unique. Books provide a more accurate representation of the story than Hollywood can. The perfect reading list to get you motivated for your career. Books are the key to success.

If your favorite biography is not on the list, please let us know why in the comments. Let’s get to the good stuff and better titles. Thanks for your reading!

Read also: Biography Vs Autobiography: Best Comparison [2021]

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Last update on 2021-11-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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