Friday, March 1, 2013

New Biographies

Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy by M. Stanton Evans
Drawing on primary sources – including never-before-published government records and FBI files, as well as recent research gleaned from Soviet archives – Evans attempts to overturn our understanding of McCarthy, McCarthyism, and the Cold War. –Summary.

Changing My Mind by Margaret Trudeau
Captivated by her youth and beauty, Canadians fell in love with Margaret, just as they had with her husband, Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau. In front of the cameras, the PM and his wife, along with their two boys Justin and Sacha, appeared to be living the charmed life. But away from the cameras, Margaret struggled with a growing mental illness. Her actions baffled many – including to herself – and two years following the birth of Michel, the marriage broke down. Gradually, Margaret found happiness in her photography and in her marriage to Fried Kemper. However, the tragic death of Michel and Pierre’s subsequent passing caused her to spiral into suicidal depression. Finally accepting the diagnosis of bipolar, she sought medical treatment. –Summary.

Charles and Emma by Deborah Heiligman
“This biography of Charles Darwin takes a personal look at the man behind evolutionary theory. His children doubled as scientific specimens, and his wife’s religious convictions made him rethink how the world would receive his ideas. What emerges is a portrait of a brilliant man, a radical scientist, and a great love.” –Jacket.

Growing Up Amish by Ira Wagler
"One fateful, starless night, seventeen-year-old Ira Wagler got up at 2:00 a.m., packed all his earthly belongings in a little black duffel bag, left a scribbled note under his pillow, and walked away from his home in the Old Order Amish settlement of Bloomfield, Iowa, into a world much wider and more foreign than he could ever have imagined. Now, in this heartwarming memoir, Ira paints a vivid portrait of Amish life--from his childhood days on the family farm, his Rumspringa rite of passage at age sixteen to his ultimate decision to leave the Amish Church for good at age twenty-six. Growing Up Amish is the true story of one man's quest to discover who he is and where he belongs. Readers will laugh, cry, and be inspired by this charming-yet-poignant coming of age story set amidst the backdrop of one of the most enigmatic cultures in America today – the Old Order Amish." –Cover.

I Am Hutterite by Mary-Ann Kirkby
"In 1969, Ann-Marie’s parents did the unthinkable. They left a Hutterite colony in Canada with seven children, and little else, to start a new life. Overnight, the family was thrust into a society they did not understand and which knew little of their unique culture. The transition was overwhelming. Desperate to be accepted, ten-year-old Ann-Marie was forced to deny her heritage in order to fit in with her peers. I Am Hutterite chronicles her quest to reinvent herself as she comes to terms with the painful circumstances that has led her family to leave community life." –Cover.

Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero by Chris Matthews
“Chris Matthews’s extraordinary biography is based on personal interviews with those closest to JFK, oral histories by top political aide Kenneth O’Donnell and others, documents from his years as a student at Choate, and notes from Jacqueline Kennedy’s first interview after Dallas. You’ll learn the origins of his inaugural call to 'Ask what you can do for your country.' You’ll discover his role in the genesis of the Peace Corps, his stand on civil rights, his push to put a man on the moon, his ban on nuclear arms testing. You’ll get, more than ever before, to the root of the man, including the unsettling aspects of his personal life.” –Jacket.

Laura Secord: Heroine of the War of 1812 by Peggy Dymond Leavey
“After dragging her injured husband off the battlefield during the War of 1812, Laura Secord (1775-1868) was forced to house American soldiers for financial support while she nursed him back to health. It was during this time that she overheard the American plan to ambush British troops at Beaver Dams. Through an outstanding act of perseverance and courage in 1813, Laura walked an astonishing 30 kilometres from her home to a British outpost to warn Lieutenant James FitzGibbon.” –Cover.

Mick: The Wild Life and Mad Genius of Jagger by Christopher Anderson
“By any definition, Mick Jagger is a force of nature, a complete original – and undeniably one of the dominant cultural figures of our time. Swaggering, strutting, sometimes elusive, always spellbinding, he grabbed us by our collective throat a half-century ago and – unlike so many of his gifted peers – never let go. For decades, Mick has jealously guarded his many shocking secrets – until now. As the Rolling Stones mark their 50th anniversary, journalist and #1 New York Times bestselling author Christopher Andersen tears the mask from rock’s most complex and enigmatic icon in a no-holds-barred biography as impossible to ignore as Jagger himself.” –Jacket.

Winning Balance by Shawn Johnson
“In Winning Balance, for the first time Shawn reveals her journey so far: her against-the-odds quest to become a gymnastics world champion, her flirtation with Hollywood glamour, her growing faith, and her struggle to find herself. It’s the full, behind-the-scenes story of how a young woman who won Olympic gold on the balance beam learned new lessons about balance – as well as love, faith, and what winning really means.” –Jacket.