American Biographies



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American Biographies
304.2 MCK McKibben, Bill. Hope, Human and Wild: True Stories of Living Lightly on the Earth. Minneapolis: Milkweed, 2007.

Chronicles the author's search for hopeful signs that it is possible to save the environment, following his travels from his Adirondack home to the Brazilian city of Curitiba, to Kerala, a state in Southern India--places where people are living less earth-damaging lives.
305.896 REM Remembering Jim Crow: African Americans Tell about Life in the Segregated South. New York: New Press, 2001.

Presents personal accounts from African-Americans of what it was like to live in the segregated South.
306.3 REM Remembering Slavery: African Americans Talk about Their Personal Experiences of Slavery and Freedom. New York: New Press, 1998.

Presents transcriptions of interviews conducted in the 1930s and 1940s with former slaves in which they discuss the details of their everyday lives as slaves and after emancipation.
323.092 KIN King, Coretta Scott. My Life with Martin Luther King, Jr. New York: Puffin Books, 1993.

An intimate look at Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement through the eyes of his widow.
323.1 WEB Webb, Sheyann. Selma, Lord, Selma: Girlhood Memories of the Civil-Rights Days. University: University of Alabama Press, 1980.

Text and accompanying photographs present the story of two African-American girls who tell their memories of the civil rights marches in Selma, Alabama, in which they participated when they were eight and nine years old.
324.7 KUN Kunin, Madeleine. Pearls, Politics, & Power: How Women Can Win and Lead. White River Junction, Vt.: Chelsea Green Pub., 2008.

Draws on interviews with elected women leaders from all levels of politics to encourage American women to take a more active role in government and make a difference in their communities.
324.973 THO Thomas, Evan. A Long Time Coming: the Inspiring, Combative 2008 Campaign and the Historic Election of Barack Obama. New York: PublicAffairs, 2009.

Relates inside stories from the 2008 U.S. Presidential election, providing insight into the personalities, events, and key issues that led to the outcome, and includes an interview with President Barack Obama.
363.25 ARO Aronson, Marc. Master of Deceit: J. Edgar Hoover and America in the Age of Lies. Somerville: Candlewick, 2012.

This book examines the story of America during J. Edgar Hoover's reign as head of the FBI.
363.34 PIC Picciotto, Richard. Last Man Down: a Firefighter's Story of Survival and Escape from the World Trade Center. New York: Berkley Books, 2002.

Richard Picciotto, the highest-ranking firefighter to survive the collapse of the World Trade Center, provides an account of his activities and those of his fellow firefighters on September 11, 2001, when he and his team put their own lives on the line to help evacuate the North Tower, working until the building collapsed around them.
363.73 FRA Francis, John. Planetwalker. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 2008.

John Francis, a man inspired by an oil spill in San Francisco Bay in 1971 to give up using motorized vehicles and take a vow of silence, discusses the reasons why he embarked on his long, silent walk, and explains the meaning of the experience for him and society.
364.152 ALP Alphin, Elaine Marie. An Unspeakable Crime: the Prosecution and Persecution of Leo Frank. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda Books, 2010.

Describes the life and fate of Leo Frank, a Jewish American factory worker who was convicted of murdering thirteen-year-old Mary Phagan and later kidnapped from the prison and hung by a mob.
371.82 MOR Mortenson, Greg. Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan. New York: Viking, 2009.

Greg Mortenson describes his efforts to promote peace throughout the world, and details how he was able to establish over 130 schools--mostly for girls--in remote regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan with the backing of the Central Asia Institute--a nonprofit organization.

371.82 MOR Mortenson, Greg. Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Fight Terrorism and Build Nations--One School at a Time. New York: Viking, 2006.



Greg Mortenson recounts the experiences he had while trying to help impoverished villages in Pakistan's Karakoram Himalaya build schools for their children.
371.829 STO Stokes, John A. Students on Strike: Jim Crow, Civil Rights, Brown and Me. Washington, DC: National Geographic, 2008.

John A. Stokes, one of the leaders of the student strike at R. R. Morton High School in 1951, describes the conditions in which he and his fellow classmates learned and provides an account of how they fought against segregation.
372.976 TIS Tisserand, Michael. Sugarcane Academy: How a New Orleans Teacher and his Storm-Struck Students Created a School to Remember. Orlando: Harcourt, 2007.

Chronicles the actions of teacher Paul Reynaud, who, after Hurricane Katrina, began a school in a sugarcane field in New Iberia, Louisiana--known as Sugarcane Academy--and taught children who were also displaced by the storm.
373.767 FIT Fitzgerald, Stephanie. The Little Rock Nine: Struggle for Integration. Minneapolis, MN: Compass Point Books, 2007.

A profile of the Little Rock Nine, nine African-American students who, in accordance with the Supreme Court legislation that made segregation illegal, attempted to integrate Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957.
796.962 COF Coffey, Wayne R. The Boys of Winter: the Untold Story of a Coach, a Dream, and the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2005.

Explores the victory of the U.S. hockey team at the Lake Placid Olympics in 1980 and the paths of the players and coaches since 1980.
915.1904 BRA Brady, James. The Scariest Place in the World: a Marine Returns to North Korea. New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2005.

James Brady chronicles the experiences he had when he returned to North Korea nearly fifty years after he fought there as a young lieutenant of Marines, describing the painful memories his travels brought back and the healing that came with it.
916.76 BRY Bryson, Bill. Bill Bryson's African Diary. New York: Broadway Books, 2002.

Travel writer Bill Bryson recounts the experiences he had during his journey to Kenya in 2002, where he witnessed the crushing poverty that plagues the country and its people.
916.79 STA Stark, Peter. At the Mercy of the River: an Exploration of the Last African Wilderness. New York: Ballantine Books, 2005.

Presents the author's first-hand account of his kayaking trek down the Lugenda River in Mozambique, Africa, chronicling the adventure down uncharted waters and examining the nature of human exploration.
917.804 AMB Ambrose, Stephen E. Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2003.

Chronicles the experiences of Meriwether Lewis, the man chosen by President Jefferson to lead a voyage from the Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean in 1804, and tells of the political, scientific, and military figures involved in the mapping of the American West.
920 AME The American Presidency. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2009.

Contains articles that provide information about the life, career, and administration of each of the men to serve as U.S. president, from George Washington to Barack Obama, and includes profiles of the first ladies, as well as essays on presidential duties, the election process, the Cabinet, White House, and related topics.
920 BRI Brimner, Larry Dane. Black & White: the Confrontation of Reverend Fred L. Shuttlesworth and Eugene "Bull" Connor. Honesdale: Calkins Creek, 2011.

Provides an account of the confrontation between civil rights activist Reverend Fred L. Shuttlesworth, and Birmingham, Alabama, police chief Eugene "Bull" Connor, who was determined to keep the city's schools, parks, workplaces, and public facilities segregated.
920 BUR Burrows, John. Lewis & Clark: Blazing a Trail West. New York: Sterling, 2008.

Describes the journey taken by William Clark and Meriwether Lewis after leaving Illinois in 1804 to explore the unknown western region of North America where they discovered animals, and landforms, and interacted with several Native American tribes.
920 BZD Bzdek, Vincent. The Kennedy Legacy: Jack, Bobby and Ted and a Family Dream Fulfilled. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.

Explores the life and legacy of Jack, Bobby, and Ted Kennedy and their roles in American politics, government, and public life.
920 COL Colman, Penny. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony: a Friendship that Changed the World. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2011.

A dual biography of the lives of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony and the friendship that they formed. Together they challenged entrenched beliefs, customs, and laws that oppressed women and spearheaded the fight to gain legal rights, including the right to vote, despite fierce opposition, daunting conditions, scandalous entanglements, and betrayal by their friends and allies.
920 DIX Dixon-Engel, Tara. The Wright Brothers: First in Flight. New York: Sterling, 2007.

A brief biography of Orville and Wilbur Wright that profiles their lives and work which includes their interest in powered flight and invention of the airplane.
920 DOR Dornstein, Ken. The Boy Who Fell Out of the Sky: a True Story. New York: Vintage Books, 2007.

A memoir about the close relationship between two brothers describing how the author's life was changed by the death of his older brother David, a writer, who was killed in the bombingof Pan Am's Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988.
920 FLE Fleischman, John. Black and White Airmen: Their True History. Boston, Mass: Houghton Mifflin, 2007.

Presents the true story of two men--one African-American, the other white--who lived in the same Ohio neighborhood, went to the same school, joined the Army Air Corps in 1941, and finally became close friends nearly sixty years later.
920 FLE Fleming, Candace. The Lincolns: a Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary. New York: Schwartz & Wade Books, 2008.

A dual biography of Abraham Lincoln and his wife, Mary, using photographs, letters, engravings, and cartoons to look at their childhoods, courtship, marriage, children, and other joys and traumas of their years together, including their deaths.
920 FRA Fradin, Dennis B. Bound for the North Star: True Stories of Fugitive Slaves. New York: Clarion Books, 2000.

Twelve true accounts of slaves who escaped to freedom from slavery in the American South before the Civil War.
920 GRE Green, Carl R. American Tycoons. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishers, 1999.

Describes the lives of ten very different business people spanning America's history from the Civil War to the Computer Age, including Cornelius Vanderbilt, Bill Gates, Henry Ford, Louis Burton Mayer, and Madame C.J. Walker.
920 GRO Growing Up in Slavery: Stories of Young Slaves as Told by Themselves. Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books, 2005.

Presents ten personal stories of slaves as they describe the hardships, beatings, and tortures of slavery, how some overcame those obstacles to learn to read and write, how they challenged authority, and escaped to freedom.
920 HAL Haley, Alex. Roots: the Saga of an American Family. New York: Vanguard Press, 2004.

A black American traces his family's origins back to the African who was brought to America as a slave in 1767.
920 HAR Harmon, Rod. American Civil Rights Leaders. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishers, 2000.

Profiles prominent men and women of the civil rights movement, including Charles Houston, Ella Baker, Thurgood Marshall, Rosa Parks, Fannie Lou Hamer, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., Andrew Young, Julian Bond, and Jesse Jackson.
920 SCH Schiff, Karenna Gore. Lighting the Way: Nine Women Who Changed Modern America. New York: Miramax Books/Hyperion, 2005.

Profiles the lives of nine women who worked behind the scenes to impact the events of the twentieth century including early civil rights advocate Ida B. Wells and Frances Perkins who became the first woman to serve in a presidential cabinet.
920 STO Stone, Tanya Lee. Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream. Somerville: Candlewick Press, 2009.

Profiles thirteen women who challenged social norms and government policies to prove they could be exceptional astronauts.
921 ADAMS Somervill, Barbara A. Abigail Adams: Courageous Patriot and First Lady. Minneapolis: Compass Point, 2006.

Presents a biography of Abigail Adams, wife of President John Adams, a patriot, and author of political letters that influenced the laws of a new nation, providing information on her youth, her family life, and her achievements.
921 ADAMS Burgan, Michael. Samuel Adams: Patriot and Statesman. Minneapolis: Compass Point Books, 2005.

Examines the life of patriot and statesman Samuel Adams, focusing on his role in urging the American colonies to seek independence from Great Britain, and in organizing the government of the new nation.
921 ADAMS Irvin, Benjamin. Samuel Adams: Son of Liberty, Father of Revolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Examines the life of Samuel Adams, a hero of the American Revolution who is credited by some with having fired the first shot at Lexington Green, the "shot heard 'round the world."
921 ADDAMS Fradin, Judith Bloom. Jane Addams: Champion of Democracy. New York: Clarion Books, 2006.

Presents a biography of Jane Addams, suffragist, civil rights activist, and founder of Hull House in the slums of Chicago that draws from hundreds of historical documents; and contains archival photographs of her life and activities.
921 ALCOTT Reisen, Harriet. Louisa May Alcott: the Woman Behind Little Women. New York: Henry Holt, 2009.

Chronicles the life of Louisa May Alcott, discussing her childhood, the impact her father's self-indulgent utopian plans had on her life, the family's financial troubles and frequent moves, her schooling, her years as a nurse during the Civil War, her writing achievements, the health problems that plagued her, and other related topics.
921 ALDRIN Aldrin, Buzz. Magnificent Desolation: the Long Journey Home from the Moon. New York: Harmony Books, 2009.

Chronicles the life and accomplishments of Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, in which he describes the 1969 lunar landing, how the mission affected his life, and other personal trials and victories.
921 ALI Myers, Walter Dean. The Greatest: Muhammad Ali. New York: Scholastic, 2001.

An illustrated biography of boxing great Muhammad Ali that addresses his politics, his fight against Parkinson's disease, and boxing's dangers.
921 ALI Timblin, Stephen. Muhammad Ali: King of the Ring. New York: Sterling, 2010.

In 1964, floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee, the young boxer Cassius Clay defeated Sonny Liston for the world title and went on to become one of the greatest boxers of all time. He also gained notice for changing his name to Muhammad Ali as a member of the controversial Nation of Islam. Ali's most famous matches include defeating George Foreman in the Rumble in the Jungle, and battling Joe Frazier at the Thrilla in Manila. Since then, Ali has been in declining health, but he continues to use his fame to spread peace.
921 ALLENDE McNeese, Tim. Isabel Allende. New York: Chelsea House, 2006.

A biography of Chilean American novelist Isabel Allende, discussing her youth and family in Lima, her marriage to Michael, her work as a journalist, her clashes with the government, her career as a writer, and the death of her daughter, Paula.
921 ANDERSON Jones, Victoria Garrett. Marian Anderson: a Voice Uplifted. New York: Sterling Pub, 2008.

Chronicles the life of Marian Anderson from her childhood in Philadelphia's poorest neighborhood to her legendary career as a singer, exploring how she overcame racism and social boundaries to sing in the world's greatest concert halls.
921 ANGELOU Angelou, Maya. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. New York: Bantam, 1993, 1969.

Autobiography covering the childhood of a woman who has been a professional dancer, actress, poet, journalist, and television producer.
921 ANGELOU Nardo, Don. Maya Angelou: Poet, Performer, Activist. Minneapolis: Compass Point Books, 2009.

A biography of poet Maya Angelou, discussing her turbulent childhood, her devotion to books, her experiences as a young mother, her career in show business, and her emergence as a writer and speaker.
921 ARMSTRONG Armstrong, Lance. It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2000.

Champion cyclist Lance Armstrong describes his triumph over cancer.
921 ARMSTRONG Dixon-Engel, Tara. Neil Armstrong: One Giant Leap for Mankind. New York: Sterling, 2008.

A biography of former American astronaut, Neil Armstrong, who, in 1969, became the first man to walk on the moon.
921 ARNOLD Dell, Pamela. Benedict Arnold: From Patriot to Traitor . Minneapolis: Compass Point Books, 2005.

Provides a biography of Benedict Arnold, a military leader of the American Revolution who helped capture Fort Ticonderoga, and provides information from his childhood, through his military successes, to his discovery as a British Spy.
921 ARNOLD Sheinkin, Steve. The Notorious Benedict Arnold: a True Story of Adventure, Heroism, & Treachery. New York: Roaring Brook Press, 2010.

An introduction to the life of Benedict Arnold that highlights not only the traitorous actions that made him legendary, but also his heroic involvement in the American Revolution.

921 ARNOLD Murphy, Jim. The Real Benedict Arnold. New York: Clarion Books, 2007.



Presents a comprehensive biography and history of Benedict Arnold that examines many of his heroic deeds and contributions to the Revolutionary cause before he decided to switch sides.
921 ASEEL Aseel, Maryam Qudrat. Torn Between Two Cultures: an Afghan-American Woman Speaks Out. Sterling: Capital Books, 2003.

The author, born in the U.S. in 1974 to Afghan immigrants, describes her upbringing, her family's past, and her dual identity, and discusses relations between the U.S. and Afghanistan before and after the September 11 terrorist attacks.
921 BAKER Bohannon, Lisa Frederiksen. Freedom Cannot Rest: Ella Baker and the Civil Rights Movement. Greensboro: Morgan Reynolds Pub, 2005.

Presents a biography of civil rights pioneer Ella Baker, and traces her life and involvement with the NAACP and Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee as well as her strong stand on universal justice and equality.
921 BALDWIN Gottfried, Ted. James Baldwin: Voice from Harlem. New York: F. Watts, 1997.

Biography of twentieth-century African-American author James Baldwin, discussing his childhood in Harlem, his years in Paris, and his return to the United States in 1957 to take part in the Civil Rights struggle.
921 BANNEKER Weatherly, Myra. Benjamin Banneker: American Scientific Pioneer. Minneapolis: Compass Point Books, 2006.

A biography of eighteenth-century African-American farmer, surveyor, mathematician, and astronomer Benjamin Banneker, who is best known for being the first African-American to publish an almanac and for surveying the area that would become the nation's capital.
921 BARTON Somervill, Barbara A. Clara Barton: Founder of the American Red Cross. Minneapolis: Compass Point Books, 2007.

A brief biography of founder of the American Red Cross, Clara Barton, that chronicles her life, achievements, and persistence in providing proper care to the wounded soldiers of the Civil War.
921 BEALS Beals, Melba. Warriors Don't Cry: a Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock's Central High. New York: Pocket Books, 1995.

Beals chronicles her harrowing junior year at Central High where she underwent the segregationists' brutal organized campaign of terrorism which included telephone threats, vigilante stalkers, economic blackmailers, rogue police, and much more.
921 BLACK ELK Black Elk. Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux. Albany:

Excelsior Editions/State University of New York Press, 2008.



Black Elk, a Sioux holy man, shares his own life story and the story of the Oglala Sioux during the tragic decades of the Custer battle, the ghost dance, and the Wounded Knee massacre, and relates many aspects of Native American spirituality.
921 BOOTH Swanson, James L. Chasing Lincoln's Killer. New York: Scholastic Press, 2009.

Recounts the twelve-day pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth, covering the chase through Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, with a discussion of Abraham Lincoln as a father, husband, and friend that examines the impact of his death on those close to him.
921 BRADSTREET Gordon, Charlotte. Mistress Bradstreet: the Untold Life of America's First Poet. New York: Little, Brown, 2005.

Chronicles the life of American poet Anne Bradstreet, discussing her childhood in England, arrival in the United States in 1630, interactions with Native Americans and other settlers, experiences as a frontierwoman, and other related topics.
921 BRAGG Bragg, Rick. The Prince of Frogtown. New York: Vintage Books, 2009.

The author describes the life of his alcoholic father, from his upbringing in Jacksonville, Alabama, until his death from tuberculosis, and merges it with his own fatherly experiences with his ten-year-old stepson.
921 BROWN Brown, Claude. Manchild in the Promised Land. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1999.

An autobiography of Claude Brown, describing his life and that of other black Americans in New York City's Harlem area.
921 BROWN Brown, Drew T. You Gotta Believe!: Education + Hard Work - Drugs=the American Dream. New York: W. Morrow, 1991.

Presents a philosophy of success for kids (Education + Hardwork - Drugs = The American Dream), by a Navy pilot who helps kids get off the street.

921 CALCINES Calcines, Eduardo F. Leaving Glorytown: One Boy's Struggle under Castro. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 2009.



The author reflects on his childhood growing up in 1960s Cuba, discussing how his family was treated for applying for an exit visa to the United States, his fears of being drafted into the Army, the conditions of his poor neighborhood, and more.
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