By Nigel Hamilton
Evaluate This magnificent work--basically, a how-to book--is finished in its remedy of every little thing essential to making a released biography. Hamilton, who has authored biographies of box Marshall Montgomery, John F. Kennedy, and invoice Clinton, right here leaves not anything unsaid at the topic. He completely info biography's time table and motivation and describes its target market, who will anticipate anything of a revelation about the human condition...He also scrutinizes autobiography and memoir writing, the outcome of telling the reality, and biography's afterlife. the phenomenal excerpts Hamilton selects from released biographies to demonstrate his issues are either edifying and enjoyable. --Robert Kelly (*Library magazine* 20080501) Drawing guide from his personal life of biographic paintings and others'--including Samuel Johnson, Robert Caro, David McCullough, Hermione Lee, Edmund Morris, and others whom Hamilton has well-liked, recognized and labored with--the writer takes readers on an highbrow trip throughout the inventive strategy, from perception to publishing...Hamilton's ardour, lyricism and number of telling anecdotes make this "short ebook of recommendation" an unforeseen page-turner; it is difficult to not get stuck up within the author's romantic imaginative and prescient of biography, a kind he believes has approximately as many diversifications as track. Elucidating not only the dos and don'ts of biography, but additionally the whys and hows, Hamilton has created a motivating, empowering consultant for writers (and lovers) of the style. (*Publishers Weekly (starred review)* 20080706) nobody writing biography can manage to pay for to disregard this edifying ebook. Nigel Hamilton has the intensity and breadth of expertise to write down a few style that he champions...While it is a “how-to” publication, even the main professional biographer will locate a lot of price approximately picking a subject matter; doing proposals for biographies; dealing with interviewing; negotiating the perils of publishing unauthorized biographies; dealing with biographical narratives; writing with an viewers in brain; and the nexus among memoir, autobiography, and biography. --Carl Rollyson (*thebiographerscraft.com* 20080726) [*How To Do Biography*] deals a well-written, brilliant, and, given its brevity, really encompassing evaluate of what it really is biographer does and the way he is going approximately doing it...Hamilton is sort of eloquent and persuasive in discussing how issues come round on the finish, not just at dying, yet after, while the lifestyles meets posterity. --Sven Birkerts (*Boston Globe* ) The booklet is stuffed with stable recommendation and engaging tales. --Owen Richardson (*The Age* ) concerning the writer Nigel Hamilton is the writer of prize-winning biographies of box Marshal Bernard Montgomery and of John F. Kennedy. he's at the moment a Fellow of the McCormack Graduate tuition of coverage experiences, collage of Massachusetts Boston, the place he's writing a three-volume biography of President Clinton.
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Evaluate This superb work--basically, a how-to book--is complete in its remedy of every thing essential to making a released biography. Hamilton, who has authored biographies of box Marshall Montgomery, John F. Kennedy, and invoice Clinton, right here leaves not anything unsaid at the topic. He completely information biography's time table and motivation and describes its audience, who will anticipate whatever of a revelation in regards to the human .
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Additional resources for How to Do Biography: A Primer
As we’ll see, it’s not something you can do without some preliminary research, but recognizing that this is Goal Number One is the initial step in “doing” a biography. The proposal must set forth your agenda with clarity and purpose: whose life you wish to record; why; and how. Although the proposal will be a real document and, if accepted, the basis of an agreement or contract between you and a publisher or funding body, it is of course a ﬁgment of your imagination—not unlike Christopher Co- 24 g e tting star te d lumbus’ assurance to Ferdinand and Isabella in 1492, when he was seeking Spanish support and investment, that he would ﬁnd a western sea route to India.
Scribbled across the top. Uncertain of an audience for a book about a homosexual character in a homophobic age, he wisely didn’t publish it in his lifetime—and thereby gave no one the opportunity to subject him to the same fate as Oscar Wilde. Asking yourself who, ultimately, will be interested in, or willing to read, the life you’re recounting should be your constant concern. When biographies fail to spark interest, become tedious or unsatisfying, it is usually because the biographer has lost his commitment to engage the reader and is taking the audience for granted, by getting too selfabsorbed in the life he is depicting.
Unless you’re a fraud, then, you must convince a publisher that your project can be lawfully undertaken and that it’s feasible. Being the authorized biographer—that is, authorized by those who hold copyright to the documents you will want to quote—is a tremendous advantage. Even in this case, however, you’ll need to be careful. Do you have signed consent that you may write the book and publish it without interference? Have the individual, the family, 32 g e tting star te d the designated legal representatives signed off, in advance, on your right to publish copyrighted documents?
How to Do Biography: A Primer by Nigel Hamilton