H.W. Wilson's Current Biography Yearbook combines a full year of the monthly magazine Current Biography into a single, permanent record. It has been delivering up-to-date biographies of men and women of contemporary importance since 1940.
Based in part on some 30 interviews of people with first-hand knowledge of this pioneering female black activist, The Life and Legacy of Mary McLeod Bethune is an essential work of African-American biography, and only the second such effort in more than 40 years. Bethune (1875-1955) is a role model for black youth: at a time when the status of black women was generally quite low, she became an educator who started a college -- Bethune-Cookman, where Long teaches -- advised four presidents, received international acclaim and awards, and consistently fought for the rights of women and minorities. Dr. Bethune's main message to youth entering college was, "Enter to learn; depart to serve."
"War is my work and I know I sound sometimes as though I liked it; perhaps I do -- how can I tell? -- but this war hurts everybody." -- Patton to Henry J. Taylor, 1945 General George S. Patton, Jr., an inspirational leader and outstanding tactician, has intrigued and confounded his biographers. Now, utilizing untapped archival materials in both the United States and England, government documents, family papers, and oral histories, Stanley P. Hirshson creates the most balanced portrait of Patton ever written. It reveals Patton as a complex soldier capable of brilliant military maneuvers but also of inspiring his troops with fiery speeches that resulted in horrendous acts, such as the massacres of Italian civilians, It explains Patton's belief in a soldier's Valhalla, connects the family's wealth to one of America's bitterest labor strikes, and disputes the usual interpretation of Patton's relief from command of the Third Army. In investigating this complex man, Hirshson has uncovered surprising material about a series of civilian massacres in Sicily, about the two slapping incidents, about attempts to exploit Patton's diary after his death, and about Patton's relations with top Allied generals. Patton emerges as a soldier of great imagination and courage, and his military campaigns make for edge-of-the-seat reading. All the drama of Patton's life comes alive in this meticulously documented volume.
Their roots lie in the heavy rock of 70s groups like Deep Purple. The music they played--heavy metal mixed with punk attitude--became its own genre: thrash. Their bassist died and they survived to became the biggest-selling band in the world. As grunge threatened to overtake them, they reinvented themselves. Then their singer went into rehab and they almost fell apart. They are Metallica, the most influential heavy metal band of the last thirty years. As Led Zeppelin was for hard rock and the Sex Pistols were for punk, Metallica became the band that defined the look and sound of 1980s heavy metal. Inventors of thrash metal--Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth followed--it was always Metallica who led the way, who pushed to another level, who became the last of the superstar rockers. Metallica is the fifth-largest selling artist of all time, with 100 million records sold worldwide. Their music has extended its reach beyond rock and metal, and into the pop mainstream, as they went from speed metal to MTV with their hit single "Enter Sandman". Until now there hasn't been a critical, authoritative, in-depth portrait of the band. Mick Wall's thoroughly researched, insightful work is enriched by his interviews with band members, record company execs, roadies, and fellow musicians. He tells the story of how a tennis-playing, music-loving Danish immigrant named Lars Ulrich created a band with singer James Hetfield and made his dreams a reality.Enter Night follows the band through tragedy and triumph, from the bus crash that killed their bassist Cliff Burton in 1986 to the 2004 documentarySome Kind of Monster, and on to their current status as the leaders of the Big Four festival that played to a million fans in Britain and Europe and continues in the U.S. in 2011. Enter Night delves into the various incarnations of the band, and the personalities of all key members, past and present--especially Ulrich and Hetfield--to produce the definitive word on the biggest metal band on the planet.
Revealing and intimate, based on more than 100 interviews with key figures in his life, this is the definitive biography of Queen front man Freddie Mercury, one of pop music’s best-loved and most complex figures. A revealing, intimate look at the man who would be Queen. As lead vocalist for the iconic rock band Queen, Freddie Mercury’s unmatched skills as a songwriter and his flamboyant showmanship made him a superstar and Queen a household name. But despite his worldwide fame, few people ever really glimpsed the man behind the glittering façade. Now, more than twenty years after his death, those closest to Mercury are finally opening up about this pivotal figure in rock ’n’ roll. Based on more than a hundred interviews with key figures in his life, Mercury offers the definitive account of one man’s legendary life in the spotlight and behind the scenes. Rock journalist Lesley-Ann Jones gained unprecedented access to Mercury’s tribe, and she details Queen’s slow but steady rise to fame and Mercury’s descent into dangerous, pleasure-seeking excesses—this was, after all, a man who once declared, “Darling, I’m doing everything with everyone.” In her journey to understand Mercury, Jones traveled to London, Zanzibar, and India—talking with everyone from Mercury’s closest friends to the sound engineer at Band Aid (who was responsible for making Queen even louder than the other bands) to second cousins halfway around the world. In the process, an intimate and complicated portrait emerges. Meticulously researched, sympathetic yet not sensational, Mercury offers an unvarnished look at the extreme highs and lows of life in the fast lane. At the heart of this story is a man...and the music he loved.
Through a close and critical reading of biblical texts, ancient history, and recent archeological discoveries, Steven L. McKenzie concludes that David was indeed a real person. This David was not the humble shepherd who slew Goliath and became king, however, but was a usurper, adulterer, and murderer--a Middle Eastern despot of a familiar type. McKenzie shows that the story of humble beginnings is utterly misleading: "shepherd" is a metaphor for "king," and David came from a wealthy, upper-class background. Similarly, McKenzie reveals how David's ascent to power, traditionally attributed to popularity and divine blessing, in fact resulted from a campaign of terror and assassination. While instituting a full-blown Middle Eastern monarchy, David was an aggressive leader, a devious politician, and a ruthless war chief. Throughout his scandalous reign, important figures who stood in his way died at convenient times, under questionable circumstances. Even his own sons were not spared. David's story, writes McKenzie, "reads like a modern soap opera, with plenty of sex, violence, and struggles for power."
Josip Broz Tito was a remarkable figure in the history of Communism, the Second World War, the Balkans and Post-War Eastern Europe. He was the only European besides Lenin to lead a successful Communist revolution and became one of the most renowned Communist leaders of all time. For a certain generation, he was remembered as someone who stood up to both Hitler and Stalin and won. Tito was above all else a communist, and was devoted to the communist cause until the day he died. What made him different to other communist leaders was that his early experience of Soviet Russia had given him knowledge of the Soviet experiment not to be bound by its spell. Throughout his life he sought to distinguish between Leninism and Stalinism, while never abandoning the internationalism that he maintained stood at the heart of the Marxist message. In his new Yugoslavia, he developed a system of socialist self-administration which appeared able to compete with the West and provided his people with the consumer benefits associated with capitalism. However, within a decade of his death, the edifice he had constructed imploded into the most brutal of ethnic conflicts - in essence, Tito was responsible for both the success and the failure of post-war Yugoslavia.In this, the first post-communist biography of Tito, the renowned historian Geoffrey Swain paints a new picture of this famous figure. Swain explores not only Tito's relationship with Stalin, but also his earlier relationship with the Comintern and his long engagement with Khrushchev and the de-Stalinisation process.