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The life of a nation is told by the lives of its people



  • Over 19,000 biographies of significant, influential or notorious figures from American history written by prominent scholars
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Letter from Susan Ware, Editor

What's new: November 2019

This update features seven new biographies, with a focus on innovators in art and architecture. It includes Pietro Belluschi, designer of the Pan Am Building; Michael Graves, designer of the Portland Building; industrial designer Elsie Krummeck; fashion designer Mainbocher; early American art dealer Thomas Appleton; African American painter Archibald Motley; and the pathbreaking and controversial artist, writer, and filmmaker David Wojnarowicz.

David Wojnarowicz

David Wojnarowiz (1922–2014) was one of the most important American artists of the twentieth century and a leading queer voice of his generation. In many ways he epitomized the art and culture scene of 1980s New York City. An East Village fixture, his art was exhibited in popular galleries including Gracie Mansion and Civilian Warfare, as well as the 1985 Whitney Biennial. After being diagnosed as HIV-positive, he directed this art more explicitly toward activism and sexuality.




NOVEMBER 28, 2019

What's new: November 2019

This month's update features seven new biographies, with a focus on innovators in art and architecture.

OCTOBER 24, 2019

What's new: October 2019

This month's update features six eclectic new biographies, including spies Theodore Hall and David Greenglass.

SEPTEMBER 26, 2019

What's new: September 2019

This update features eight new biographies, focused on both musicians and those who made their recordings possible.