Welcome to American National Biography Online

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: April 2020

This update features five new essays, with a focus on important American writers and critics. It includes one of the nation’s foremost film critics, Pauline Kael; the noted black nationalist writer and poet Amiri Baraka; Esther Rome, co-author of the feminist bestseller Our Bodies, Ourselves; Chicano poet, artist, and civil rights activist José Montoya; and poet John Ashbery, whose collection Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award in 1976.

Pauline Kael

Pauline Kael (1919–2001) was one of the most iconoclastic, controversial, and revered film critics in the history of American print journalism. She was known for the exuberant writing style, her vision of the movies as an unparalleled populist national theater, and her desire in the late 1960s and 1970s to generate a new seriousness and sophistication in American film audiences, directors, and critics. She made movies and movie-going seem at the center of American culture. No critic had done so before with her panache, wit, and zeal.

 

 

News

APRIL 23, 2020

What's new: April 2020

This update features five new essays, with a focus on important American writers and critics. It includes film critic Pauline Kael; black nationalist writer and poet Amiri Baraka; best-selling author Esther Rome; Chicano poet, artist, and civil rights activist José Montoya; and Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning poet John Ashbery.

MARCH 26, 2020

What's new: March 2020

This update features six new essays, lives spanning from the sixteenth century to the twenty-first. New additions include Anne Anastasi, Chris Burden, Eugene Cernan, Rudi Gernreich, Tisquantum, and Esther Wheelwright.

FEBRUARY 27, 2020

What's new: February 2020

This update features six new biographies of men and women who worked as educators and academics. New additions include Paul Samuelson, Fabiola Cabeza de Baca, Octavius Cotto, Mary Daly, Robert Leslie Wharton, and Mary Elizabeth Carnegie.