Biographies

The important thing about Margaret Wise Brown book cover

The important thing about Margaret Wise Brown

Mac Barnett

jE Barnett
Picture Books, Biographies

A picture book biography of the children's book author shares insights into her life and enduring literary influence.

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An unlikely journey : waking up from my American dream book cover

An unlikely journey : waking up from my American dream

Julián Castro

BIOGRAPHY Castro, Julián
Nonfiction, Biographies, Political

In the spirit of a young Barack Obama's Dreams from My Father, comes a candid and compelling memoir about race and poverty in America. In many ways, there was no reason Julian Castro would have been expected to be a success. Born to unmarried parents in a poverty-stricken neighborhood of a struggling city, his prospects of escaping his circumstance seemed bleak. But he and his twin brother Joaquin had something going for them: their mother. A former political activist, she provided the launch pad for what would become an astonishing ascent. Julian and Joaquin would go on to attend Stanford and Harvard before entering politics at the ripe age of 26. Soon after, Joaquin become a state representative and Julian was elected mayor of San Antonio, a city he helped revitalize and transform into one of the country's leading economies. His success in Texas propelled him onto the national stage, where he was the keynote speaker at the 2012 DNC--the same spot President Obama held three conventions prior--and then to Washington D.C. where he served as the Obama Administration's Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. After being shortlisted as a potential running mate for Hillary Clinton, he is now seen by many as a future presidential candidate. Julian Castro's story not only affirms the American dream, but also resonates with millions, who in an age of political cynicism and hardening hearts are searching for a new hero. No matter one's politics, this book is the transcendent story of a resilient family and the unlikely journey of an emerging national icon.

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Shortest way home : one mayor's challenge and a model for America's future book cover

Shortest way home : one mayor's challenge and a model for America's future

Pete Buttigieg

BIOGRAPHY Buttigieg, Pete
Nonfiction, Biographies, Political

"A mayor's inspirational story of a Midwest city that has become nothing less than a blueprint for the future of American renewal. Once described by the Washington Post as "the most interesting mayor you've never heard of," Pete Buttigieg, the thirty-six-year-old Democratic mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has improbably emerged as one of the nation's most visionary politicians. First elected in 2011, Buttigieg left a successful business career to move back to his hometown, previously tagged by Newsweek as a "dying city," because the industrial Midwest beckoned as a challenge to the McKinsey-trained Harvard graduate. Whether meeting with city residents on middle-school basketball courts, reclaiming abandoned houses, confronting gun violence, or attracting high-tech industry, Buttigieg has transformed South Bend into a shining model of urban reinvention. While Washington reels with scandal, Shortest Way Home interweaves two once-unthinkable success stories: that of an Afghanistan veteran who came out and found love and acceptance, all while in office, and that of a Rust Belt city so thoroughly transformed that it shatters the way we view America's so-called flyover country."--Provided by publisher.

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The opposite of woe : my life in beer and politics book cover

The opposite of woe : my life in beer and politics

John W. (John Wright) Hickenlooper

BIOGRAPHY Hickenlooper, John W.
Nonfiction, Biographies, Political

"The governor of Colorado tells his story, from early loss to college on the ten-year plan, to business and political success"--

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This fight is our fight : the battle to save America's middle class book cover

This fight is our fight : the battle to save America's middle class

Elizabeth Warren

305.55 /Warren
Nonfiction, Biographies, Political

"Senator Elizabeth Warren has long been an outspoken champion of America's middle class, and by the time the people of Massachusetts elected her in 2012, she had become one of the country's leading progressive voices. Now, at a perilous moment for our nation, she has written a book that is at once an illuminating account of how we built the strongest middle class in history, a scathing indictment of those who have spent the past thirty-five years undermining working families, and a rousing call to action."--Jacket.

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The truths we hold : an American journey book cover

The truths we hold : an American journey

Kamala D. Harris

BIOGRAPHY Harris, Kamala D.
Nonfiction, Biographies, Political

"From one of America's most inspiring political leaders, a book about the core truths that unite us, and the long struggle to discern what those truths are and how best to act upon them, in her own life and across the life of our country. Senator Kamala Harris's commitment to speaking truth is informed by her upbringing. The daughter of immigrants, she was raised in an Oakland, California community that cared deeply about social justice; her parents--an esteemed economist from Jamaica and an admired cancer researcher from India--met as activists in the civil rights movement when they were graduate students at Berkeley. Growing up, Harris herself never hid her passion for justice, and when she became a prosecutor out of law school, a deputy district attorney, she quickly established herself as one of the most innovative change agents in American law enforcement. She progressed rapidly to become the elected District Attorney for San Francisco, and then the chief law enforcement officer of the state of California as a whole. Known for bringing a voice to the voiceless, she took on the big banks during the foreclosure crisis, winning a historic settlement for California's working families. Her hallmarks were applying a holistic, data-driven approach to many of California's thorniest issues, always eschewing stale "tough on crime" rhetoric as presenting a series of false choices. Neither "tough" nor "soft" but smart on crime became her mantra. Being smart means learning the truths that can make us better as a community, and supporting those truths with all our might. That has been the pole star that guided Harris to a transformational career as the top law enforcement official in California, and it is guiding her now as a transformational United States Senator, grappling with an array of complex issues that affect her state, our country, and the world, from health care and the new economy to immigration, national security, the opioid crisis, and accelerating inequality. By reckoning with the big challenges we face together, drawing on the hard-won wisdom and insight from her own career and the work of those who have most inspired her, Kamala Harris offers in [this book] a master class in problem solving, in crisis management, and leadership in challenging times. Through the arc of her own life, on into the great work of our day, she communicates a vision of shared struggle, shared purpose, and shared values. In a book rich in many home truths, not least is that a relatively small number of people work very hard to convince a great many of us that we have less in common than we actually do, but it falls to us to look past them and get on with the good work of living our common truth. When we do, our shared effort will continue to sustain us and this great nation, now and in the years to come."--Dust jacket.

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Off the sidelines : raise your voice, change the world book cover

Off the sidelines : raise your voice, change the world

Kirsten Gillibrand

BIOGRAPHY Gillibrand, Kirsten
Nonfiction, Biographies, Political

United States Senator and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand recounts her personal journey in public service and galvanizes women to make a meaningful difference in the world around them.

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Looking for Lorraine : the radiant and radical life of Lorraine Hansberry book cover

Looking for Lorraine : the radiant and radical life of Lorraine Hansberry

Imani Perry

BIOGRAPHY /Hansberry, Lorraine
Biographies, LGBTQ+

Lorraine Hansberry, who died at thirty-four, was by all accounts a force of nature. Although best-known for her work A Raisin in the Sun, her short life was full of extraordinary experiences and achievements, and she had an unflinching commitment to social justice, which brought her under FBI surveillance when she was barely in her twenties. While her close friends and contemporaries, like James Baldwin and Nina Simone, have been rightly celebrated, her story has been diminished and relegated to one work--until now. In 2018, Hansberry will get the recognition she deserves with the PBS American Masters documentary "Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart" and Imani Perry's multi-dimensional, illuminating biography, Looking for Lorraine. After the success of A Raisin in the Sun, Hansberry used her prominence in myriad ways: challenging President Kennedy and his brother to take bolder stances on Civil Rights, supporting African anti-colonial leaders, and confronting the romantic racism of the Beat poets and Village hipsters. Though she married a man, she identified as lesbian and, risking censure and the prospect of being outed, joined one of the nation's first lesbian organizations. Hansberry associated with many activists, writers, and musicians, including Malcolm X, Langston Hughes, Duke Ellington, Paul Robeson, W.E.B. Du Bois, among others. Looking for Lorraine is a powerful insight into Hansberry's extraordinary life--a life that was tragically cut far too short.

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The new Negro : the life of Alain Locke book cover

The new Negro : the life of Alain Locke

Jeffrey C. Stewart

BIOGRAPHY /Locke, Alain
Biographies, LGBTQ+

A tiny, fastidiously dressed man emerged from Black Philadelphia around the turn of the century to mentor a generation of young artists including Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and Jacob Lawrence and call them the New Negro--the creative African Americans whose art, literature, music, and drama would inspire Black people to greatness. In The New Negro : The Life of Alain Locke, Jeffrey C. Stewart offers the definitive biography of the father of the Harlem Renaissance, based on the extant primary sources of his life and on interviews with those who knew him personally. He narrates the education of Locke, including his becoming the first African American Rhodes Scholar and earning a PhD in philosophy at Harvard University, and his long career as a professor at Howard University. Locke also received a cosmopolitan, aesthetic education through his travels in continental Europe, where he came to appreciate the beauty of art and experienced a freedom unknown to him in the United States. And yet he became most closely associated with the flowering of Black culture in Jazz Age America and his promotion of the literary and artistic work of African Americans as the quintessential creations of American modernism. In the process he looked to Africa to find the proud and beautiful roots of the race. Shifting the discussion of race from politics and economics to the arts, he helped establish the idea that Black urban communities could be crucibles of creativity. Stewart explores both Locke's professional and private life, including his relationships with his mother, his friends, and his white patrons, as well as his lifelong search for love as a gay man. Stewart's thought-provoking biography recreates the worlds of this illustrious, enigmatic man who, in promoting the cultural heritage of Black people, became--in the process--a New Negro himself.

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