Biography Recommendations?


(Jeremy Vander Galien) #1

I’d like to get back to reading more biography and thought this would be a good forum to ask for recommendations.

Which biographies would you recommend? Any biographies of men that serve as good, or bad, examples of husbandry, fatherhood, and/or friendship?


(Joseph Bayly) #2

I just finished and truly enjoyed “Max Perkins, Editor of Genius”

Lots of good and lots of bad to learn from in terms of being an example. Will try to pull a couple of quotes in later.


(Zak Carter) #3

John Adams by David McCullough is a great one. Adams was a complex character, but there is a lot to learn from him (though maybe not in the specific areas you’re looking for).

Clouds of Glory by Michael Korda is a good biography of Robert E Lee. Whatever your thoughts on the Civil War (or War Between the States?) Lee was a man of exemplary character and discipline.


(Jeremy Vander Galien) #4

Looks interesting. I’ll give it a read. Thanks.

Thanks for the recommendation. I’ve read it and it was great.

I haven’t read this. I’ll add it to the list. Thanks.


(Kelly) #5

There are those short biographies in a series, I suppose really for young people, but I find them interesting and useful. George Grant wrote some of them (he’s one of my favorite biographers!), and Doug Wilson, and Stephen Mansfield… Biographies of Stonewall Jackson, Anne Bradstreet, Winston Churchill, etc.
https://www.goodreads.com/series/192000-leaders-in-action

I read Joseph Pearce’s biographies of Tolkien, Chesterton, and Belloc, and greatly enjoyed them. He is a devout Catholic, so there’s a strong focus on that aspect. GKC’s was my favorite:

There’s also the autobiography of George Muller, which is excellent.

Then there’s Corrie Ten Boom’s The Hiding Place, and James Herriot’s books (for a fun, fictionalized take on autobiography), and for true hilarity + good stuff on marriage & parenting, try:


(Jeremy Vander Galien) #6

The Leaders in Action series looks excellent. Thanks for the recommendations.


(Kelly) #7

I was just browsing around and found this, which looks like a funny cover, but the reviews are good… Apparently has a bunch of mini-biographies. Maybe has potential?

Written by Mansfield, who wrote some of the Leaders in Action series, and also The Search for God and Guinness.


(Nathan Smith) #8

Personally I’ve liked Metaxis’s biographies of Luther, Wilberforce and Boenhoffer. Maybe not the most scholarly, but readable, engaging treatments. Good lengths.


(Alex Costa) #9

I haven’t read Metaxas’ biography on Bonhoeffer, but I know that Stephen Baker (Clearnote Pastor and member of this forum) thinks that Metaxas’ grossly misrepresents him to make him look like an Evangelical, which he wasn’t.

I’m also not a fan of his Thanksgiving children’s book on Squanto. I loved the story at first, but after I started reading some primary sources on the matter, I thought his portrait of Squanto was much too rosy.

Those two examples would make me cautious about reading his other materials.

I haven’t seen any mention of Iain Murray here yet. I’d recommend any of his books. He was very close to Martyn Lloyd-Jones, so I’m assuming that’s his best work although I unfortunately haven’t yet red it. His other book on MLJ that came out in the last decade was excellent. The book on Edwards was good. “Wesley and the Men Who Followed” was decent along with parts of “Heroes.”

Although they’re not specifically biographies, “Evangelicalism Divided” and “Revival and Revivalism” are two of my favorites. Evangelicalism Divided paints an honest portrait of Billy Graham that you’re not going to find in a whole lot of other places, although he’s not the sole focus of the book.


(Alex McNeilly) #10

I’d recommend just about anything by Iain Murray. His biographies of Jonathan Edwards, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, A. W. Pink, and J. C. Ryle are all good.

J. C. Ryle has a great series of mini-biographies on English Reformers and Puritans called Light from Old Times. He wrote them in a time when the Anglican Church was swinging hard in the direction of Roman Catholicism.