Over at “Between Two Worlds,” Justin Taylor has asked several Christians academics and leaders to recommend five biographies to his readers. He has received recommendations from several Christian historians, including Mark Noll, George Marsden, Allen Guelzo, Darryl Hart,Thomas Kidd, Doug Sweeney, and your truly. Check them out here.
Here is the list I submitted.
1. Debby Applegate, The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher.
A vivid portrayal of 19th-century culture through the life of a member of one of the century’s most famous families.
2. Richard Bushman, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling.
Bushman brings the founder of Mormonism to life with elegant prose and scholarly insight.
3. Robert Caro, The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York.
Caro is known today for his biographies of Lyndon B. Johnson, but this earlier biography of the urban planner and landscape architect who “built” 20th century New York City reads like a novel.
4. George Marsden, Jonathan Edwards: A Life.
The best biography of Edwards ever written and a model for religious biography.
5. Eric Miller, Hope in a Scattering Time: A Life of Christopher Lasch.
Miller’s bio of late-twentieth century cultural critic and historian Christopher Lasch is one of the best intellectual biographies I have read.
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