Dawidziak's outstanding biography presents its subject through a winning combination of Poe research and the perspectives of creators influenced by his work. While vividly conveying Poe as both a person and a writer, the book also takes a stab at solving the mystery of his death; this is compelling reading for Poe aficionados as well as those who've yet to read a word of his poetry or fiction.
George Shultz played a pivotal role in shaping economic and foreign policy in the late 20th century. He passed away two years ago at age 100 after distinguished careers in government, academia, and business. Philip Taubman, a former New York Times journalist, had access to Shultz’s papers for this revealing, comprehensive biography. Taubman makes clear we should care about Shultz not just for what he accomplished, but also for how. Shultz was, in Taubman’s words, a model of “quiet, effective leadership” and of public service characterized by “common sense, trust, a human touch, openness to new ideas and the muting of ideology, partisanship and histrionics.” But Taubman, in this deeply researched and insightful work, also details Shultz’s shortcomings, blind spots, and unflattering aspects.
Leading the way for AOC and The Squad, Shirley Chisholm (1924-2005) was elected by Brooklyn voters in 1968 as the first Black woman to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. Just three years later she sought to become the first Black presidential candidate nominated by a major political party. With this compelling biography, Curwood shows how Chisholm's vision--which included advocating for minimum wage improvements, passing the ERA, boycotting apartheid South Africa, partnering with LGBTQ and Native American activists--formulated what we now call intersectionality--just one of the many reasons she should be celebrated as the true political heroine she was.