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Wed Sep 16, 2020, 05:44 PM

 

Favorite Biographies/Autobiographies?

Autobiographies
Marlon Brando - Songs My Mother Taught Me
Mort Sahl - Heartland (political people will LOVE this one)
Cassavetes on Cassavetes (John's correspondence with Ray Carney, great movie critic)
Up 'Til Now: A Memoir (Senator Eugene McCarthy)

Biographies
There's a TON of Jim Morrison, but I highly recommend "Summer With Morrison" by Dennis Jakob
"Last Man Standing: Mort Sahl and the Birth of Stand-up Comedy" by Jim Curtis
"Agent of Evolution" by Jim Curtis (one of a handful of great books about Bill Hicks)
"In The Pink: Not a Hunting Memoir" (its about Roger Waters, written by Nick Sedgewick)

There's a ton of great John Lennon ones (and some bad ones), but I need to skim so I don't mix them up.

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Arrow 18 replies Author Time Post
Reply Favorite Biographies/Autobiographies? (Original post)
DumpTrump20202020 Sep 2020 OP
Xipe Totec Sep 2020 #1
Applan Sep 2020 #2
Journeyman Sep 2020 #3
DumpTrump20202020 Sep 2020 #11
MuseRider Sep 2020 #4
Bradshaw3 Sep 2020 #5
PoindexterOglethorpe Sep 2020 #6
bottomofthehill Sep 2020 #7
ms liberty Sep 2020 #8
Sedona Sep 2020 #9
Sedona Sep 2020 #10
wnylib Sep 2020 #12
DumpTrump20202020 Oct 2020 #13
wnylib Oct 2020 #14
PETRUS Oct 2020 #15
DumpTrump20202020 Nov 2020 #16
wnylib Nov 2020 #17
DumpTrump20202020 Nov 2020 #18

Response to DumpTrump20202020 (Original post)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 05:48 PM

1. Anthony Quinn - One Man Tango nt

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Response to DumpTrump20202020 (Original post)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 06:00 PM

2. Douglas Bader

Douglas Bader - Reach for the Sky

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Response to DumpTrump20202020 (Original post)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 06:10 PM

3. Lenny Bruce: "How to Talk Dirty and Influence People" . . .

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Response to Journeyman (Reply #3)

Thu Sep 17, 2020, 05:42 AM

11. I have this book :)

 

But I've tried and tried, listening to all his comedy albums (and unreleased stuff), but couldn't get into it...

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Response to DumpTrump20202020 (Original post)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 06:18 PM

4. Keith Richards

On Audio books he narrates at least part of it, it has been so long I don't remember, maybe it was all of it. It is long but it is a terrific read. He is really quite a guy and really much saner than the press he gets would have you know. Great read, one of my favorites.

Graham Nash also has a good one. His is long too but really informative about the early days from his days in England to how, why and when he came over and stayed. Also about the good works he does now.

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Response to DumpTrump20202020 (Original post)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 06:28 PM

5. Life Itself by Roger Ebert

A great writer who is able to write for a broader audience from a personal perspective while covering big ideas. I got to meet him and attend several of his film festivals. Usually someone that smart and knowledgeable has a bit of a superiority complex but he never lost his small town ethics.

He wasn't afraid to talk openly and honestly about his failings and parts of the book are hard to read, especially since it was written after his health problems developed. I really value my signed copy.

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Response to DumpTrump20202020 (Original post)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 06:42 PM

6. Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser.

Possibly the very best book I have ever read in more than 65 years of reading books. It won a Pulitzer.

Fraser also wrote God's Perfect Child: Living and Dying in the Christian Science World which is also spectacular.

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Response to DumpTrump20202020 (Original post)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 06:50 PM

7. Man of the House. Tip ONeill

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Response to DumpTrump20202020 (Original post)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 07:51 PM

8. Testimony by Robbie Robertson. n/t

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Response to DumpTrump20202020 (Original post)

Wed Sep 16, 2020, 09:12 PM

9. Alexander Hamilton

by Ron Churnow. Its the book Lin-Manuel Miranda based his hit musical on.

I'm currently on chapter 16 on audible

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0143034758/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_fab_hFRyFb1Z63V64


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Response to DumpTrump20202020 (Original post)

Thu Sep 24, 2020, 05:08 PM

12. I don't know that "favorite" is the best term

for this biography, but it was certainly one of the most informative and significant biographies that I have read. I am referring to historian John Tolland's biography of Adolf Hitler. He wrote it at a time when there were still people alive who were supporters or opponents of Hitler for him to interview.

It gave me insights into Hitler's character - or lack of it - that helped me understand how an entire nation could succumb to a populist demagogue. A book with lessons relevant to today.

I am currently reading a biography of Segoyewatha (Red Jacket), a prominent Seneca leader and orator who lived from 1750 to 1830. The biography is written by Arthur C Parker, a New York state archeologist and ethnologist. Parker was the great-grandson of a leading Seneca couple, William and Elizabeth Parker. Parker's grandfather and great uncles had personally known Red Jacket so Arthur Parker's biography of him contains intimate knowledge of Red Jacket in addition to factual records.

Red Jacket lived when European-Americans were moving into Seneca territory, spreading their own religion and customs among the Seneca, and making land grabs for themselves. Red Jacket opposed the changes and spoke on behalf of preserving Native culture and beliefs.

Recognized by whites as well as Native people for his oratory, Red Jacket is buried in Buffalo's Forest Lawn cemetary, with a monument dedicated to him.

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Response to wnylib (Reply #12)

Fri Oct 16, 2020, 07:52 AM

13. I'll check it out

 

I like to read things "live", as opposed to retrospect, when people can edit to be with the times.

I wouldn't use the term populist as a pejorative. I'm a left-wing populist, myself.

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Response to DumpTrump20202020 (Reply #13)

Fri Oct 16, 2020, 09:10 AM

14. I'm wary of any kind of populism.

There's a difference, too, between someone being popular versus bring a populist. Obama is popular. So was FDR and JFK. None of them are/were populists.

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Response to wnylib (Reply #14)

Thu Oct 22, 2020, 12:54 PM

15. Wary of populism? I've got a book suggestion for you:

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Response to wnylib (Reply #14)

Mon Nov 2, 2020, 10:14 AM

16. FDR Was a Populist

 

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Response to DumpTrump20202020 (Reply #16)

Mon Nov 2, 2020, 08:50 PM

17. By what definition of populism do you

consider FDR to be one?

Usage of the term populism varies in history and location. On the surface, it often appears to be an ideal of democracy by claiming to support the grass roots needs and interests of "the people." But I am wary of populism because of how it can vary in defining who "the people" are and who is a threat to their needs and interests.

Democracy depends on certain values and principles, e.g. the value of all people and the principles of equality and protecting everyone's rights. That's the kind of democratic principle that I see FDR supporting, not as a populist, but as defender and preserver of democratic principles. In his time, the nation was as polarized as today, fascism vs. communism as movements claiming to represent "the people." Market manipulations, speculation, and corporate monopolies had created economic disaster that hurt everyone and threatened democracy itself due to the political and social unrest that it created. FDR acted to preserve democracy by breaking up monopolies, pressing for financial oversight, and creating programs to relieve the stress that created extremism.

But populism, which usually pits "the people" against "the elites" is based more on strong emotional appeal in a zealous ideology than on democratic principles, even though it claims to represent those principles. Populism can come from the left or the right. Its zealous emotional appeals can crowd out reason and descend into a cult movement under a charismatic or authoritarian leader that depends more on personality and emotions than on sound democratic governing principles. Depending on how "the people" and "the elites" are defined in a populist movement, it can exclude certain groups (ethnic, religious, political, class, educational level) as "enemies of the people." At that point, it veers away from democracy and its principles.

In the name of equality, the initial populism of Russian Communism descended to vilification of the middle and upper classes as "elites." Lenin and later, Stalin, were the cult leaders. Educated people were "elitists" as the working classes were elevated. Certain types of culture - art, music, literature - were elitist. Consequently, dissent of any kind was suspect or punished. The party leaders became the new elites and freedom and equality were destroyed under authoritarian rule.

On the right, fascist populism led to the cults of Hitler and of Musolini in place of sound democratic governance. They defined "elites" as Jews, liberals, a free press, and political dissenters and in Germany, as "enemies of the German people" who had supposedly caused the defeat of Germany in the First World War. The democratic rule of law was replaced by the personality cults of Hitler and Musolini.

As a Democrat (big D), I support the principle of reasonable regulation of businesses and corporations, of paying their fair share, as a balance against letting them run rampant over government and the rights of the people. I recognize the need for some substantial political and social change to undo the wrongs of RW extremism and restore democratic balance to our governance. I support the full equality rights of all people, especially people whose full equality has been suppressed throughout our history. I don't see that as populism. I see it as living up to the principles and values that we have paid lip service to, and have held as ideals of democracy, but have not yet fully achieved. Our democracy is a living, growing, breathing governance, composed of the people who live it and make it what it is through our votes and through our commitment to its values and principles.

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Response to wnylib (Reply #17)

Tue Nov 3, 2020, 11:18 AM

18. 99% vs. the 1% (or close to it)

 

And even 1% is enough. We have too many elites controlling the remaining 99%

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