Biography & Autobiography

In the early 1900s, Mary Matthews and Lella Gaddis forged trails for women at Purdue University and throughout Indiana. Mary was the first dean of the School of Home Economics. Lella was Indiana’s first state leader of Home Demonstration. In 1914, Mary hired Lella to organize Purdue’s new Home Economics Extension Service. According to those who knew them, Lella was a “sparkler” who traveled the state instructing rural women about nutrition, hygiene, safe water, childcare, and more. “Reserved” Mary established Purdue’s School of Home Economics, created Indiana’s first nursery school, and authored a popular textbook. Both women used their natural talents and connections to achieve their goals in spite of a male-dominated society. As a land grant institution, Purdue University has always been very connected to the American countryside. Based on extensive oral history and archival research, this book sheds new light on the important role female staff and faculty played in improving the quality of life for rural women during the first half of the twentieth century. It is also a fascinating story, engagingly told, of two very different personalities united in a common goal.
Egon Erwin Kisch (1885-1948) is widely regarded as one of the most outstanding journalists of the twentieth century. He is also credited with virtually defining reportage as a form of literary art in which accuracy of observation and fidelity to facts combine with creative narrative. Restless, doggedly inquisitive, fascinated with the unusual, deeply committed to decency and justice in human affairs, Kisch pursued a life of worldwide adventure and reporting. He visited North Africa, the Soviet Union, Central Asia, Australia, China, and the United States, where he traveled from one coast to the other as an ordinary seaman, made friends with Charlie Chaplin and Upton Sinclair, and commented with wit and irony on American life.
The book is organized around three dual political biographies: author and dramatist Hugo von Hofmannsthal is compared and contrasted to the parallel development of Leopold von Andrian; Karl Renner's political theories are examined in their temporal context and juxtaposed to the historical scholarship and political career of Josef Redlich; and the historical works of Heinrich Friedjung and the bureaucratic career of Ernest von Koerber are analyzed as parallel and partly complementing preoccupations with the crisis of the Austrian state around 1900. Each of the dual biographies focuses on a distinct problem in the development of the Imperial Austrian state in the early twentieth century.
Harry Spring kept detailed diaries throughout most of his life. Harry died in 1974, but through his diaries he lives to tell us about his experiences. His diary for the time from November 28, 1917 to August 19, 1918 were lost during the fighting in the Argonne Forest, but in 1974, just before he died, he wrote some supplementary notes of what he could remember of the time. Harry Spring never intended or expected that his diaries would be published. They are therefore as private and personal as they are detailed and accurate. He never tried to make his diaries politically correct – he wrote exactly what he felt. This is why these diaries are so powerful.
In 1937 Edith had received a doctorate in psychology from the University of Vienna, and high recommendations from her famous teachers. Her career prospects looked bright indeed. But a year later, she was a refugee from Hitler's war on Jews. She left her Nazi-occupied homeland and immigrated to the United States in 1939. In the United States, she pursued her career in psychology as a professor at prominent universities as well as a clinical consultant for the State of Indiana. As a psychology professor at Purdue, she contracted tuberculosis and spent 1962-64 in a tuberculosis hospital. Before she was released, she began to experience instances of schizophrenia. In this condition, she taught at St. Mary-of the-Woods College in Terre Haute, Indiana, for a year. Just before her stay there was to end, a priest discovered her mental illness. All through her mental illness, she kept a diary chronicling her "schizophrenic episode." Father, Have I Kept My Promise? is that diary-turned-book. Part of the book's charm is Edith's honesty--she does not bide anything from her reader.
Anne Bashkiroff was a pioneer in the fight for Alzheimer’s awareness. Her dear husband, Sasha, suffered for nine years with this terrible brain- and soul-damaging illness. Anne was faced with unanswered questions, economic heartaches, and lonely nights of suffering. The consequences of Alzheimer's and the extended burden the disease places on families and caregivers was not fully known in the 1970s. Instead of giving up, Bashkiroff moved to make the world aware of the silent disease. Her strength and dedication led her to help establish the Family Survival Project. In 1997, she testified before First Lady Rosalynn Carter about the needs of caregivers. Bashkiroff turned her inward suffering to outward hope.
Originally published in 1872, this work is based on the author's experiences in the town of Oberammergau, Germany, the site of the world famous Passion Play. Greatorex, a famous illustrator of the period, recounts her three-month stay during which time she illustrated twenty of the town's famous homes, which are an essential part of the work. Mork, a distinguished Passion Play scholar, not only places the book into an historical context, but describes the play as it was performed during that time
Illness in the Academy investigates the deep-seated, widespread belief among academics and medical professionals that lived experiences outside the workplace should not be sacrificed to the ideal of objectivity those academic and medical professions so highly value. The 47 selections in this collection illuminate how academics bring their intellectual and creative tools, skills, and perspectives to bear on experiences of illness. The selections cross genres as well as bridge disciplines and cultures.
  Mention the words “Seeing Eye,” and most people will associate them with guide dogs for the blind and partially-sighted. Mention the name “Dorothy Harrison Eustis,” and most people will not recognize it, even though she is the woman responsible for founding The Seeing Eye, the first guide dog school in the United States.   Since its inception eighty years ago, The Seeing Eye has trained thousands of people who are visually impaired to use guide dogs. The success of the program has spawned guide dog schools across the country and around the world, and the concept has been further expanded to include service dogs for people with other kinds of disabilities.   Drawing on correspondence, private papers, and newspaper accounts of the day, Miriam Ascarelli chronicles the life of Dorothy Harrison Eustis from her upper class childhood in Victorian Philadelphia to her years as a young mother in the upstate New York boomtown of Hoosick Falls, her widowhood, her failed second marriage to a man thirteen years her junior, and the confluence of events that led to her launching The Seeing Eye. In doing so, Ascarelli reveals both a driven woman and a very private person who shunned media coverage of herself but actively courted it for her organization.  
Just Love Me reveals the thoughts and emotions of a woman struggling with a suddenly unmanageable life; numerous hospitalizations, suicide attempts, everyday turmoil, and finally, the arduous search for an accurate diagnosis of the illness responsible for it all: Alzheimer's disease (AD).This account is unique in that most books on the subject of Alzheimer's are written by a carepartner or medical professional. There are very few books actually written by a person living with the disease, and Just Love Me should be required reading for anyone who has any contact with a person afflicted with AD. This book is especially helpful for anyone related by birth, marriage, friendship, or those people who have a professional relationship with Alzheimer's sufferers.Jeanne Lee's very personal, frank description of her life experiences before, approaching, and during the early stages of AD enables readers to better understand the disease from the inside out; a view not often seen by non-sufferers. By getting inside the mind of the author and experiencing with her the worries and frustrations that constantly torment her, the symptoms of AD become less enigmatic for the reader.
Murder HE Wrote is the autobiography of a successful writer who has written more than 90 books. Hopefully, Murder HE Wrote (the title refers to the series of more than 20 best-selling murder mystery novels he's written based upon the popular TV show, "Murder, She Wrote") will inspire, and prove useful to those aspiring to a successful writing career, a profession not known for its high success rates. But more than explaining his writing techniques, he stresses the attitudes necessary for success as a writer-or in any endeavor, for that matter.
He was twice the winner of the Pulitzer Prize in fiction: in 1919 for The Magnificent Ambersons and in 1922 for Alice Adams. His play Clarence launched Alfred Lunt on his distinguished career and provided Helen Hayes with an early successful role. His Penrod books continued the American boy-story tradition which started with the works of Mark Twain. Early in this century, through his novel The Turmoil, he warned of sacrificing the environment to industrial growth. Yet, since his death in 1946, Booth Tarkington–this writer from the Midwest who accomplished so much–has faded from the memory of the reading public, and many of his works are out of print. But his memory is fresh and vivid in the mind of his grandniece Susanah Mayberry, and her recollections of him leap from the pages of her book. She recalls that as a small child, before she was aware of her uncle’s fame as a writer, he emerged as the one figure whose outline was clear among the blur of forms that made up her large family. “No one who met Booth Tarkington ever forgot him,” says his great-niece. So, she introduces the reader to this multifaceted individual: the young man-about-town, the prankster, the writer of humorous letters (who drew caricatures in the margins), the bereaved father, the inspiration of the affection of three women (simultaneously), and the lover and collector of art objects and portraits. The author of this volume draws primarily upon her own personal experiences, family lore, and letters (some never published before) to portray her amiable uncle. She tells of the pleasure it gave him to entertain his young nephews and nieces at his Tudor-style winter home in Indianapolis – where they played a spirited form of charades. She recalls vacations which she, as a college student, spent at his light-filled summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine – where she met his famous neighbors. During all of those times, Uncle Booth was the keen observer of youth, who created Penrod and friends from his observations, and the teacher o f youth, who transmitted his own love of art to his young relations. While recapturing memories of the unforgettable Tarkington, Mayberry recreates an era of elegant and leisurely living, when on the dining table “in the fingerbowls . . . were nosegays of sweet peas and lemon verbena or geranium leaves.” Susanah Mayberry shares with the reader a treasure of family photographs including Tarkington at various ages; interiors and exteriors of his homes; her father and uncles as children (the models of Penrod); the writer’s indomitable sister who championed his early work; and his devoted second wife, a “gentle dragon,” who kept his day-to-day life running smoothly. Indiana residents will feel “at home” with the frequent references to the state and its people. Indianapolis of the late nineteenth through the mid-twentieth centuries influenced Tarkington and his work. The city was his birthplace and his death place. He spent a year at Purdue University where he met such “brilliancies” as George Ade and John McCutcheon. Other famous and not-so-famous Hoosiers became a part of Tarkington’s life, and they—along with international literary, theatrical, and political luminaries—reappear in Susanah Mayberry’s recollections of her amiable uncle.
Paul Harris Stores did exactly what it was supposed to. It brought fashion, comfort, style, and functionality to millions of women in the Midwest. Paul Harris' run of 50 years is remarkable because so few retail stores make it that long and so few make it so big. His life and experiences tell readers much about U.S. culture, retail history, and a brand of entrepreneurship that appears to be making a comeback.
This fascinating autobiography is set against the backdrop of some of the most dramatic episodes of the twentieth century. It is the story of a stubborn struggle against unjust regimes, sustained by a deep belief in the strength of the human spirit and the transcendental power of music. It is also an account of a rich spiritual life, during which the author has built upon her Jewish roots through the study of Eastern philosophy and meditation. Born in Germany, Eva Mayer Schay's early childhood in Mallorca was an idyllic one. Her parents had emigrated to the island following the Nazi party's rise to power, but in 1936, during the Spanish Civil War, the family was repatriated to Germany. Her father was arrested and given the choice of concentration camp or departing for Italy. They managed to leave Mussolini's Italy for South Africa before the race laws were implemented.During World War II, Mayer Schay's parents were classed as "enemy aliens" in South Africa, which led to considerable hardship. Her father died in 1945, after the end of the war. She went through all her schooling and university in Johannesburg, continued her musical studies in London, and after returning to Johannesburg, taught violin, played chamber music, and became a member of the SABC Symphony Orchestra. Defying apartheid, she was fired, later reinstated, but left Johannesburg to play with the Durban Civic Orchestra in 1959. Appalled at the increasing harshness of the nationalist government and by the Sharpeville massacre in 1960, she and her mother finally emigrated to England in 1961.In London, Mayer Schay worked as freelance violinist and was married in 1967. In September 1968, she joined the orchestra of Sadler's Wells Opera at the Coliseum Theatre, later renamed English National Opera, where she remained for almost thirty years.
This book is an excellent collection of the lives of important botanists throughout time. Part biography and part vignette makes for enjoyable reading. This resource was primarily used for an Academic Decathlon competition but I found it enjoyable enough to peruse some of the other botanists I found intriguing. The essays are short enough that you can just skip around to whoever strikes your fancy.
Honoring Wayne D. Rasmussen, "Mr. Agriculture" at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and throughout the nation, this book comprises essays by distinguished authors from varied disciplines on the past achievements, current status, and future challenges of agriculture history.
During the 1920s, the United States, suddenly aware of its potential following success in World War I, offered bright promise to its youth and especially to its rural youth. Harold Breimyer, the author of this memoir, was one of those rural youth- an Ohio farm boy. In this evocative memoir, told in the third person, Breimyer recounts how he and his fellows were encouraged to form high expectations for themselves, and how they fulfilled them.
George Orwell's novels and essays are known to millions, but his character is an enigma: an intellectual, he continually damned intellectuals; a leading political writer, he was disgusted with politics; a combatant in the Spanish Civil War, he despised violence; and an ardent believer in socialism, he had contempt for most socialists. In this skillful study, an insightful picture of this paradoxical figure emerges
Although a self-taught botanist, Charlie Deam (1865-1953) once served as state forester for Indiana and is revered as a pioneer in the field of botany. He traveled more than 100,000 miles throughout the state in his lifetime collecting 73,000 plant specimens. His four volumes about the flora, grasses, shrubs, and trees of Indiana resulted, among other things, in three honorary degrees. Deam's herbarium and 3,000-volume botanical library are now housed at Indiana University.
The Pleasure of Influence is a collection of conversations with eleven of the most important male fiction writers in America today. In this collection Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Olen Butler, National Book Award winner Charles Johnson, National Book Award nominees Thom Jones, Barry Hannah, and Stephen Dixon, as well as Russell Banks, Rick Moody, Chris Offutt, Stewart O'Nan, Steve Erickson, and Gordon Lish candidly discuss the origin, process, and achievement of their own fiction in a manner that should appeal to readers, writers, and scholars of modern American fiction.
Robert C. Kriebel's sympathetic biography of the prominent nineteenth-century Lafayette family weaves the story of four fascinating individuals into the web of state and national history and culture. The family members include John A. Stein, the distinguished state politician who devoted years to the founding of Purdue University; the indomitable mother, Virginia, who pursued a career in the local library when left widowed and penniless; the talented, albeit disreputable, Orth Stein, who achieved prominence as a journalist and illustrator but was also tried for murder; and the sheltered Evaleen Stein, who achieved local fame as a poet and author of children's books.
In the early 1940s, prior to the United States' entry into World War II, through the joint efforts of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill, British soldiers were sent to the United States for flight training. This collection gives first-person accounts of the men who learned the art of flying in a place far from their homeland -- Florida. The stories provide a wonderful contrast between the two cultures and are told in the voices of British cadets, American cadets who trained with them, instructors, and other individuals who welcomed the British cadets into their homes and lives.
Serious illness and mortality, those most universal, unavoidable, and frightening of human experiences, are the focus of this pioneering study, which has been hailed as a telling and provocative commentary on our times. As modern medicine has become more scientific and dispassionate, a new literary genre as emerged: pathography, the personal narrative concerning illness, treatment and sometimes death. Hawkins's sensitive reading of numerous pathographies highlights the assumptions, attitudes, and myths that people bring to the medical encounter. One factor emerges again and again in these "case studies": the tendency in contemporary medical practice to focus primarily not on the needs of the individual who is sick but on the condition that we call disease. Recommended for medical practitioners, the clergy, caregivers, students of popular culture, and the general reader, Reconstructing Illness demonstrates that "only when we hear both the doctor's and the patient's voice will we have a medicine that is truly human."
Serious illness and mortality, those most universal, unavoidable, and frightening of human experiences, are the focus of this pioneering study, which has been hailed as a telling and provocative commentary on our times. As modern medicine has become more scientific and dispassionate, a new literary genre as emerged: pathography, the personal narrative concerning illness, treatment and sometimes death. Hawkins's sensitive reading of numerous pathographies highlights the assumptions, attitudes, and myths that people bring to the medical encounter. One factor emerges again and again in these "case studies": the tendency in contemporary medical practice to focus primarily not on the needs of the individual who is sick but on the condition that we call disease. Recommended for medical practitioners, the clergy, caregivers, students of popular culture, and the general reader, Reconstructing Illness demonstrates that "only when we hear both the doctor's and the patient's voice will we have a medicine that is truly human."
Red Lights by Mokichi Saito (1882-1953), who was a major Japanese tankaist, continued the trend in bringing new life to tanka. Sbakko, translated as Red Lights, appeared in 1913. This collection of tanka created an immediate sensation in Japan as it introduced into this venerable art form the modern note of a rich variety of subject matter, including sordid sexuality and chaste love, psychiatric scrutiny, and the complicated mental processes of a mind reaching into those layers of nature and human nature that hardly seemed possible in thirty-one syllables.