Biography

Biography

episodes

Interviews with memoirists and biographers about their new books.

Yehonatan Eybeshitz, "Pearls of Wisdom from Rabbi Yehonatan Eybeshitz: Torah Giant, Preacher & Kabbalist" (Gerber's Miracle Publishers, 2021)

May 24, 2024

Pearls of Wisdom from Rabbi Yehonatan Eybeshitz

Rabbi Yehonatan Eybeshitz
Hosted by Michael Morales

Rabbi Yehonatan Eybeshitz was one of the greatest rabbis of the eighteenth century. Even as a child, he was renowned as one of the rare geniuses of hi…

The Translator's Daughter: A Discussion with Grace Loh Prasad

May 23, 2024

The Translator's Daughter

Grace Loh Prasad

Today’s book is: The Translator’s Daughter: A Memoir (Mad Creek Books, 2024), by Grace Loh Prasad, which is a unique immigration story about the lonel…

Peter Harmsen, "Bernhard Sindberg: The Schindler of Nanjing" (Casemate, 2024)

May 23, 2024

Bernhard Sindberg

Peter Harmsen
Hosted by Nicholas Gordon

In December 1937, Bernhard Sindberg arrives at a cement factory outside of Nanjing. He’s one of just two foreigners, and he gets there just weeks befo…

Benjamin Brose, "Embodying Xuanzang: The Postmortem Travels of a Buddhist Pilgrim" (U Hawaii Press, 2023)

May 23, 2024

Embodying Xuanzang

Benjamin Brose
Hosted by Jessica Zu

Xuanzang (600/602–664) was one of the most accomplished and consequential monks in the history of East Asian Buddhism. Celebrated for his sixteen-year…

Jeremy Black, "In Fielding's Wake" (St. Augustine's Press, 2022)

May 21, 2024

In Fielding's Wake

Jeremy Black
Hosted by Charles Coutinho

In the second volume of The Weight of Words Series, In Fielding's Wake (St. Augustine's Press, 2022), Jeremy Black continues his efforts to present an…

Chaim Miller, "Turning Judaism Outward: A Biography of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson the Seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe" (Kol Menachem, 2014)

May 15, 2024

Turning Judaism Outward

Chaim Miller
Hosted by Michael Morales

Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson (1902-1994), the Lubavitcher Rebbe, took an insular Chasidic group that was almost decimated by the Holocaust and tra…

David Winner, "Master Lovers: A Twisted Puzzle of Love and Fascism" (Outpost 19, 2023)

May 13, 2024

Master Lovers

David Winner
Hosted by Rebekah Buchanan

In Master Lovers: A Twisted Puzzle of Love and Fascism (Outpost 19, 2023) author David Winner examines the complications of learning about the complex…

Dan Chapman, "A Road Running Southward: Following John Muir's Journey Through an Endangered Land" (Island Press, 2022)

May 11, 2024

A Road Running Southward

Dan Chapman
Hosted by Matt Simmons

In 1867, John Muir set out on foot to explore the botanical wonders of the South, keeping a detailed journal of his adventures as he traipsed from Ken…

Hilary White, "Holes" (MA Bibliotheque, 2024)

May 10, 2024

Holes

Hilary White
Hosted by Rachel Pafe

Holes splices forms of fiction and nonfiction. The narrator, a researcher of limits at an unidentified university, figures her entanglement with an un…

Mark Dooley, "Roger Scruton: The Philosopher on Dover Beach" (Bloomsbury, 2024)

May 9, 2024

Roger Scruton: The Philosopher on Dover Beach

Mark Dooley
Hosted by Crawford Gribben

Roger Scruton was one of the outstanding British philosophers of the post-war years. Why then was he at best ignored and at worst reviled? In Roger Sc…

Hemjyoti Medhi, "Gendered Publics: Chandraprava Saikiani and the Mahila Samiti in Colonial Assam" (Oxford UP, 2024)

May 8, 2024

Gendered Publics

Hemjyoti Medhi

Gendered Publics: Chandraprava Saikiani and the Mahila Samiti in Colonial Assam (Oxford UP, 2024) is a first-of-its-kind comprehensive appraisal of th…

Sydney Stern, "The Brothers Mankiewicz: Hope, Heartbreak, and Hollywood Classics" (UP of Mississippi, 2019)

May 5, 2024

The Brothers Mankiewicz

Sydney Stern
Hosted by Joel Tscherne

Herman J. (1897–1953) and Joseph L. Mankiewicz (1909–1993) wrote, produced, and directed over 150 pictures. With Orson Welles, Herman wrote the screen…

Michael Gilson, "Behind the Privet Hedge: Richard Sudell, the Suburban Garden and the Beautification of Britain" (Reaktion Books, 2024)

May 3, 2024

Behind the Privet Hedge

Michael Gilson
Hosted by Miranda Melcher

Britain is a nation of gardeners; the suburban garden, with its roses and privet hedges, is widely admired and copied across the world. But it is litt…

Sara B. Franklin, "The Editor: How Publishing Legend Judith Jones Shaped Culture in America" (Atria, 2024)

May 3, 2024

The Editor

Sara B. Franklin
Hosted by Kendall Dinniene

The woman behind some of the most important authors of the 20th century—including Julia Child, Anne Frank, Edna Lewis, John Updike, and Sylvia Plath—f…

Nancy M. Martin, "Mirabai: The Making of a Saint" (Oxford UP, 2023)

May 2, 2024

Mirabai

Nancy M. Martin
Hosted by Raj Balkaran

Mirabai, an iconic sixteenth-century Indian poet-saint, is renowned for her unwavering love of God, her disregard for social hierarchies and gendered …

Katie Gee Salisbury, "Not Your China Doll: The Wild and Shimmering Life of Anna May Wong" (Dutton, 2024)

May 2, 2024

Not Your China Doll

Katie Gee Salisbury
Hosted by Nicholas Gordon

In 2022, the U.S. Mint released the first batch of its American Women Quarters series, celebrating the achievements of U.S. women throughout its histo…

Leading from the Margins: College Leadership from Unexpected Places

May 2, 2024

Leading from the Margins

Mary Dana Hinton

Today’s book is: Leading From the Margins: College Leadership from Unexpected Places (Johns Hopkins UP, 2024), by Dr. Mary Dana Hinton, which is a gui…

Andrés Reséndez, "Conquering the Pacific: An Unknown Mariner and the Final Great Voyage of the Age of Discovery" (Mariner Books, 2022)

April 27, 2024

Conquering the Pacific

Andrés Reséndez
Hosted by Stephen Hausmann

The Pacific Ocean is twice the size of the Atlantic, and while humans have been traversing its current-driven maritime highways for thousands of years…

Crawford Gribben, "J. N. Darby and the Roots of Dispensationalism" (Oxford UP, 2024)

April 24, 2024

J. N. Darby and the Roots of Dispensationalism

Crawford Gribben
Hosted by Caleb Zakarin

J.N. Darby and the Roots of Dispensationalism (Oxford University Press, 2024) describes the work of one of the most important and under-studied theolo…

Tarek El-Ariss, "Water on Fire: A Memoir of War" (Other Press, 2024)

April 24, 2024

Water on Fire

Tarek El-Ariss
Hosted by Tugrul Mende

In this evocative, insightful memoir, a leading voice in Middle Eastern Studies revisits his childhood in war-torn Lebanon and his family’s fascinatin…