Ok, so I have a few weeks a month tops before my next semester of college starts. I want to take some of the extra time this will allot me to invest in reading some biographies of great men....the problem is I'm not sure where to start exactly. I'm looking for suggestions that will be inspirational. Any suggestions?

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Sir Ranulph Fiennes - Mad,Bad and Dangerous to know.


Really good read.

Suetonius' biographies of the emperors will give you a nice tabloid read of the Roman rulers.

Joseph Ellis' biography of Thomas Jefferson is really good. Particularly the introduction on the legacy of Thomas Jefferson in America. However, the author has been accused of unethical behavior in his research.


I think in general though, we should question the worth of Great Man History. Seems like a 19th century fad.

Inspirational in what direction: science, art, math, military, politics, philosophy, religion, insert-field-of-interest-here?

I'd suggest select a field of interest first. Then see who the movers and shakers are in that niche and pick one who seems particularly interesting to you.

A good method!

Crow Killer: The Saga of Liver-Eating Johnston

A Full Cup: Sir Thomas Lipton's Extraordinary Life.....

McCullough's John Adams is great.



Thanks for the suggestions everyone. Right now I would say inspirational in the area of business is what I am looking for.

Then Def check out A Full Cup...

The guy built an empire from some pocket lint, elbow grease and common sense.

I think i'm going to try and find those Ford and Carnegie autobiographies! Sounds interesting...with owning my own business and some other business opportunities out on the table I could use some inspiration in that vein. 

A must-read when it comes out, and with a new album too!


Life and Campaigns of Stonewall Jackson by Robert Lewis Dabney, and Patton: The Man Behind the Legend, 1885-1945 by Martin Blumenson.  Two of my favorite books about two of my biggest heroes.


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