Biographies on the influential & powerful w/ a focus on early life
January 31, 2013 9:32 AM   Subscribe

My favorite kinds of biographies have political/military figures from classical antiquity or America, with a focus on their intellectual development. I really enjoyed Dreams from My Father and Plutarch's Lives because they really delve into the intellectual development of their subjects. Biographies that span someone's entire lifespan are fine, as long as early life is well covered. Any recommendations?
posted by tomtheblackbear to Media & Arts (3 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
My Beloved World looks good in that sense although I have only flipped through it so far.
posted by BibiRose at 10:06 AM on January 31, 2013

Mary Renault's The Nature of Alexander is exactly this, big on Alexander's psychological development from childhood. Tinsy bit Freudian/dated now but still amazing.
posted by runincircles at 10:37 AM on January 31, 2013

David McCullough's Mornings on Horseback, on TR and his family.

Geoffrey Ward's Before the Trumpet, on FDR's childhood and youth.

I love both of these, but especially Ward's!
posted by jgirl at 12:23 PM on January 31, 2013

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