Recommendations for biographies of big thinkers
September 9, 2013 3:07 PM   Subscribe

I just finished reading Jeremy Adelman's biography of Albert O. Hirschman. I loved the book because it vividly explained Hirschman's ideas (he was an economist and scholar of political thought) and because Hirschman had a fascinating and compelling life story. Can you recommend biographies of major thinkers in the social sciences and philosophy?
posted by EtTuHealy to Society & Culture (4 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Jacques Barzun: Portrait of a Mind

The Summing Up by William Somerset Maugham
I can't recommend this highly enough. Incredible look at the mind of a writer and intellectual.

Confessions of a Philosopher by Bryan Magee

There are so many...but there's three of my favorites.

Good luck!
posted by Gerard Sorme at 3:46 PM on September 9, 2013

Robert Skidelsky's three volume biography of John Maynard Keynes, or the abridged version.
posted by cushie at 4:16 PM on September 9, 2013

Your question made me think of the excellent blog Brain Pickings where you might want to look around.
Here's what came up under the philosophy tag
or you might want to poke around her book recommendation page
posted by biscuits at 8:28 PM on September 9, 2013

Thanks, all!
posted by EtTuHealy at 7:00 AM on September 10, 2013

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