Annal: 1993 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography

Results of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in the year 1993.

Book:Daniel Boone

Daniel Boone: The Life and Legend of an American Pioneer

John Mack Faragher

In the first and most reliable biography of Daniel Boone in more than fifty years, award-winning historian Faragher brilliantly portrays America’s famous frontier hero. Drawing from popular narrative, the public record, scraps of documentation from Boone’s own hand, and a treasure of reminiscence gathered by nineteenth-century antiquarians, Faragher uses the methods of new social history to create a portrait of the man and the times he helped shape. Blending themes from a much vitalized Western and frontier history with the words and ideas of ordinary people, Faragher has produced a book that will stand as the definitive life of Daniel Boone for decades to come, and one that illuminates the frontier world of Boone like no other.

Book:Charles Sanders Peirce

Charles Sanders Peirce: A Life

Joseph Brent

Charles Sanders Peirce was born in September 1839 and died five months before the guns of August 1914. He is perhaps the most important mind the United States has ever produced. He made significant contributions throughout his life as a mathematician, astronomer, chemist, geodesist, surveyor, cartographer, metrologist, engineer, and inventor. He was a psychologist, a philologist, a lexicographer, a historian of science, a lifelong student of medicine, and, above all, a philosopher, whose special fields were logic and semiotics. He is widely credited with being the founder of pragmatism. In terms of his importance as a philosopher and a scientist, he has been compared to Plato and Aristotle. He himself intended “to make a philosophy like that of Aristotle.”

Peirce was also a tormented and in many ways tragic figure. He suffered throughout his life from various ailments, including a painful facial neuralgia, and had wide swings of mood which frequently left him depressed to the state of inertia, and other…[more]

Book:Genius in the Shadows

Genius in the Shadows: A Biography of Leo Szilard, the Man Behind the Bomb

William Lanouette, Bela Silard

Leo Szilard has long been overshadowed by such luminaries as Einstein, Oppenheimer, and Enrico Fermi—with whom he codesigned the first nuclear reactor in 1942. A shy, witty eccentric, the Hungarian born Szilard lived both sides of the arms race, working first to prevent, then to hasten, and finally to outlaw nuclear weapons.

“Lanouette’s book is eminently readable…. An excellent book spiced with telling anecdotes about a strange man who influenced world history.” —Max F. Perutz, New York Review of Books

Book:Lincoln: An Illustrated Biography

Lincoln: An Illustrated Biography

Philip B. Kunhardt, Jr., Philip B. Kunhardt III, Peter W. Kunhardt

Abraham Lincoln, one of the towering figures in American history—and his visage, reproduced as it was in the pioneer days of photography—is a familiar and permanent part of our heritage. Now, in this extraordinary and beautifully illustrated book, we are given Lincoln as we have never seen him before.

The text is written by Philip B. Kunhardt, Jr., and his sons, Philip B. Kunhardt III and Peter W. Kunhardt, and is accompanied by more than 700 illustrations—most of them drawn from the celebrated Meserve collection, which was assembled by a forebear of the Kunhardts. They include originals by Mathew Brady, Alexander Gardner, and other leading photographers of the day, and vividly evoke the remarkable life of the great President. From his early days on the midwestern frontier, to his election to the presidency, to his four turbulent years as wartime leader, to his tragic assassination, we get a strong sense of the President, the…[more]

Book:The Six Wives of Henry VIII

The Six Wives of Henry VIII

Antonia Fraser

The six wives of Henry VIII—Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anna of Cleves, Katherine Howard and Catherine Parr—have become defined in a popular sense not so much by their lives as by the way these lives ended. But, as Antonia Fraser conclusively proves, they were rich and feisty characters. They may have been victims of Henry’s obsession with a male heir, but they were not willing victims. On the contrary, they displayed considerable strength and intelligence at a time when their sex supposedly possessed little of either. Inevitably there was great rivalry between them, and there was jealousy too—the desperate jealousy of Queens who found themselves abandoned, but also the sexual jealousy of the King who discovered himself betrayed. The story Antonia Fraser tells is romantic and cruel, funny and sad, dramatic and enthralling.

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