The Riverside Dictionary of Biography
Editors of the American Heritage Dictionaries
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2005 - Biography & Autobiography - 867 pages
The Riverside Dictionary of Biography includes more than 10,000 people from around the globe and from all periods of history. All continents, fields of endeavor, and historical eras are richly represented: the likes of Plato, Sappho, and Michelangelo rub shoulders with Nelson Mandela; Frida Kahlo; Mao Zedong’s wife, Jiang Qing; and the actor-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The person’s full name, birth and death dates, nationality, and occupation are given, orienting the reader at a glance to the essential biographical data. Details of the person’s life, education, and achievements follow, along with information on the historical milieu in which he or she was active. Hundreds of short quotations provide morsels of wisdom, wit, and often a bit of humor while imparting the spirit of notables such as Stephen Hawking, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Thousands of cross-references thread related lives together — the entry for the great blues singer Ma Rainey, for example, has a reference to her protégé Bessie Smith, and from Bessie Smith there are further references to the bandleaders Fletcher Henderson and Louis Armstrong.
This wealth of information is arranged in an attractive, readable format with more than a hundred black-and-white illustrations. This is an indispensable resource for schools, libraries, and individuals who need an up-to-date and authoritative biographical reference.
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