How to Do Biography

An interesting addition to any class on Legal History:  Nigel Hamilton’s How to Do Biography: A Primer (Harvard University Press, 2008).

The book has a handy chapter on researching your subject, but I found the suggestions for framing and shaping your subject’s story most fascinating and helpful.   There is rich works cited section at the end of the text.

Hamilton’s Introduction starts:

“We live — at least in the Western World — in a golden age for biography.  The depiction of real lives in every medium from print to film, from radio to television and the Internet, is more popular than ever.  More people are undertaking biographies (and autobiographical works, such as blogs and memoirs) than ever before.  .  .  .

My intention was to write a primer that would be readable, informative, instructive — and, to a degree, entertaining.”

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