The Corner

Read This!

Human Events has published a list of “Ten American Biographies Everyone Should Read,” based on responses from “a panel of 21 distinguished scholars.” Someone made a big mistake and put me on the panel–though I was happy to participate. The #1 book is The Education of Henry Adams. My own top choice, The Indispensable Man, a biography of Washington by James Thomas Flexner, didn’t make the top 10. (Memo to Rick Brookhiser: Founding Father was also on my top-10 list; alas, it didn’t make the cut, either, though both you and Flexner appear in an “honorable mention” sidebar in the print version of Human Events. Can’t seem to find this sidebar on the web, though.) Several of my book choices do appear on the list: The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass; Witness, by Whittaker Chambers; Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant; and R.E. Lee, by Douglas Southall Freeman.

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.

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