William Manchester

William Manchester (1922-2004) was a journalist, Professor of History Emeritus at Wesleyan University, and the best-selling author of several noted histories, novels, and biographies. Notable works include The Last Lion, a biography of Winston Churchill spanning several volumes; American Caesar, on the life of Douglas MacArthur; The Arms of Krupp, A World Lit Only By Fire; and The Death of a President. His awards include the Dag Hammarskjold International Literary Prize, the National Humanities Medal, the Abraham Lincoln Literary Award, and the Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award.

Featured Books By Author

One Brief Shining Moment

In his renowned biographies, Portrait of a President and The Death of a President, William Manchester intimately and meticulously detailed the life and death of President John F. Kennedy. One Brief Shining Moment is a celebration of that life, based on Manchester’s own recollections of his time with one of America’s most famous families.

John Kennedy first met William Manchester in 1946, beginning a friendship that would follow him to Washington and eventually the White House. But, beyond the closed doors of the Oval Office, Manchester enjoyed a close relationship with the Kennedys. Pulling from family gatherings in New England to trips along the campaign trail and informal private talks with JFK himself, this is William Manchester’s personal account of the man behind the legend, someone he truly admired, and was proud to call a friend.

One Brief Shining Moment provides a firsthand look at the thought process behind JFK’s most important decisions as president, his drive to move the country in a new direction, and the relationships he had with his family and friends. This is a book about a man, about a life, and about a triumphant moment in American history.

Read more

The Life and Riotous Times of H.L. Mencken

In 1947, a young William Manchester--the man who would later become a celebrated biographer, historian, and novelist--was working as a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. It was there that he met fellow journalist H.L. Mencken, the influential writer and cofounder of the magazines The American Mercury and The Smart Set. While attending the University of Missouri, Manchester tackled Mencken as the subject of his Masters thesis. When the resulting biography was published on the wider market in 1951, it made a splash--establishing Manchester's reputation as a skilled writer, biographer, and political commentator.

This book tells the story of "conservative anarchist" H.L. Mencken's life in compelling detail--a story that's energetic, controversial, and surprisingly intimate. Crafted in vivid prose, William Manchester brings Mencken's world to life.

William Manchester was the most popular and highly regarded historian and biographer of his time--and this powerful book supports that reputation.

"Manchester's book is written with verve, intellectual sophistication, and a prickly wit worthy of its eminent subject.... [The Life and Riotous Times of H.L. Mencken] performs a considerable service for American intellectual history. It is, besides, a first-class piece of literate entertainment." --The New Yorker

Read more

The Glory and the Dream

Award-winning historian and biographer William Manchester, author of The Last Lion, an epic three-volume biography of Winston Churchill, brings us an evocative and powerful exploration of the American way of life from 1932 to 1972. Covering almost every facet of American culture during a very diverse and tumultuous period in history, Manchester's account is both dramatic and surprisingly intimate--with compelling details that could only be known by a dedicated historian who lived through and documented this fascinating time in history.

For several decades, William Manchester was the most popular and highly regarded historian and biographer of his time--and this book provides the reader with a powerful example of the reason for that reputation.

"There is no fiction that can compete with good, gossipy, anecdotal history--the inside story of who said or did what in moments of great tensions or crisis... I think you ought to read this history and weep, read it and laugh, read it and don't repeat it." --Anatole Broyard

Read more

Books By
William Manchester