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

Portrait of a President

Written by one of President John F. Kennedy’s greatest admirers and closest confidants, this intimately detailed account provides a rarely seen glimpse into the emotions behind the Kennedy administration—from the elation of victory to the frustrating challenges facing a young president at this pivotal turning point in U.S. history.

Originally published in 1962—before the assassination of JFK—Portrait of a President is William Manchester’s first biography of the 35th President of the United States.

In addition to personal encounters with JFK, the biography draws from over forty interviews conducted in the first year of his presidency. In speaking with those closest to the president, both in his administration and his family, Manchester captures a complete portrait of one of the most highly regarded figures of the twentieth century.

This updated edition includes a new introduction and epilogue written by Manchester in the aftermath of November 1963, adding to the mythos by documenting not just how President Kennedy lived, but also the legacy he left behind.

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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

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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

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Books By
William Manchester