Home » Nonfiction Directory » Biography Books » Biographies A, B

Free Online Biography Books – Subject Names A & B

Free Online Biography Books PDF - Subject Names A & B

Free online biography books, names A & B. One of a dozen web pages containing hundreds of biographies and memoirs.

Go to the Biography Main Page for our collections, a list of all our individual biographies, and links to the other biography pages on Century Past.

Go back to Biography Main Page

Free Online Biography Books – Subjects A and B

The Last Hero: A Life of Henry Aaron

Bryant, Howard
Pantheon 2010 Dewey Dec. 000

Aaron, Henry Louis “Hank” (1934-)

Charles Francis Adams (American Statesmen series)

Adams, Charles Francis Jr.
Houghton, Mifflin 1900 Dewey Dec. Biography

“Tells little of personal traits. Narration of services while minister to England; sheds valuable light on relations between England and America during the Civil war.”
– Standard Catalog for Public Libraries: Biography Section (1927)

Adams, Charles Francis (1807-1886)

The Education of Henry Adams. An Autobiography

Adams, Henry
Houghton 1918 Dewey Dec. Biography

“An important autobiography interesting in itself and because it is a criticism of cherished American institutions as they affected a brilliant man who had every advantage they could give. Valuable also as history.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926
“A type of autobiography which seems to stand absolutely in a niche of its own. Its wise philosophy of life, its deep understanding of human nature, its pervading charm of style and of mood, will surely entitle it to an abiding place among those rare volumes that are the perennial joy of cultured minds.”
– Standard Catalog for Public Libraries: Biography Section (1927). Free online biography books.

Adams, Henry (1838-1918)

See our Vintage Novels collection

John Adams (American Statesmen)

Morse, John Torrey
Houghton 1917 Dewey Dec. Biography

“Graphic portraiture and an excellent study of our politics in the days of Adams, of the fortunes of the federal party and the attitude of its two hostile forces, represented by Adams and Hamilton.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926
“We have John Adams the man and patriot, in all his rugged honesty, full of courage in great emergencies when others fell away, pugnacious, wise, when his judgment was not clouded by passion, a statesman without tact, vain and conceited, yet always a patriot, possessing the traits found in most of the world’s great heroes, yet not reaching the stature of a hero. It is a truthful portrait.”
– Standard Catalog for Public Libraries: Biography Section (1927). Free online biography books.

Adams, John, U.S. President (1735-1826)

Familiar Letters of John Adams and his Wife Abigail Adams, During the Revolution, with a Memoir of Mrs. Adams

Adams, John & Abigail
Houghton 1876 Dewey Dec. Biography

Takes its place by the side of the most valuable documents of our revolutionary history.
— A.L.A. Catalog 1904

Adams, John, U.S. President (1735-1826)

Adams, Abigail Smith (1744-1818)

John Quincy Adams. (American Statesmen)

Morse, John Torrey
Houghton 1917 Dewey Dec. Biography

“Trustworthy in details, its chief merit is its comprehension of the essential character of Adams and its sympathetic interpretation of the man and his work.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926
“That Mr Morse’s conclusions will be those of posterity, we have very little doubt, and he has set an admirable example to his coadjutors in respect of interesting narrative, just proportion and judicial candor.”
– Standard Catalog for Public Libraries: Biography Section (1927). Free online biography books.

Adams, John Quincy, U.S. President (1767-1848)

See our Nonfiction Subject A-Z Index

Samuel Adams (American Statesmen)

Hosmer, James Kendall
Houghton 1917 Dewey Dec. Biography

“Interesting and appreciative, setting forth fairly the man. his work, and his times. It furnishes substantially a compact history of the occasions and manner of the opening of the Revolution.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Adams, Samuel (1722-1803)

American Heroine: The Life and Legend of Jane Addams

Davis, Allen Freeman
Oxford University 1973

Jane Addams, as the founder of Hull House – a famous settlement house in Chicago – was the best known woman in America during the first decade of the twentieth century. … [she] was important for what she did and for what she wrote, but she was equally important for what she symbolized. Her work as a labor organizer and social reformer, and her influence as the author of ‘Twenty Years at Hull House’ and many other books, inspired fantastic praise. Then came World War I and Addams, as a pacifist, helped to organize The Woman’s Peace Party … For this she was accused of being a traitor.” – Book jacket. Free online biography books.

Addams, Jane (1860-1935)

Agassiz; His Life and Correspondence

Agassiz, Elizabeth Cary, ed.
Houghton 1893 Dewey Dec. Biography

Early life in Switzerland, friendships with Cuvier, Humboldt and other distinguished scientists; scientific work, particularly in geology and ichthyology, and work at Harvard, including founding of Agassiz museum.
— A.L.A. Catalog 1904

Agassiz, Louis (1807-1873)

Roger Ailes Off Camera: An Inside Look at the Founder and Head of Fox News

Chafets, Zev
Sentinel 2013

“Roger Ailes is the quintessential man behind the curtain. He more or less invented modern political consulting and helped Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush win their races for the White House. Then he reinvented himself as the creator and leader of Fox News, the most influential news network in the country. To liberals, Ailes is an evil genius … To conservatives, he’s a champion of free speech and fair reporting whose values and view of America reflect their own.” – Book cover. Free online biography books.

Ailes, Roger Eugene (1940-2017)

Louisa May Alcott, Her Life, Letters, and Journals

Cheney, E. D., ed.
Little 1900 Dewey Dec. Biography

“Pictures the home life of the author of Little Women, her experiences as an army nurse, struggles as an author, and numerous incidents in a crowded life.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Alcott, Louisa May (1832-1888)

Alexander the Great, The Merging of East and West in Universal History

Wheeler, Benjamin Ide
Putnam 1926 Dewey Dec. Biography

“Presents Alexander’s aims and achievements with considerable detail and admirable clearness.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.)

See our Fiction Directory for our huge collection of fiction books and magazines

Alfred the Great. The Truth Teller. Maker of England 848-899

Lees, Beatrice Adelaide
Putnam 1915 Dewey Dec. Biography

“A careful and scholarly study which aims to disentangle the Alfred of history from the Alfred of legend. It contains a chapter on Alfredian literature and a bibliography of primary and secondary sources.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Alfred the Great, King of England (849-901)

To America: Personal Reflections of an Historian

Ambrose, Stephen E.
Simon & Schuster 2003

“In this short volume, I tell stories about Americans from the past, what they did, how they did it, with what results.” – Author’s preface.
Ambrose was a very popular historian of the U.S., and was the author of ‘Band of Brothers’, ‘Undaunted Courage’, ‘Citizen Soldiers’, and many other well-known books. He was raised in Whitewater, WI and completed B.A. and PhD degrees at UW-Madison.

Ambrose, Stephen E. (1936-2002)

Hans Christian Andersen: A New Life

Andersen, Jens
Overlook 2005 Dewey Dec. 000

Andersen, Hans Christian (1805-1875)

Story of My Life

Anderson, Hans Christian
Houghton 1871 Dewey Dec. Biography

“”My life is a lovely story, happy and full of incident.” So writes Andersen in the first line of his autobiography, which has the charm and felicitous phrasing of his well-loved fairy tales.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926
“The absolute candor with which Andersen lays bare his soul, the complete intentional or unintentional self-revelation, gives a psychological value to the book which no mere literary grace could bestow. . . . Andersen remained, until the day of his death, a child. His innocence was more than virginal; his unworldliness simply inconceivable. . . . He conceived of his life as a fairy-tale. . . . The feeling of the marvellous pervades the book from beginning to end.”
– Standard Catalog for Public Libraries: Biography Section (1927). Biography books free.

Andersen, Hans Christian (1805-1875)

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Angelou, Maya
Bantam 1997 Dewey Dec. 000

Angelou, Maya (1928-2014)

Failure is Impossible: Susan B. Anthony in Her Own Words

Sherr, Lynn, ed.
Times 1995 Dewey Dec. 000

Anthony, Susan (1820-1906)

See our History Directory for thousands of free history books

The Promised Land

Antin, Mary
Houghton 1917 Dewey Dec. Biography

A vivid, idealistic and inspiring autobiography of an emotional Russian child who came as an immigrant to the Boston slums and used all the opportunities possible in “the promised land.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1912-1921
“Autobiography of an immigrant who was born less than thirty years ago (1912) in Polotzk, Russia, a town in the Jewish pale, and spent her childhood there. Her family being driven by the pressure of poverty to immigrate, when she was twelve years old she was brought to America, where she made a brilliant progress thru the public schools of Boston and thru Barnard college. The story of her life is absorbing in its human significance, remarkable for its literary distinction and convincingly hopeful in its view of the immigrant problem in America.”
– Standard Catalog for Public Libraries: Biography Section (1927). Biography books free.

Antin, Mary (1881-1949)

Johnny Appleseed, a Voice in the Wilderness: The Story of the Pioneer John Chapman. Centennial Tribute

Hatcher, Harlan, and Marshall, Leslie
Paterson, N.J: Swedenborg Press. 1945

John Chapman (1774-1845), often called Johnny Appleseed, was an American pioneer nurseryman who introduced apple trees to large parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, as well as the northern counties of present day West Virginia. He became an American legend while still alive, due to his kind, generous ways, his leadership in conservation, and the symbolic importance he attributed to apples. He was also a missionary for The New Church (Swedenborgian) and the inspiration for many museums and historical sites such as the Johnny Appleseed Museum in Urbana, Ohio and the Johnny Appleseed Heritage Center in between Lucas, Ohio and Mifflin, Ohio. -Wikipedia entry “Johnny Appleseed”. Biography books free.

Chapman, John (1774-1845)

Audubon the Naturalist

Herrick, Francis Hobart
Appleton 1917 Dewey Dec. Biography

“This work by the professor of biology in Western Reserve university, himself a well-known ornithologist, is the first thorough and authoritative biography of the great naturalist whose life was one of the most romantic in American history.”
“The volumes are magnificently illustrated, many of the plates being reproductions in color of Audubon’s drawings. For the reader whose interest in Audubon is scientific the book is invaluable; the more general reader will find it a fascinating story of tremendous struggle and great achievement”
– The Book Review Digest
“The appendixes contain the complete text of the French documents and a bibliography, comprising a fully annotated list of Audubon’s writings, biographies, criticism, and Auduboniana. An index to the complete work is included in the second volume.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Audubon, John James (1785-1851)

Life of Jane Austen (Great Writers)

Smith, Goldwin
Scribner 1890 Dewey Dec. Biography

“The first and best chapter contains an excellent sketch of Jane Austen’s life; the other chapters analyze her novels with delicate taste and fine critical faculty.”
– Standard Catalog for Public Libraries: Biography Section (1927)

Austen, Jane (1775-1815)

Struggles and Triumphs: or, Forty years’ Recollections of P.T. Barnum

Barnum, P. T.
Hartford 1869 Dewey Dec. Biography

Barnum, Phineas Taylor (1810-1891)

All the Days of my Life: An Autobiography. The Red Leaves of a Human Heart.

Barr, Amelia Edith Huddleston
Appleton 1913 Dewey Dec. Biography

A sincere unpretentious account of this novelist’s private, literary and spiritual life. Early days in England and Scotland, the United States before the Civil war and her career when the loss of husband and sons forced her to write to support herself and her daughters. She was over eighty when this was written.
— A.L.A. Catalog 1912-1921. Biography books free.

Barr, Amelia Edith Huddleston (1831-1919)

See our collected Biographical Articles

The Life of Clara Barton

Epler, Percy Harold
Macmillan 1915 Dewey Dec. Biography

An authorized biography made more interesting through the free use of unpublished war diaries and letters and personal recollections. Covers her work in the Civil war, the Franco-Prussian war, the Spanish war, the foundation of the American Red Cross and direction of its varied activities.
— A.L.A. Catalog 1912-1921

Barton, Clara Harlowe (1821-1912)

Beethoven, a Character Study; Together with Wagner’s Indebtedness to Beethoven

Fischer, George Alexander
Dodd 1905 Dewey Dec. Biography

“Although it throws no new light on Beethoven’s life and artistic nature, it is perhaps the most rational, convincing, shrewd and sympathetic estimate yet made.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Beethoven, Ludwig van (1770-1827)

My Song: A Memoir

Belafonte, Harry
Knopf 2011 Dewey Dec. 000

Belafonte, Harry (1927-)

The Jack Benny Show: The Life and Times of America’s Best-Loved Entertainer

Josefsberg, Milt
Arlington House 1977

“Jack Benny (born Benjamin Kubelsky) was an American comedian, vaudevillian, radio, television and film actor, and violinist. Benny was known for his comic timing and the ability to cause laughter with a pregnant pause or a single expression, such as his signature exasperated “Well!” His radio and television programs, popular from 1932 until his death in 1974, were a major influence on the sitcom genre.” – Wikipedia. Biography books free.

Benny, Jack (Benjamin Kubelsky) (1894-1974)

Thomas Hart Benton (American Statesmen series)

Roosevelt, Theodore
Houghton, Mifflin 1900 Dewey Dec. Biography

Benton, Thomas Hart (1782-1858)

Yogi Berra

Barra, Allen
Norton 2009 Dewey Dec. 000

Berra, Lawrence Peter “Yogi” (1925-2015)

Memories of My Life

Bernhardt, Sarah
Appleton 1923 Dewey Dec. Biography

“The personal, professional and social recollections of a remarkable woman and great artist — versatile, egotistic, brilliant, audacious and always interesting.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Bernhardt, Sarah (1844-1923)

Larry Legend

Shaw, Mark
Masters 1999

“Larry Legend features the fascinating Horatio Alger-like story of Larry Bird — Hall of Fame basketball superstar and NBA Coach of the Year. Among the topics covered, author Mark Shaw chronicles: Bird’s early childhood and adolescent years in Springs Valley, Indiana; Why he left Indiana University and Coach Bob Knight; Bird’s newer-to-be-forgotten collegiate days at Indiana State; How he led the Boston Celtics to three world championships”; Why he decided to coach the Indiana Pacers. The inside story of how he molded the Pacers into championship contenders using the same work ethic that made him one of the five greatest players in basketball history.” – Book cover

Bird, Larry Joe (1956 – )

Bismarck (Makers of the Nineteenth Century)

Robertson, Charles Grant
Holt 1919 Dewey Dec. Biography

“Comprehensive, unbiased, and compiled from original sources, it describes the man and master statesman, loyal to craftiness in his support of the king, ending with a bitter old age of defeated power and reconstructed ideas. Many references to contemporary German history, documents and bibliography.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926
“Mr Robertson has written so sanely and dispassionately that the salient impression that comes out of this biography is not of Bismarck’s meanness but of greatness. This Mr Robertson has accomplished by adhering resolutely to his avowed object in writing; namely, to reconstruct the period through which Bismarck lived.”
– The Book Review Digest
“Both historically and psychologically, it is a work often brilliant, always enlightening; written neither from the professorial chair nor the journalistic desk, but instinct with a full and inner knowledge both of documents and transactions.”
– Standard Catalog for Public Libraries: Biography Section (1927). Biography books free.

Bismarck, Otto, furst von (1815-1898)

Black Elk Speaks:

Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux

Black Elk
Pocket 1972 Dewey Dec. 000

Black Elk (1863-1950)

The Life of Black Hawk; Ma-Ka-Tai-Me-She-Kia-Kiak

Quaife, Milo Milton, ed.
Chicago: Donnelley 1916

The autobiography was dictated by Black Hawk in 1833, using the official U.S. interpreter for the Sacs and Foxes. This took place shortly after the Black Hawk War, when Black Hawk was in the custody of the Government.
This volume is a re-issuance by the Wisconsin Historical Society, with a new introduction, of an 1834 publication named:

“Life of Ma-Ka-Tai-Me-She-Kia-Kiak or Black Hawk, embracing the tradition of his nation – Indian wars in which he has been engaged – cause of joining the British in their late war with America, and its history – description of the Rock-River village – manners and customs – encroachments by the whites, contrary to treaty – removal from his village in 1831. With an account of the cause and general history of the late war, his surrender and confinement at Jefferson Barracks, and travels through the United States, dictated by himself.” Biography online books.

There are many resources on this site for: The Black Hawk War of 1832

Black Hawk (Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak) (1767-1838)

William Blake

De Selincourt, Basil
Duckworth 1909 Dewey Dec. Biography

“De Selincourt’s William Blake is a study of Blake’s principles and practices, and contains an admirably sane analysis of his genius.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Blake, William (1757-1827)

Once Around the Bloch

Bloch, Robert
TOR 1995

Autobiography by the Wisconsin author of science fiction and horror, including “Psycho”, which Alfred Hitchcock made into a movie.

Bloch, Robert (1917-1994)

Six Months in Mexico

Bly, Nellie
American Publishers Corporation 1888 Dewey Dec. Biography

Personal memoir. A young woman becomes a journalist and takes an assignment in Mexico. The author, whose real name was Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman, would later become one of the best-known women in the U.S. for a record-breaking trip around the world in 72 days, and for an investigative expose in which she faked insanity to study a mental institution from within. See the entry in Wikipedia for “Nellie Bly”. There was also a 1981 movie; “The Adventures of Nellie Bly”.

Seaman, Elizabeth Cochrane, AKA Nellie Bly (1864-1922)

Yashka; My Life as Peasant, Officer and Exile

Bochkareva, Maria Leontievna, commander of the Russian women’s battalion of death
Stokes 1919 Dewey Dec. Biography

A thrilling book with graphic pictures of her battalion, the disintegration of the Russian army after the revolution, of Kerensky, Lenin, Trotsky and others. The events are a succession so dramatically startling that they tax one’s credulity.
— A.L.A. Catalog 1912-1921. Biography online books.

Bochkareva, Maria Leontievna (Frolkova) (1889-1920)

Sarah K. Bolton; Pages from an Intimate Autobiography

Bolton, Charles Knowles, ed.
Todd 1923 Dewey Dec. Biography

Sarah Knowles Bolton wrote for the press and also published poems, biographical sketches and children’s books. She worked in the temperance movement and involved herself in female higher education and other social questions. Several of her books are on this website.

Bolton, Sarah Knowles (1841-1916)

Erma Bombeck: A Life in Humor

Edwards, Susan
Avon 1997

“A housewife turned beloved, nationally known humorist, Erma Bombeck first began focusing a wry critical eye on the American family back when June Cleaver, not Roseanne, was the accepted model for middle-class motherhood. For more than three decades, she charmed a nation with her sassy irreverence for long-held traditions, tempered by delightful good humor…and, always deep, abiding love.” – Book jacket. Biography online books.

Bombeck, Erma Louise (1927-1996)

Napoleon the First

Fournier, August
Holt 1903 Dewey Dec. Biography

“One of the more important of the shorter biographies; based on thorough research, and giving a good view of the general historical situation.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Napoleon I, Emperor of the French (Bonaparte, Napoleon) (1769-1821)

Daniel Boone (Appleton’s life histories)

Thwaites, Reuben Gold
Appleton 1902 Dewey Dec. Biography

“Defines Daniel Boone’s place among western pioneers in the light of manuscripts in the Wisconsin historical society library.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926
“Inspiring account of Boone’s exploits as explorer and frontiersman, attributing his fame to his character rather than to his courage. Information about the life of the times and the Indians of the period supplies a colorful background. Written for Boy scouts, but interesting to adults as well.”
– Standard Catalog for Public Libraries: Biography Section (1927)

Boone, Daniel (1734-1820)

Life of Catherine Booth, the Mother of the Salvation Army, Vol 1

Volume 2

Booth-Tucker, F. de L.
Salvation Army 1892 Dewey Dec. Biography

Catherine Booth was the wife of the founder of the Salvation Army and had an important role in managing and shaping the organization. Biography online books.

Booth, Catherine Mumford (1829-1890)

Lucrezia Borgia

Bradford, Sarah
Viking 2004 Dewey Dec. 000

Borgia, Lucrezia (1480-1519)

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

Bourdain, Anthony
Ecco 2000 Dewey Dec. 000

Bourdain, Anthony Michael (1956-2018)

Brahms (New library of Music)

Fuller-Maitland, John Alexander
Lane 1911 Dewey Dec. Biography

“Perhaps the most useful English biography for the student, since it analyzes a large number of Brahms’ compositions.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926. Biography online books.

Brahms, Johannes (1833-1897)

The Brontës and Their Circle

Shorter, Clement King
Dutton 1917 Dewey Dec. Biography

Bronte, Charlotte (1816 – 1855)

Bronte, Emily (1818 – 1848)

Bronte, Anne (1820 – 1849)

Rajah Brooke; the Englishman as Ruler of an Eastern State (Builders of Greater Britain)

St John, Sir Spenser
Longmans Dewey Dec. Biography

Short biography of Sir James Brooke, rajah of Sarawak, Borneo, 1842-63. Contains an account of Brooke’s attempt to regenerate the Malays, of relations with Chinese and with pirates, illustrating British policy in southeastern Asia.
— A.L.A. Catalog 1904.

Brooke, James, Rajah of Sarawak (1803-1868)

The Letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett 1845 – 1846, Vol 1

Volume 2

Browning, Robert and Browning, Elizabeth
Smith 1899 Dewey Dec. Biography

“A set of intimate letters of rare charm which reveal a beautiful character. They also, like those of the previous title, contain many casual but revealing glimpses of well-known people.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Browning, Robert (1812-1889)

Browning, Elizabeth Barrett (1806-1861)

A Righteous Cause: The Life of William Jennings Bryan

Cherney, Robert W.
University of Oklahoma 1994

“Three times the Democratic Party’s nominee for president (1896, 1900, and 1908), and Secretary of State under Woodrow Wilson, William Jennings Bryan voiced the concerns of many Americans left out of the post—Civil War economic growth. In this book, Robert Cherny traces Bryan’s major political crusades for a new currency policy, prohibition, and women’s suffrage, and against colonialism, monopolies, America’s entry into World War I, and the teaching of evolution in the public schools. Drawing on Bryan’s writings and correspondence, Cherny presents Bryan’s key role in the Democratic party’s transformation from a proponent of minimal government to an advocate of active government.” – Book cover

Bryan, William Jennings (1860-1925)

Memories of Buffalo Bill

Cody, Mrs. Louisa (Frederici) and Cooper, C. R.
Appleton 1919 Dewey Dec. Biography

“Though not a literary masterpiece, it has the merit of presenting a real man and an admirable character. It is written in a lively and entertaining style, with restraint, and, in spite of some sentimentality, in good taste.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926. Biography online books.

Cody, William Frederick (Buffalo Bill) (1845-1917)

Barbara Bush: A Memoir

Bush, Barbara
St. Martin’s 1995 Dewey Dec. 000

Bush, Barbara Pierce (1925-2018)

All the Best, George Bush: My Life in Letters and Other Writings

Bush, George
Touchstone 2000 Dewey Dec. 000

Bush, George Herbert Walker (1924-2018)

Spoken From the Heart

Bush, Laura
Scribner 2010 Dewey Dec. 000

Bush, Laura Lane Welch (1946)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top