There have been billions of people who have existed and lived in this world. However, only a few could make an impact on it. Many historians, writers, and journalists have put in a lot of effort to try and maintain a track record of such people, and tell their stories. Here are the 10 most inspiring biographies of people who have achieved greatness in their life in different fields, and have changed the world forever, for good.
10 Most Inspiring Biographies
- Young Mandela by David James Smith
- Ambedkar: Towards an Enlightened India by Gail Omvedt
- Madame Curie: A Biography by Ève Curie
- Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times by Thomas Hauser
- Lincoln by David Herbert Donald
- Eleanor Roosevelt (Volume One and Two) by Blanche Wiesen Cook
- Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life by Justine Picardie
- Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
- Marilyn Monroe by Donald Spoto
- The Queen of Jhansi by Mahasweta Devi
Young Mandela by David James Smith
The late Nelson Mandela is the former and the first President of South Africa. He played a huge role as an anti-apartheid revolutionary. He was also the first black elected representative in South Africa. He was sentenced to jail due to his resistance to colonization and spent about 27 years in jail for the same. He is an adored political figure by many around the world.
Young Mandela, as the name suggests, is not the story of President Nelson Mandel of South Africa, and instead of a deep dive into his life as a young boy. David James Smith is a well-known journalist and an author. He wrote the book Young Mandela with the aim of highlighting the racism in the country and the hardships that Nelson Mandela had to go through.
Ambedkar: Towards an Enlightened India by Gail Omvedt
Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar was an Indian political figure, who is known for writing the Constitution of India. He was at the forefront of the Dalit Movement in India. He is also popularly known as Babasaheb. Dr. Gail Omvedt has been involved in several anti-caste, feminist, environmental, etc. movements. In the book Ambedkar: Towards an Enlightened India, she elaborates on Dr. Ambedkar’s struggle as a Dalit man in India to pursue education, his social struggle, and how he led the Indian Constituent Assembly.
Madame Curie: A Biography by Ève Curie
Marie Curie is a well-known scientist, who is known for pioneering research on radioactivity. Madame Curie is a biography of Marie Curie by her own daughter, Eve Curie. The book talks about Marie’s struggle with being a woman in science, which is generally a male-dominated field, her life, and how hard she worked every day.
Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times by Thomas Hauser
Muhammad Ali was a popular American boxer and an activist. He is one of the most well-known sports figures in history. He was born and raised in Kentucky, United States of America. He refused to use his birth name and changed his name to Muhammad Ali as his birth name contained “colonialist values”. He also refused to be drafted into the military during the Vietnam War due to his opposing beliefs to it.
Thomas Hauser has authored a total of 42 books, and Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times is one of his most popular ones. As the name suggests, it is a biography of the boxing legend, Muhammed Ali, his trials in life, and his rise to fame.
Lincoln by David Herbert Donald
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States of America, who was assassinated during his tenure. David Herbert Donald is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author. In the book Lincoln, Donald breaks down President Lincoln’s life. He talks about how President Lincoln started his journey in rural Kentucky and the hardships and struggles that came along the way. The book also gives an insight into the President’s mind and how he came over those struggles. There is also mention of how President Lincoln changed the slavery laws in America, and how he was one of the country’s greatest presidents.
Eleanor Roosevelt (Volume One and Two) by Blanche Wiesen Cook
Eleanor Roosevelt was the First Lady of the United States of America. She was the wife of the 32nd President of America, Franklin D. Roosevelt. President Roosevelt served as the POTUS for four terms, making Eleanor Roosevelt the longest-serving First Lady of the United States. She was raised by her grandmother as a child, as both her parents passed away when she was very young of an age.
Blanche Wiesen Cook is an openly gay author and professor. She is very well known for writing the biography of Eleanor Roosevelt. The biography is divided into two parts. The first part is about her childhood, and how she was raised as an orphan. It also talks about her issues with her marriage to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The second part elaborates on her struggles as the First Lady, dealing with the media and her public image, etc. These books tell the story of a leading woman of America and how she helped her husband lead the country to greatness.
Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life by Justine Picardie
Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel, also popularly known as Coco Chanel, was a French fashion designer and businesswoman. She was the founder of Chanel, the luxury fashion brand that is known by all. This book by Justine Picardie talks about how Coco Chanel changed the fashion industry completely. It mentions Coco being a lead woman and making Chanel a known brand name everywhere on the globe.
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
Steve Jobs, as everyone is aware, is the co-founder of the tech company, Apple. He co-founded the company along with Stephen Wozniak. They met each other in college and started working along with each other.
Walter Isaacson is known for writing biographies of famous people who have influenced and changed the world greatly. Some examples among them are Benjamin Franklin, Leonardo da Vinci, and of course, Steven Jobs. This book is a best-selling book that can be seen on most bookstore shelves in the biographies section. It is adorned by numerous people around the world. Walter Isaacson wrote this book with numerous detail and interviewed hundreds of Steve Jobs acquaintances including friends, family, colleagues, co-workers, etc. He also compiled messages from many of Steve Jobs’ own interviews and letters and put them together in the biography.
Marilyn Monroe by Donald Spoto
Marilyn Monroe was a popular American actor, model, and singer. She was considered to be a ‘sex symbol’ during the 1950s and the 1960s. The book by Donald Spoto has a whole 4.5-star review on Goodreads and is greatly appreciated for not glamorizing or objectifying Monroe. Spoto analyzes her life as a normal human being, which was something the public often forgets about Monroe.
The Queen of Jhansi by Mahasweta Devi
The Queen of Jhansi, Rani Lakshmibai, is one of the few Indian queens to have ruled a kingdom. She was known for her bravery and for fighting a battle against the British soldiers. She, unfortunately, lost her life in the battle itself. However, even today, she is celebrated by many Indians as an inspiring, brave woman.
Mahasweta Devi captures the brilliance of Rani Lakshmibai wonderfully in this biography. Devi describes her as an elegant queen who wore her sarees and the male battle armour on the field. She is an incredible role model for people to look up to.
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10 Most Inspiring Biographies