“The Biography Book” by Daniel S. Burt is an excellent resource for anyone interest in biographical literature. It is a comprehensive reference volume that aims to provide readers with an overview of the biographical materials available on the most written-about historical figures.
Overview of the Book
The book is divide into two parts. Part one focuses on the biographical materials available for each historical figure. It identifies and assesses the different types of biographical materials, such as primary sources, secondary sources, and biographical dictionaries. Part two provides a brief biography of each historical figure and lists the available biographical materials.
Each historical figure is listed alphabetically in part two, and their entry includes a brief biography, a list of biographical materials, and a brief evaluation of each source’s quality. The book’s introduction provides a brief overview of the history of biography and biographical literature and discusses the challenges of writing a biography.
Evaluation of the Book
Overall, “The Biography Book” is an impressive and informative resource for anyone interested in biographical literature. The book is well-research, and the author’s expertise is evident throughout. Burt’s writing is clear and concise, and he provides a wealth of information in a well-organized and easy-to-read format.
Part one of the book is particularly useful, as it provides readers with a framework for understanding the different types of biographical materials available. This section is essential for anyone researching historical figures and provides an excellent starting point for further research.
Part two is equally valuable, as it provides readers with a comprehensive list of available biographical materials for each historical figure. The brief evaluations of each source’s quality are particularly helpful, as they provide readers with an idea of which sources are worth consulting and which ones are less reliable.
The book’s only minor flaw is that it does not cover all historical figures equally. Some figures have more extensive biographical materials available than others, and Burt acknowledges this in the introduction. However, it would have been helpful to have a more extensive discussion of how the author select the figures include in the book and why some figures are covered more extensively than others.
In conclusion, “The Biography Book” is an essential resource for anyone interest in biographical literature. It provides readers with a comprehensive overview of the biographical materials available for each historical figure and offers valuable insights into the different types of biographical materials. Burt’s writing is clear and concise, and his expertise is evident throughout the book. Overall, “The Biography Book” is an excellent reference volume that will be useful to scholars, students, and general readers alike.