Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Quote of the Day (Willard Sterne Randall, on the Value of Biography)

“Biography enables the reader to approach the great mass of ideas, actions and struggles that historians have too often rendered impenetrable. We need some path or bridge to approach history and biographies provide that approach. Writing about great men and women prompts us to discuss leadership, charisma, the relationships between leadership and power, between leaders and the people. But the lives of the not-so-great can also show us how people in everyday life react to the same events and problems. They provide case studies into the periods in which people lived.”—Willard Sterne Randall, biographer of major Revolutionary War figures, quoted in George Cooper, “Randall to Present Lecture on Ethan Allen,” The Chautauquan Daily, July 12, 2011

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