University of Pittsburgh

David Garrow in the New York Times on Portraying Subjects Realistically in Biography

Publish Date/Time: 
May 1, 2012

In a story in the New York Times about a forthcoming book on Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, Professor David Garrow, who is the author of a biography of Martin Luther King,  discussed how the writer of a biography should portray the subject.  The correct approach, Professor Garrow says, in not to clean up the subject, but to portray the person as they actually lived, warts and all.  “The lives of saints is not history, it’s myth. I think it is a far more powerfully inspiring story for readers to appreciate the inescapability of human imperfection than to spin myths.”

See the New York Times story here.  

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