Biographies and Memoirs Tips

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I remember a book from the 70s called "Dibs" ... where can I find it?

Dibs in Search of Self - Virginia M. Axline

"Dibs" is the true story of a boy originally thought to be both mute and retarded. The author, Virginia Axline, is the child therapist that worked with Dibs, and discovered that he was far from retarded. Dibs was an extremely gifted child, a genius that either couldn't or wouldn't communicate with the rest of the world.

"Dibs" was originally published in 1967, and is still considered a classic description of play therapy, a technique championed by Axline.

What´s a good book to read?

Waiting: The True Confessions of a Waitress - Debra Ginsberg

Ginsberg puts her 20-plus years as a waitress to good use, spinning tales of a love/hate relationship of a career in the hospitality industry. Anyone who´s ever waited tables, answered the demented questions of tourists, or smiled at a bunch of drunks through gritted teeth should get a copy of "Waiting." So should everyone who´s ever placed an order in a restaurant, just for a list of what NOT to do! A warm, honest, and delightfully funny memoir.

Where can I learn about Abraham Lincoln?

The Life and Writings of Abraham Lincoln - Philip Van Doren Stern

Originally published in 1940, Stern includes Lincoln´s personal and public papers - from his first stump speech in 1832 to a pass a congressman was to use to visit him the day after he was assassinated. The book also contains a 200 page biography of the president. Stern's biography does not attempt to explain Lincoln or his actions as is the fashion in current biographies, but rather presents the facts to readers to draw their own conclusions.


Clinton in Exile - Carol Felsenthal

Felsenthal's book follows Bill Clinton's path since his last hours in office, examining his personal life and humanitarian efforts, along with his involvement in recent political campaigns, including Hillary's presidential bid. The book is drawn in part from already published stories, but also relies heavily on over 150 interviews by the author. Unfortunately, a glance at the index shows that quite a few of the quoted interviews are noted as "source wishes to remain anonymous." This is especially true in the chapter entitled "Philanderer in Chief," which recounts a number of stories, both new and old, revolving around Clinton's marital transgressions. Equally troubling, many of the quotes are edited, making it impossible to know exactly what was said or in what context. But the edits are clearly marked, and almost every statement made in the book is documented, leaving it to the reader to decide the source's credibility for himself.

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PJ Campbell