The best American autobiographies

A recent edition of Bookmarks magazine (“For everyone who hasn’t read everything”) came into my possession. Motivated by the unexpected popularity in 2010 of Mark Twain’s “complete and unexpurgated autobiography”, released at Twain’s direction one hundred years after his death, Bookmarks suggests “some of the more interesting attempts by Americans to tell their lives in their own words.” Here they are:

Cash, by Johnny Cash with Patrick Carr (1997)

Personal History, by Katharine Graham (1997) *Pulitzer Prize winner

Black Elk Speaks, Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux, by Black Els as told to John G. Neihardt (1932)

The Education of Henry Adams, by Henry Adams (1918) *Pulitzer Prize winner

The Seven Storey Mountain, An Autobiography of Faith, by Thomas Merton (1948)

Isaac Asimov, It’s Been a Good Life, Edited by Janet Jeppson Asimov (2002)

The Sovereignty & Goodness of God or A Narrative of the Captivity, Sufferings, and Removes of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson, by Mary Rowlandson (1682)

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou (1969)

Born on the Fourth of July, by Ron Kovic (1976)

The Autobiography of Malcolm X
, by Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley (1965)

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, by Benjamin Franklin (1993)

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, by Frederick Douglass (1845)

“Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!”, Adventures of a Curious Character, By Richard P. Feynman as told to Ralph Leighton, edited by Edward Hutchings (1985)