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A fixture of any bookstore is the biography section. It seems that the general public has a fascination with the subject. And no matter how many times famous people have had their biographies written, there is always interest in learning more about them.

Someone who has been very successful as a biographer is Dr. Carl Rollyson. And he has an explanation for why there is such endless interest in the lives of famous people. “I think people read biographies simply to learn. I think it was (the writer Ralph Waldo) Emerson who said that biography is teaching by example. People want these examples,” he says, “and Emerson himself was a great one for talking about the lives of people.”


This work was originally published in College Talk.



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