The Biographer on His Desert Island


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Biographers are storytellers as well as amateur psychiatrists—not to mention, journalists, political theorists, art critics and family therapists, says Richard Norton Smith, speaking from his experience as an author of six major biographies. The current director of the Dole Institute of Politics and former director of Grand Rapids’ own Gerald R. Ford Museum, Smith has penned the life stories of such notables as R obert and Elizabeth Dole, Thomas E. Dewey, Herbert Hoover and George Washington. He will share the curious and sometimes bizarre biographical experience as well as offer insights about the process. Through anecdotes and tales, Smith will highlight the int rigue of examining another person’s life and the challenge of making that person come to life through words.

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