The Last Lion, by William Manchester
“My biographical gateway drug was the first volume of Winston Churchill’s life story. I read it when I was 14 (yes, I was a very edgy teenager) and was entranced by the profound human tale of one man’s decision to stand alone against Hitler, risking everything. For me it was the beginning of a decades-long conviction that individuals, with all their vices and their virtues, their hopes and their fears, are the determinative force in human affairs. And that conviction is why I do what I do.”
Recommended by Jon Meacham, the author of five nonfiction books, including Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power ($35, amazon.com) and American Gospel ($16, amazon.com).
To buy: $25, amazon.com.