An autobiography is a genre of literature wherein the author accounts his life’s events and incidents. The process of writing an autobiography includes a large amount of soul-searching and effort on the part of the author.
The purpose of autobiography books is to give you first-hand information into the life of the person you are reading about and to give you a better insight into how their experiences have shaped them as a person.
Autobiographies can allow a person to have a perspective into the other person’s life through their eyes. It is for this reason that autobiographies are still a credible section of literature.
Autobiographies give the true essence of the author’s journey and that authenticity can only be delivered to the readers when it’s written by the person himself rather than being written by someone else.
Here’s a list of 16 autobiography books to channelise and awaken your inner revolutionary. These books take you through the real-life experiences of the great personalities and hence are important for learning valuable lessons.
1) Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
Long Walk to Freedom is an autobiography written by Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first President. He was an anti-apartheid revolutionary, philanthropist and political leader. In his autobiography, he accounts his early life, coming of age, education and 27 years in prison.
2) The Story of My Experiments with Truth by Mahatma Gandhi
The Story of My Experiments with Truth is an autobiographical account written by Mahatma Gandhi in weekly instalments and published in his journal Navjivan from 1925 to 1929. This autobiography profiles his early life till 1921.
3) The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin depicts his life as divided into four parts, reflecting the different periods at which he wrote them. It is an unfinished record of his life and he called the work his Memoirs.
4) The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
The Diary of a Young Girl also known as The Diary of Anne Frank is an autobiography written by Anne Frank in Dutch. Anne was a young girl who was hiding for two years with her family during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.
5) Chronicles, Vol 1 by Bob Dylan
Chronicles, Vol 1 is an autobiography written by the musician Bob Dylan, This book takes his readers on a journey through his long music career.
6) Agatha Christie: An Autobiography by Agatha Christie
This is the autobiography of the much-loved crime-thriller writer Agatha Christie. This memoir of hers was published two years after her death and was translated into multiple languages including Greek, Italian, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish.
7) Autobiography of Mark Twain by Mark Twain
Mark Twain's life story is one of the most interesting autobiography books of all time. It explores the many aspects and anecdotes of his life in his last days, giving an authentic glimpse into a genius mind. His crystalline humour and expansive range are a continuous source of delight and awe.
8) Moonwalk by Michael Jackson
Moonwalk is the autobiography of singer, dancer and American recording artist Michael Jackson. This book’s title is named after Jackson's signature dance move, the moonwalk and topped the charts as it became the number one on the New York Times Best Seller list.
9) Playing It My Way by Sachin Tendulkar
Playing it my way is the autobiography of the “God of Cricket” - Sachin Tendulkar. This book gives us a glimpse of this legend’s early life, 24-year long career and unknown aspects of his life.
10) On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft is the autobiography of the great American author Stephen King. In this five-sectioned book, the author highlights the events that influenced his writing career and he also gives his advice to aspiring writers.
11) Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
Mein Kampf which translates to -My Struggle or My Fight is an autobiography penned by Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler. The book outlines his political ideology and describes his plans for Germany.
12) A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
A Moveable Feast is an autobiography by Ernest Hemingway which details his first marriage and his
Struggle as a writer and an ex-pat journalist in aris. This memoir was released posthumously in the year 1964.
13) Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama
Barack Obama’s autobiography -” Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance”
explores the events of his early life in Honolulu and Chicago up until he enters law school in 1988. This memoir closely follows the life and events that occurred in the first African-American U.S. President’s life.
14) The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X
Malcolm X is the Autobiography of human rights activist Malcolm X which was a result of a collaboration between Malcolm X and journalist Alex Haley. Published in 1965, this book outlines Malcolm X’s ideologies and perspective on black pride, black nationalism, and pan-Africanism.
15) Freedom in Exile by (the) 14th Dalai Lama
Freedom in Exile: The Autobiography of the Dalai Lama is the second autobiography of the 14th Dalai Lama, which was released in the year 1991. The book talks about The Dalai Lama’s tumultuous relationship with the People's Republic of China and subsequent life in India.
16) Waiting for A Visa by Dr B R Ambedkar
Waiting for a visa id Dr B.R. Ambedkar’s autobiography that talks about his struggle with untouchability and the discrimination in the caste system. This 20-page magnificent piece of writing is used as a textbook at Columbia University.
All the above-mentioned autobiography books by famous personalities give us an insight into their life and their struggles. These inspiring real-life stories portray to us the real acts of bravery and courage through these great men and women.
They are seen to break all barriers-political, societal, emotional and fight for a cause that they truly believe in. These pieces of writings redefine the words success and struggle and these legendary personalities have left a mark in history with their efforts and success.
These autobiographies instil in its readers a ray of hope, motivation and courage which convey the message to never give up and to try till our last breath. Be sure to read them all!
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