In this biography – a work that won three of the most prestigious literary prizes this country offers – W. Jackson Bate delves deep into the character that formed Johnson’s awesome intellect and fueled his prodigious output. The first great modern biography of Johnson, it confirms that his statements and judgments on literature, politics, religion, behavior – on all human experience – are as relevant in our age as when they were first uttered. This new edition brings a modern classic back into print and includes a new preface from the author.
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"Perhaps the supreme virtue of Bate's book is that it makes us comprehend how little we have known Johnson and how much he has to offer those who, like himself, seek 'the consolation of biography.'" --San Francisco Chronicle "In such depths of pain and courage--which Bate describes so well--we find Johnson's enduring achievements." --New York Times Book Review "No other biographer of Johnson has meditated so profitably on the qualities that made him 'a heroic, intensely honest, and articulate pilgrim in the strange adventure of human life.'" --Time "Clearly the best modern life of Johnson . . . Bate's empathy is so convincing that one has the uncanny illusion of experiencing Johnson's struggles inside his skin." --Newsweek "What Prof. Bate has done is to restore the whole Johnson, the very human, very admirable man behind the monument." --Los Angeles Times Book Review