12 Best Autobiographies You Must Read

An autobiography is a first-hand experience of the authors written by the authors. This is what makes them interesting to the readers. Autobiographies enable readers to understand the “other,” unseen side of the authors.

Autobiographies are mainly written by famous persons. They teach us different stories, the authors’ struggles in life, the emotions they went through, making the autobiographers more human. Mentioned below are 12 such books that one must read:

  • The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin

Written from 1771 to 1790, this book contains the life history of one of America’s founding fathers. Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography will tell you how a lower-middle classed youth raised up into one of the most admired men in the world. It will also tell you how Mr. Franklin believed in the American Dream and indicated the possibilities of life in the New World.

  • Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela’s autobiography contains every element of knowledge you want to know about this legendary leader. Starting from his childhood, growing up into a freedom fighter, to his twenty-seven years in prison, and his significant role in molding up a new, democratic South Africa, this book has it all. It also contains an in-depth analysis of Mandela’s perception of the anti-apartheid struggle of South Africans.

  • The Story of My Experiments with Truth by Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi’s autobiography is a frank and humble account that highlights the moral and spiritual side of an extraordinary leader. This book is firmly rooted in the historical background of the forty years he spent in India. It has every detail of Gandhi’s life, historical and political incidents, and his personal philosophy on life.

  • The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

This beautiful piece describes everything that a thirteen-year-old girl would experience: typical girlhood consciousness, friendships with other girls, her crushes on boys, and her academic performances. It also states how her life was while in hiding, her emotional roller coasters, her opinions on other people’s behavior, and her loneliness. Her diary ends shortly after her fifteenth birthday.

  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

This autobiography is the first of Maya’s seven autobiographies. This book tells a wonderful, emotional journey of a struggling Black American, who went through bitter experiences in the course of her first seventeen years.

It starts from how her life changed after her parents’ divorce, how she was raped by her mother’s live-in boyfriend, how she overcame her trauma and all the events that interlocked in between. This beautiful piece of literature teaches us the hardships of life and the extreme racism the Black Americans used to face at one time.

  • Agatha Christie: An Autobiography by Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie bespeaks of the delight of her happy childhood, her affectionate acquaintance with her mother, the tragic episodes that touched her, her mother’s death, and her first husband’s adultery, marrying her second husband, and most importantly, about her works.

  • On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

This memoir is crafted exceptionally well. After reading this, you will have learned about King’s personal life, experiences, struggles during pre-fame and post-fame, and what makes him such a popular horror novelist. The style contains good humor and good dexterity. Each part (there are three parts) is equally informative and enthralling.

  • A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

It tells the life events of the great American author and journalist, how he was shaped into becoming an author, his love interests, and his perspectives on things. Though the events are scattered, the book is still interesting in its own way.

  • Autobiography of Mark Twain by Mark Twain

In this first volume of Mark Twain’s memoirs, we see a colorful presentation of this great author’s long life. The book is a classic itself, and every element, like style, scope, imagination, laughter, and tragedy, proves it all. It also manifests the different roles he had in life – a family man, an author, a son, a brother, and a friend.

  • Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler

Mein Kampf is a German phrase meaning My Struggle. This book depicts his childhood, early aspirations, his conflict with his father, his rise to the politics, and his hatred of the Jews. The chronicles are poised frankly.

  • Dreams from my Father by Barack Obama

In this lyrical, unsentimental, and compelling memoir, the son of a black African father and a white American mother searches for a workable meaning to his life as a black American. It begins in New York, where Barack Obama learns that his father—a figure he knows more as a myth than as a man—has been killed in a car accident. This sudden death inspires an emotional odyssey—first to a small town in Kansas, from which he retraces the migration of his mother’s family to Hawaii, and then to Kenya, where he meets the African side of his family, confronts the bitter truth of his father’s life, and at last reconciles his divided inheritance.

  • Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography by Walter Isaacson

Based on more than forty interviews with Steve Jobs conducted over two years – as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues – this is the acclaimed, internationally bestselling biography of the ultimate icon of inventiveness.

Walter Isaacson tells the story of the rollercoaster life and searingly intense personality of creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.

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