History has illuminated every field of human endeavor—science as well as the arts—embracing countless modern disciplines, expanding its focus on change over time to comprehend entire nations, cultures, and civilizations, each far more complex than any individual life. But at its best, biography is the finest form of history. The light of truth embodied in biographical history is the most effective antidote to malicious historical falsehoods, our gravest “errors of judgment.” Learning about the roots of mistakes and errors of judgment in history may someday teach us to avoid repeating them. What greater reward could any biographical historian hope to reap from a lifetime of labor?

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