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The Personal Is Political: An Introduction

The Personal Is Political: An Introduction

Chapter:
(p.3) The Personal Is Political: An Introduction
Source:
City of Islands
Author(s):
Tammy L. Brown
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781628462265.003.0001

The story of an individual life, no matter how famous or obscure, is both intensely personal and political. The best biographers not only recognize this truth, but they embrace it. The power of this approach lies in the movement beyond that which is overtly political into the murkier realm of personal politics. Equally important, writing about the idiosyncrasies of a personality transforms otherwise stodgy historical actors into exquisitely flawed human beings. By using individual lives as “windows to a [historical] period and its issues” and through this process of humanizing life stories, biographers accomplish an elusive feat for many scholars: the production of well-researched and informative prose that also captivates a public audience. The individuals in this book are no exception. In the life stories of the Caribbean intellectuals that I’ve selected, the personal was political, and the political was personal.

Keywords:   Identity Politics, Biography, Autobiography

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