WATCH: Best of the Sun Valley Writer’s Conference, with A. Scott Berg
Episode Three of SVWC NOW, Features the Biographer in Conversation with Anne Taylor Fleming
This is the third episode of SVWC NOW, virtual conversations from the Sun Valley Writers Conference. You can watch episode two, with George Packer, here.
Did you know that while 126,000 Americans lost their lives in World War I, half of those died of the Spanish flu? That’s just one of the revelatory pieces of information shared by A. Scott Berg in this new episode. Berg is one of the country’s most respected and lauded biographers and in his most recent book on President Woodrow Wilson he writes about presidential leadership during a pandemic—and during a war.
In this episode, Berg talks with writer Anne Taylor Fleming, the associate director of the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference, about his craft, why biography matters, and his book-in-progress on Thurgood Marshall.
Berg is the author of four previous bestselling biographies: Max Perkins, Editor of Genius, winner of the National Book Award; Goldwyn about the legendary Hollywood producer; Lindberg, winner of the Pulitzer Prize; and Kate Remembered, a biographical memoir of Katharine Hepburn. The books offer indelible portraits of their subjects and detail-rich histories of 20th century America. “A good biography chronicles more than a single life,” Berg says; “it elucidates the times. If done well, they are not only timely but timeless. A good biography should be about more than its subject; it should tell us something about the subject’s world and also the world at large, maybe even something abut the human condition.”