by Alfred G. Meyer Arranged and edited by Stefan G. Meyer
G. Meyer Books
The Biography Famous:
“A radical new experiment in portraiture.”
Toward the end of a distinguished scholarly career in the field of political science, Alfred G. Meyer wrote two books that were never published. The first was a biography of Friedrich Engels and the second was a memoir that looked back on his life and career. The reaction of prospective publishers to the Engels biography was that it was neither fish nor fowl — not rigorous enough from a scholarly point of view, yet too academic to appeal to a general readership. The memoir also posed similar problems. It was lively and entertaining, full of sharply drawn, humorous observations of the people he met during his life, yet overall dominated by his intellectual curiosity. It was an intellectual autobiography in brief, a document that was illuminating to his friends and associates, but that did not quite give an account of the true stirrings that animated his nature. This volume merges the two manuscripts, by taking the chapters of his memoir that focused on his career as a political scientist and juxtaposing them with the Engels biography. The result is a radically new experiment in portraiture — an intellectual self-portrait of a scholar rendered by means of the picture he drew of his historical subject.
“Professor Meyer’s…son has interleaved chapters of the Engels biography with chapters from [his} memoir, including his comments on education and university life… At first this struck me as a very odd way of going about things, but about 100 pages in it dawned on me that in doing so his son had answered the question: Why did he want to write about Engels? And the answer: He not only admired the man…but also saw a lot of himself in him. What results from this ‘radical experiment in portraiture’ are portraits of two charming, talented, hardworking, intellectually curious, and very human men. I read it with a smile and finished it with a broad grin.”
– Peter A. Prahar
The Biography Famous is available as an Amazon Kindle e-book and Paperback.