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22 biographies every man should read

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A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

Published posthumously in 1964, one of Hemingway’s best-loved works recounts his time as an ex-pat in France between the World Wars. Cue much boozing and cerebral, croissant crumb-covered café pow-wows with compadres James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, Pablo Picasso, Ford Madox Ford, Ezra Pound and, famously, F Scott Fitzgerald. Part-road trip, part-love letter to Paris, part-paean to friendship, all in his famous muscular sentences.

Key details: The big man’s hair-growing contest with Stein, and penis-measuring contest with Fitzgerald.

Titan: The Life Of John D Rockefeller Sr by Ron Chernow

This definitive take on history’s first billionaire tells how the mogul rose from humble roots by creating the US’s most powerful monopoly, Standard Oil, which controlled 90 per cent of the domestic market. Despite his reputation as a “robber baron”, Chernow’s book portrays Rockefeller as stoic and compassionate.

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