Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Manchester was the son of a WWI Marine, and grew up in Attleboro, Massachusetts. After his father's death, and the attack on Pearl Harbor, he likewise enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, though he was ordered back to college until called up. Although he expected to serve in Europe, Manchester ultimately found himself in the Pacific. He served on Guadalcanal after the Japanese defeat there, and experienced combat in the last major battle of the Pacific War, on Okinawa.
His wartime experiences formed the basis for his very personal account of the Pacific Theater, Goodbye, Darkness: A Memoir of the Pacific War. (He later wrote of WWII in a number of his other books, including his second of a planned three part biography of Winston Churchill, and a biography of Gen. Douglas MacArthur.)
He received a B.A. from the University of Massachusetts in 1946 and a master's degree from the University of Missouri in 1947. He worked as a reporter for the Daily Oklahoman and The Baltimore Sun. He published his first book, a biography of H. L. Mencken, in 1951, then followed it up with a novel two years later.
He remarked that the generation coming of age in the 1950s were "withdrawn, cautious, unimaginative, indifferent, unadventurous and silent," helping to cement the generational moniker Silent Generation.
Following the death of his wife in 1998, Manchester suffered two strokes, and announced, to the disappointment of many of his readers, that he would not be able to complete the previously planned third volume of his three part biography of Churchill.
Controversy over the Kennedy book
Jacqueline Kennedy originally filed suit to prevent the publication of Manchester's Death of a President, a work that she had previously authorized. The suit was resolved in 1967; it was reported that Manchester dropped certain passages dealing with details of Kennedy family life. Satirist Paul Krassner published a piece at that time entitled "The Parts Left Out of the Kennedy Book," which gained national attention by imagining censored material of a far more scandalous nature than anything that could possibly have been the case.
- Disturber of the peace; the life of H.L. Mencken (1951)
- The city of anger , a novel. (1953)
- Shadow of the monsoon (1956)
- A Rockefeller family portrait , from John D. to Nelson (1959)
- The long gainer , a novel (1961)
- Portrait of a President , John F. Kennedy in profile (1967)
- The Death of a President: November 20-November 25 (1967)
- The Arms of Krupp : The Rise and Fall of the Industrial Dynasty that Armed Germany at War (1968)
- The Glory and the Dream: A Narrative History of America, 1932–1972 (1974)
- Controversy and other essays in journalism (1976)
- American Caesar : Douglas MacArthur 1880–1964 (1978)
- On Mencken , essays (1980)
- One brief shining moment : Remembering Kennedy (1983)
- The Last Lion : Winston Spencer Churchill: Visions of Glory, 1874–1932 (1983)
- The Last Lion : Winston Spencer Churchill, Alone 1932–1940 (1988)
- In Our Time: The World As Seen by Magnum Photographers (1989)
- A World Lit Only by Fire: The Medieval Mind & the Renaissance – Portrait of an Age (1992)
- Magellan (1994)
- No End Save Victory (2001)
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