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When we need inspiring, there’s no single thing on this earth that lights a fire under our asses more than a good success story, especially the ones told by the people who lived them. Autobiographies are a stand out to us, because they provide insight to the lives of people we (usually) already know, but only on a superficial level. What people tend to forget is that behind those great people are (usually) even better stories. In an effort to remind ourselves, these are the 8 autobiographies every man needs to read:


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A Moveable Feast

Ernest Hemingway

We’ve written a lot about Hemingway recently, but it’s because he truly was a man’s man. Copious amounts of booze, a storied military record, excellent literary works, and enough balls to fill a bowling alley, Hemingway lived his life the way every adventurous soul dreams of. A Moveable Feast is an unintentional autobiography of sorts, as it was compiled by Hemingway’s wife three years after his death. It is a telling compilation of various stories, essays, and correspondence from the famed author’s time as a struggling journalist and writer in 1920s Paris. $10



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Good-Bye To All That

Robert Graves

War is hell. Actual hell. And in the classic autobiography from famous English poet and novelist Robert Graves, readers learn just how terrible of a time it really is. In Good-Bye To All That, Graves, a Lieutenant and Captain in the British Army during WWI, talks about the bitter and horrific realities of trench warfare, the utter banality of inter-continental conflict, the experience of live combat, and even the atrocities committed by his fellow soldiers against German prisoners of war.

Graves also discusses the pitfalls of patriotism, and delves into the rise of atheism and pacifism, explores Graves’ childhood and upbringing, and even looks into the post-war horrors of what we now know to be PTSD. It was far ahead of its time when it was released, and even may still be. Nevertheless, it is one of the most important autobiographies on this list. $11



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The Autobiography of Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt

Teddy Roosevelt was quite possibly the most righteous motherfucker there ever was. He was a U.S. president, a cowboy, a soldier, an entrepreneurial businessman, a conservationist, a politician, and a generally fearless human being. His autobiography can drag a bit at times, and he is certainly not without his own brand of smugness (particularly in the chapters on his Presidency), but it is one hell of a read and provides some real-deal insight into one of greatest and most badass people to ever grace the planet, let alone the White House. $9



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The Seven Pillars of Wisdom 

T.E. Lawrence

T.E. Lawrence, perhaps known more famously as “Lawrence of Arabia,” was a British author, archaeologist, military officer, and political diplomat through the early 20th century. His autobiography, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, is Lawrence’s account of his time served as a liaison with the Arab rebel forces during their revolt against the Ottoman Turks (from 1916-1918).

We don’t recommend this for just any man, however. It’s a fascinating look into the intricacies of Middle Eastern Culture, the guerrilla warfare Lawrence himself was ordered to carry out against the Ottoman Turks, and the sociopolitical climate predicating the entire campaign from its onset. But don’t forget that it’s also a work not just by a person who was an adventurer, knowledgeable guide to the region, and all-around badass, but also a mind-bogglingly intelligent scholar. While at times it can be difficult to get through, we promise it’s worth the journey. $14



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Losing My Virginity 

Richard Branson

Richard Branson is one of those people you just have to admire. He’s one of the most successful entrepreneurs and businessmen of all time, he is an incredibly ethical and open human being, and he owns his own fucking island. He is about as punk rock as a rich white guy can get. Losing My Virginity outlines Branson’s story—how he dropped out of school at 16, founded a small business with no real planning or training, and turned it into a literal empire, all without compromising his integrity or dignity. It is an inspiring look into the life and mind of one of the most successful businessmen in modern history. $11



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Life: Keith Richards

Keith Richards

It should go without saying that the term “Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll” probably would never have come to be without bands like The Rolling Stones. The Stones are one of—if not the—most famous rock and roll bands of all time, and this autobiography by Stones’ lead guitarist and sometimes singer Keith Richard tells it all. The fame, the fortune, the parties, struggling with addiction, living on the edge, flying into the sun and then coming back down again, Life: Keith Richards gives readers a front row seat to the most legendary rock and roll story of all time. $14



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Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain is one part rock and roller, one part world-class chef, and wholly an intelligent and heartfelt human being. Kitchen Confidential is a wild, beautiful, and incredibly honest ride through the life and heart of one of the culinary world’s most prolific and widely revered bad boys. Bourdain tells readers about his experimentation (and struggles) with drugs and alcohol, his travels, and his experiences as one of the world’s best executive chefs, all in a hilarious and witty way that is uniquely his own. $10



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M Train

Patti Smith

Music and art aren’t just vocations or professions; they are works and reflections of the soul. Patti Smith knows that fact of life all too well, and built her entire career as one of the prototypical New York City punk rock pioneers around the melding of poetry and rock and roll music. Though you know her most prominently as a musician, Smith is an incredible writer whose stories could stand on their own outside of her well-earned notoriety. M Train is a perfect example of Smith’s powerful brand of narrative poetry, focusing on her travels, her deceased husband, her upbringing, as well as reflections on her life and career, and opinions of the world around her. It is warm, it is honest, and God damn it, is beautiful. $13

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