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Biographical Resources

Autobiographical Sources

Sandburg, Carl. Always the Young Strangers. Harcourt, 1953. This autobiography covers Sandburg's life from the time of his birth until he is an adolescent. Indexed. [Order from Amazon.com].

Sandburg, Carl. Ever the Winds of Chance. With an introduction by Margaret Sandburg and George Hendrick. University of Illinois, 1983. This work picks up with Sandburg's adolescence, covering his years at Lombard College. Indexed. [Order from Amazon.com].

Biographical Sources

Niven, Penelope. Carl Sandburg: A Biography. Macmillan, 1991. 608 pp. The single largest and most complete source of biographical information on Sandburg. Niven spent around 14 years writing this biography and her devotion shows in the amount of detail covered in all the areas of Sandburg's long life. A must. Indexed.

Yannella, Philip R. The Other Carl Sandburg. University Press of Mississippi, 1996. This biography details Sandburg's involvement in Socialist politics in Milwaukee and his early years in Chicago. Indexed. [Order from Amazon.com].

Sandburg, Helga. Where Love Begins: A Portrait of Carl Sandburg and His Family As Seen Through the Eyes of His Youngest Daughter. Donald I. Fine, 1989. [Order from Amazon.com].

Mitgang, Herbert. Dangerous Dossiers: Exposing the Secret War Against America's Greatest Authors. Donald I. Fine, 1988. 351 pp. Though not devoted entirely to Sandburg, it does cover some aspects surrounding his involvement in Socialist politics and the government's reaction to his political beliefs. Indexed.

Callahan, North. Carl Sandburg: His Life and His Works. Pennsylvania State University Press, 1987. 258 pp. Callahan offers a decent study of Sandburg's life, though this work is not nearly as comprehensive as the Niven biography (above).

Perry, Lilla. My Friend, Carl Sandburg: The Biography of a Friendship. Scarecrow, 1981. One of several "friendship" biographies written about Sandburg. [Order from Amazon.com].

d'Alessio, Gregory. Old Troubadour: Carl Sandburg With His Guitar Friends. Walker, 1978. 191 pp. Discusses Sandburg's visits to New York City and his involvement with a group of, well, "guitar friends," as the title suggests. This book does provide some interesting perspectives on Sandburg during the later years of his life and is rich with tales of drinking and singing in the Big Apple. Contains drawings by d'Alessio. An entertaining read. [Order from Amazon.com].

Sandburg, Helga. A Great and Glorious Romance: The Story of Carl Sandburg and Lillian Steichen. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1978. [Order from Amazon.com].

Longo, Lucas. Carl Sandburg: Poet and Historian. SamHar, 1973. 32 pp.

Haas, Joseph and Gene Lovitz. Carl Sandburg: A Pictorial Biography. Putnam's, 1967. 222 pp. Again, one of those books whose title pretty much says it all. There are countless photographs of the poet here which are supplemented by very good biographical details.

Steichen, Edward (ed.) Sandburg: Photographers View Carl Sandburg. Harcourt, Brace & World, 1966. 113 pp. More photographs than words, but well worth a look. Great as a photo-reference book.

Golden, Harry. Carl Sandburg. World, 1961. An easy to read biography by Sandburg's close friend. Still a favorite source for me. Indexed. [Order from Amazon.com].

Thomas, Benjamin. Portrait for Posterity: Lincoln and His Biographers. Rutgers, 1947. 329 pp. One chapter is devoted to Sandburg as Lincoln biographer.

Detzer, Karl. Carl Sandburg: A Study in Personality and Background. Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1941. 210 pp. One of the earlier studies of Sandburg.


Biographical Information in Periodicals

Parts or entire issues of some journals have been devoted to Sandburg. In these, close friends and acquaintances write about the Sandburg they knew. Of special interest are the following:

Illinois Historical Journal, vol. LXXXI no. 2 Summer, 1988.

Lincoln Herald: Sandburg Memorial Issue, Spring, 1968.

Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, vol. LIX no. 3 Autumn, 1966.

Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, vol. XLV no. 4 Winter, 1952.

Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, vol. XLIII no. 1 Spring, 1950.


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