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One often hears that biographies are autobiographies, that the

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Joined: 08 Sep 2015
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Kudos [?]: 35 [0], given: 29

One often hears that biographies are autobiographies, that the [#permalink]

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New post 11 Mar 2017, 02:23
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Question 1
00:00
A
B
C
D
E

Question Stats:

14% (03:03) correct 86% (02:03) wrong based on 133

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Question 2
00:00
A
B
C
D
E

Question Stats:

58% (01:33) correct 42% (00:24) wrong based on 127

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Question 3
00:00
A
B
C
D
E

Question Stats:

72% (02:10) correct 28% (00:49) wrong based on 119

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One often hears that biographies are autobiographies,
that the biographer is always writing about himself. On
the contrary, serious biographers seek and welcome the
unfamiliar, however troublesome to account for. Ron
Chernow, the author of rich biographies of the American
businessmen J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller, remarks
that biographers “like to stub their toes on hard,
uncomfortable facts strewn in their paths.” Such encounters
with the unaccountable are opportunities for breaking out
and breaking through, in new directions, to fresh
understanding.

One also often hears that biographers must like their
subjects. That would of course rule out such vastly
important subjects as Hitler or Stalin. In practice, the
biographer must like the subject not as a person but as a
subject. Some are good subjects for the author, some
bad. And what makes one subject better than another for
any particular biographer varies dramatically. Some of
the reasons are purely practical. Does the subject need a
biography? Are the materials available? How much time
is needed? A biographer’s knowledge and ability also
determine the choice. Great scientists are great subjects,
but can one write about their achievements with insight
and authority? Personal idiosyncrasies matter, too.
Biographers tend to be attracted to subjects who display
particular personality traits, whether they be ambition,
cruelty, ingenuity, or any other characteristic that
separates a potential subject from the multitudes.

In choosing a subject, the biographer’s main question
should be, “Can an effective book be made out of this
person’s life?” Day after day for years, the biographer
will try to untangle chronology, compress relationships
without distorting them, and keep the main narrative clear
while carrying forward several intricate strands of the
subject’s life. What pushes most biographers on in this
endeavor is not necessarily affection for the subject but
the feeling that they are writing a good book.


1. It can be inferred that the author makes which of the
following assumptions about biographies?
A Their main purpose is to inform readers about key
aspects of the subjects’ personalities.
B Only subjects who share traits with biographers make
good subjects for biographies.
C Compelling biographies cannot be written about
ordinary citizens.
D The biographer’s credibility with readers is a factor
in the critical success of a biography.
E Practical considerations are most important in the
selection of a subject for a biography.


2. The author is primarily concerned with
A persuading biographers to change their methods
B refuting some common beliefs about a particular
literary genre
C arguing against continued reform of a historical
endeavor
D refuting an outdated theory of a particular literary
genre
E describing the working methods of certain authors

3. The author mentions Ron Chernow most probably in
order to
A provide a counterexample to a general claim about
biography
B illustrate a questionable assertion regarding
biography
C establish a favorable comparison with an established
biographer
D underscore the importance of research in biography
E challenge a new approach to biography
[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #1 OA
[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #2 OA
[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #3 OA

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Concentration: Finance, Operations
GMAT 1: 530 Q45 V20
GPA: 3.91
WE: Information Technology (Computer Software)
Re: One often hears that biographies are autobiographies, that the [#permalink]

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New post 15 Mar 2017, 12:38
Hi Expert,

Can you please explain the ans for question 1?

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Re: One often hears that biographies are autobiographies, that the [#permalink]

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New post 22 Mar 2017, 19:32
Please post OE's.Need explanation for A and E.

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Re: One often hears that biographies are autobiographies, that the [#permalink]

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New post 24 Mar 2017, 09:58
Hi,

In question 1, how can it be D?

In passage it clearly mentions "Biographers tend to be attracted to subjects who display
particular personality traits, whether they be ambition,
cruelty, ingenuity, or any other characteristic that
separates a potential subject from the multitudes."

Can you plz explain. My choice: C.

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Re: One often hears that biographies are autobiographies, that the [#permalink]

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New post 24 Mar 2017, 10:33
Please explain for Q1, IMO E, how come D, it's not even close

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Kudos [?]: 1121 [1] , given: 344

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Re: One often hears that biographies are autobiographies, that the [#permalink]

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New post 03 Apr 2017, 13:17
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Looks like an old MGMAT question... please post your sources, everybody! If you don't know the source, please don't post it.

And according to a thread on the MGMAT forum, this question is flawed, and "in the midst of being rewritten" -- back in 2007: https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/foru ... -t625.html
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Re: One often hears that biographies are autobiographies, that the [#permalink]

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New post 14 Apr 2017, 23:05
Answer to 1 - I chose POE and removed all the extreme answers to arrive at D:

1. It can be inferred that the author makes which of the
following assumptions about biographies?

-Their main purpose is to inform readers about key
aspects of the subjects’ personalities (No such inference).
-Only subjects (Extreme) who share traits with biographers make
good subjects for biographies.
-Compelling biographies cannot be (Extreme) written about
ordinary citizens.
-The biographer’s credibility with readers is a factor
in the critical success of a biography. (Correct)
-Practical considerations are most important (Extreme) in the
selection of a subject for a biography.

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Re: One often hears that biographies are autobiographies, that the [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jul 2017, 07:59
Truly I'm not agree with such confirmation because there are a lot of professional bio writing services which can help you to write a good and objective biography without different personal influences.
What about Hitler or Stalin. I think if you are professional you shouldn't allow your personal preferences to influence your professional activities. But on the other hand, lots of people are fans of their business and they are really interested in that what they are doing. So if he is writing about Hitler he is interested in his personality... But this shouldn't make influence on what he writes about.
By the way, this one is good bio writing service http://www.biographywritingservices.com/.

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Re: One often hears that biographies are autobiographies, that the   [#permalink] 28 Jul 2017, 07:59
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