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Practice Test: Reading Comprehension - 25 - Notes | Study 100 RCs for GMAT - GMAT

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Directions: Read the given passage carefully and answer the questions as follows:

Passage

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.

Question for Practice Test: Reading Comprehension - 25
Try yourself:The author is primarily concerned with
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Question for Practice Test: Reading Comprehension - 25
Try yourself:It can be inferred that the author makes which of the following assumptions about biographies?
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Question for Practice Test: Reading Comprehension - 25
Try yourself:The author mentions Ron Chernow most probably in order to
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