It takes a certain kind of personality to write biographies for a living, delving into the nitty-gritty of strangers' lives, unraveling mysteries and angering relatives. A. Scott Berg has been quite successful in that line of work, winning a National Book Award for his biography of literary editor Max Perkins in 1978 and a Pulitzer Prize for his biography of aviator Charles Lindbergh 20 years later. His subjects are all 20th-century American cultural icons (Katharine Hepburn, Samuel Goldwyn Jr.) and his newest topic fits that mold perfectly — President Woodrow Wilson. Berg spent 13 years on the 800-page-plus doorstopper. He'll be discussing the finer points of gaining access to personal correspondence and how to dominate the New York Times best-seller list with author Mona Simpson. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Wstwd.; Tues., Dec. 10, 7:30 p.m.; free. (310) 443-7000,

Tue., Dec. 10, 7:30 p.m., 2013

LA Weekly