Master Of All He Surveyed

TITLE: FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT

AUTHOR: MERYLE SECREST

PUBLISHER: KNOPF; 634 PAGES; $30

THE BOTTOM LINE: Despite Secrest's sometimes trite prose, Wright's rich life makes compelling reading.

When a shop selling nothing but biographies opened in Greenwich Village in New York City a few years ago, it affirmed both a well-established truism (Manhattan is a bookwormy hothouse) and a brand new one: as this century winds down, the number of biographies manifestly exceeds the supply of deserving subjects. How much did the world need an account of the life of Elton John, let alone the two that were published this year?

On...