American Sketches: Great Leaders, Creative Thinkers, and Heroes of a Hurricane (Google eBook)

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Simon and Schuster, Nov 24, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 304 pages
26 Reviews
What are the roots of creativity? What makes for great leadership? How do influential people end up rippling the surface of history?

In this collection of essays, Walter Isaacson reflects on the lessons to be learned from Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Henry Kissinger, Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton, and various other interesting characters he has chronicled as a biographer and journalist. The people he writes about have an awesome intelligence, in most cases, but that is not the secret of their success. They had qualities that were even more rare, such as imagination and true curiosity.

Isaacson reflects on how he became a writer, the lessons he learned from various people he met, and the challenges he sees for journalism in the digital age.

He also offers loving tributes to his hometown of New Orleans, which both before and after Hurricane Katrina offered many of the ingredients for a creative culture, and to the Louisiana novelist Walker Percy, who was an early mentor. In an anecdotal and personal way, Isaacson describes the joys of the "so-called writing life" and the way that tales about the lives of fascinating people can enlighten our own lives.
  

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Review: American Sketches: Great Leaders, Creative Thinkers, and Heroes of a Hurricane

User Review  - James Kenly - Goodreads

I'm probably late to the party in celebration of Walter Isaacson as an American writer. In fact, I'm definitely late to the party. I'd read his Steve Jobs biography as soon as it came out and his work ... Read full review

Review: American Sketches: Great Leaders, Creative Thinkers, and Heroes of a Hurricane

User Review  - Brad Mclaws - Goodreads

This is a collection of short essays on a wide swath of americans from Benjamin Franklin to Woody Allen. Well written. Issacson is aa great biographer. Read full review

Contents

My Socalled Writing Life
1
The Opinions of Mankind
34
McGeorge Bundy the Brightest
49
Hes Back
56
James Baker Wise Man?
66
Colin Powell the Good Soldier
77
The Gorbachev Challenge
89
Figuring Out Ronnie
101
In Search of the Real Bill Gates
165
The Passion of Andrew Grove
190
Our Century and the Next One
197
The Biotech Age
205
Luces Values Then and Now
227
A Bold Old Idea for Saving Journalism
242
Woody Allens Heart Wants What It Wants
251
How to Bring the Magic Back
266

Fighting Words
109
Einsteins God
129
Creative Thinker
143
Acknowledgments
283
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Walter Isaacson, the CEO of the Aspen Institute, has been chairman of CNN and the managing editor of Time magazine. He is the author of Steve Jobs; Einstein: His Life and Universe; Benjamin Franklin: An American Life; and Kissinger: A Biography, and the coauthor of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made. He lives in Washington, DC.

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