- Audio CD: 6 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio; Abridged edition (24 November 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1442304073
- ISBN-13: 978-1442304079
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.8 x 14.6 cm
- Customer Reviews:
American Sketches: Great Leaders, Creative Thinkers, and Heroes of a Hurricane Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook, Unabridged
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About the Author
Walter Isaacson, University Professor of History at Tulane, has been CEO of the Aspen Institute, chairman of CNN, and editor of Time magazine. He is the author of Leonardo da Vinci; The Innovators; 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. Facebook: Walter Isaacson, Twitter: @WalterIsaacson
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Top international reviews
This book is a collection of first rate essays and articles covering an array of American political and creative leaders as well as some thoughts on journalism and its future. The essays were written over a span of several decades, so in addition to the actual essays, each contains a foreword by the author to put it into current perspective.
All of the essays are good, but some are more interesting than others. Isaacson is clearly infatuated with Einstein, so Einstein gets more than his share of coverage in this collection. Very interesting and deserving material though.
My favorite was the piece on Bill Gates. Longer than most, it gives the reader a real feel for who Gates is and how he is wired. The essay addresses his many incredible strengths as well as some of his flaws. The eulogy for George Plimpton was also especially good.
I was particularly interested in the book's introduction in which the author explains his own background and how he got from New Orleans to Harvard to the editorship of Time and Chairmanship of CNN. Good stuff!!
As expected the book is an anthology of short sketches on various "people of interest"; some are historical figures, some are current politicians, a celebrity, etc. Unfortunately there is nothing new here. It's a mish mash of Isaacson's impressions, past interviews etc. There is no unifying theme, no new materials and no insight. Much of the material might have been timely at a certain time, e.g. the material about Ronald Reagen, but is no longer of interest. I cannot imagine why the book was published, since most of it had already been published, unless it was to wring further income from his readers!