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American Sketches

American Sketches

Great Leaders, Creative Thinkers, and Heroes of a Hurricane

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In this collection of essays, the brilliant, acclaimed biographer Walter Isaacson reflects on lessons to be learned from Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Henry Kissinger, Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton, and other interesting characters he has chronicled both as biographer and journalist. He writes also about how he became a writer, the challenges for journalism in the digital age, and offers loving tributes to his hometown of New Orleans.
  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 304 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439183441 | 
  • November 2010
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INTRODUCTION
My So-called Writing Life


I was once asked to contribute an essay to the Washington Post for a page called “The Writing Life.” This caused me some consternation. A little secret of many nonfiction writers like myself—especially those of us who spring from journalism—is that we don’t quite think of ourselves as true writers, at least not of the sort who get called to reflect upon “the writing life.” At the time, my daughter, with all the wisdom and literary certitude that flowed from being a thirteen-year-old aspiring novelist, pointed out that I was not a “real... see more

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