When it comes to biographies, Walter Isaacson has the Midas touch. He's written about Ben Franklin, Steve Jobs, and Einstein, to name a few--and soon he'll be publishing a biography of Leonardo da Vinci. At this point in his career, every book Isaacson writes becomes part of the greater conversation--but we thought it might be interesting to know what he's been reading when he's not writing.
Below you'll find a list of nonfiction that shows a lot of breadth and even highlights his New Orleans roots.
Empire of Sin by Gary Krist
Spectacular Wickedness by Emily LandauBoth books explore race, sex, and music in the New Orleans red-light district known as Storyville that was a cradle of jazz a century ago. I'm going to be teaching the writing of history at Tulane next year, and I want to show how an academic historian and a popular writer approach the same fascinating topic from different angles.
Miss Ella by Ella Brennan
Julia Reed's South by Julia ReedSpeaking of New Orleans, these delightful books are memoirs combined with recipes, which is a tasty combination, the former by the proprietor of Commander's Palace and the latter by a great social commentator masquerading as a cooking writer.
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The Three Lives of James Madison by Noah FeldmanMadison opposed mindless partisanship. He was also a slave owner. Given our deeply troubled time, I was interested in wrestling with his legacy.
Hit Refresh by Satya NadellaThe CEO of Microsoft describes his childhood as an immigrant, his rise as an executive, the lessons of leadership he has learned, and his vision for how the next wave of technology will affect society. All four strands make this a riveting book.
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