From Publishers Weekly
Conventional wisdom is stoutly defended in this staid collection of essays, mostly culled from the author's newspaper and magazine articles. Isaacson (Einstein
) has a knack for finding the middle ground and the incontestable truism in any topic. Thus, Benjamin Franklin's life shows us that â€œdemocracy requires pragmatic people who can find common ground,â€ but also know when â€œto take a stand.â€ Colin Powell is â€œan exemplar of the balanceâ€ between realism and idealism that foreign policy demands. A piece on Time
cofounder Henry Luce extols â€œcommon senseâ€ over â€œknee-jerk ideological faiths.â€ (The one extremist the author wholeheartedly supports is Albert Einstein, a â€œrebelâ€ against received notions of time and space, who receives several glowing hosannas.) Isaacson also mines a vein of cautious and sometimes dated business futurism—the collection includes breathless profiles of moguls Bill Gates and Andrew Grove—that yields such banal prognostications as â€œAmong the few things certain about the [21st] century are that it will be wired, networked and global.â€ It's hard to argue with Isaacson's pronouncements—and harder still to stay awake for them. (Dec.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
“A compelling, highly readable collection of fresh perspectives on some of the most significant names in American history.” –Kirkus
--This text refers to the