Review of The Innovators

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9 Overall

9 Importance

9 Innovation

8 Style


Walter Isaacson, the former managing editor of Time magazine and former chairman of CNN, attempts a linear history of innovation. He begins in the 18th century and details every significant player from that era until 2014 – when this text came out. He fully proves his overarching theme: that history produced a continuum of innovators whose efforts built on the efforts of those before them and culminated in computing, artificial intelligence, the Internet, mobile technology, and more. That steady stream still rolls forward as today’s innovators absorb and expand the work of their forbearers. Isaacson regards this diaspora as its own culture, with its own heroes, mythologies, and notions of right and wrong. He makes a convincing, if long-winded case. Isaacson writes in the Time magazine mode: simple clear sentences that attempt to make a complex world comprehensible. getAbstract admires Isaacson’s true passion for his subject – as is evident in his biographies Einstein, Henry Kissinger and Steve Jobs – and his apparent research and understanding of this universe is impressive.

About the Author

Walter Isaacson is CEO of the Aspen Institute, former chairman of CNN, former managing editor of Time magazine and the bestselling author of Steve Jobs. He also wrote Einstein: His Life and Universe; Benjamin Franklin: An American Life; Henry Kissinger: A Biography. He co-authored The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made.


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