Monday, November 7, 2011

Isaacson Takes His "Jobs" to New Orleans

New Orleans native Walter Isaacson, making his way through the publicity whirlwind for his runaway best-seller “Steve Jobs,” will speak at the New Orleans Jewish Community Center’s Uptown facility on Nov. 17 at 7 p.m.

The event is a preview of the JCC’s annual People of the Book festival, the bulk of which will take place in early December.

With the Oct. 5 death of Jobs, visionary creator of Apple Computers, sales of the book have skyrocketed to the top of the best-seller lists. The book itself was released on Oct. 24, having been moved up a month due to the intense interest.

The notoriously-private Jobs cooperated with Isaacson on the book, sitting for 40 interviews since 2009. He did not ask for any control over the book, nor did he insist on reading it before publication. “I don’t have any skeletons in my closet that can’t be allowed out,” he said. He set no limits on subject matter, and spoke candidly about friends and rivals.

Isaacson also interviewed over 100 family members, friends, competitors and colleagues to chronicle the inventor’s life.

Isaacson is the CEO of the Aspen Institute and has been chairman of CNN and the managing editor of Time magazine.  He has previously written bestselling biographies of Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, and Henry Kissinger. In 2007, he spoke at the New Orleans JCC about his then-new “Einstein: His Life and Universe.”

A native of the New Orleans Jewish community, Isaacson is a graduate of Isidore Newman School and worked at the Times Picayune.  Following Hurricane Katrina, he was appointed by Governor Kathleen Blanco as vice chairman of the Louisiana Recovery Authority.

The event is free and open to the public, but seating will be limited.  Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event and can also be pre-ordered at the bookseller’s website, www.octaviabooks.com.

Details of the New Orleans People of the Book festival were still being worked out as of press time. The festival will begin on Dec. 6, with the annual Booklover’s Lunch on Dec. 8 at noon. The annual Brunch and Books finale will be Dec. 11 at 10:30 a.m.