Author Topic: The Journalist and the Billionaire: Doing Elon Musk’s Biography  (Read 8647 times)

Joe Carillo

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In the New York Magazine “Intelligencer” website, features writer Shawn McCreesh shares in his recent article “The Journalist and the Billionaire” insights into what veteran old-Establishment journalist Walter Isaacson personally learned when he embarked on a two-year enterprise gathering material for an authorized biography of Elon Musk, the American business magnate and SpaceX/Tesla chief executive officer.

Walter Isaacson, former Time Magazine editor and subsequently CNN chairman and chief executive officer, had previously written biographies for such historical notables as Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, Henry Kissinger, and Steve Jobs as well as for the notable female biochemist Jennifer Doudna. His biography of Elon Musk was published by Simon & Schuster last September 12.

McCreesh describes Isaacson’s biography of Musk as having been written in Time Magazine style—restrained, middlebrow, and without an obvious agenda: “Its author is just there to give you, the reader, the facts of Musk’s life as he was able to observe and report them. Isaacson spent more than two years hanging around with the guy in his factories and at his rocket-launch sites, interviewing 128 people in his orbit and fielding many surreal late-night phone calls and text messages.”

In an interview with Isaacson in a restaurant in New Orleans (the biographer's hometown), McCreesh recalls how Isaacson had looked forward to the challenge of doing the Musk biography: “The question for a biographer is to show how the demons of a person are totally connected to the drive that gets their rockets to orbit. People who are driven by demons get shit done.”

Read in full Shawn McCreesh’s article on writing Elon Musk’s biography in New York Magazine’s “Intelligencer” website now!
« Last Edit: December 31, 2023, 05:12:25 PM by Joe Carillo »