November 29, 2017
in conversation with Professor Adam Grant on his new book
Leonardo Da Vinci
Walter Isaacson, the author of the acclaimed bestsellers Steve Jobs, Einstein, and Benjamin Franklin, brings Leonardo da Vinci to life in an exciting new biography. This book is the capstone to Isaacson’s biographies on genius, creativity, innovation, and where the humanities intersect the sciences.
Based on thousands of pages from Leonardo’s astonishing notebooks and new discoveries about his life and work, Isaacson weaves a narrative that connects his art to his science. He shows how Leonardo’s genius was based on skills we can improve in ourselves, such as passionate curiosity, careful observation, and an imagination so playful that it flirted with fantasy.
Leonardo’s delight at combining diverse passions remains the ultimate recipe for creativity. So, too, does his ease at being a bit of a misfit: illegitimate, gay, vegetarian, left-handed, easily distracted, and at times heretical. His life should remind us of the importance of instilling, both in ourselves and our children, not just received knowledge but a willingness to question it—to be imaginative, and, like talented misfits and rebels of any era, to think different.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Walter Isaacson, University Professor of History at Tulane, has been CEO of the Aspen Institute, chairman of CNN, and editor of Time magazine. He is the author of Leonardo da Vinci; The Innovators (2014); Steve Jobs (2011); Einstein: His Life and Universe (2007); Benjamin Franklin: An American Life (2003); and Kissinger: A Biography (1992), and the co-author of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made (1986).