IN PERSON - Walter Isaacson - ELON MUSK

Brazos Bookstore is honored to host renowned biographer Walter Isaacson for his book ELON MUSK. Walter will be in conversation with Rice University history professor Douglas Brinkley.

This event will be hosted at The Ballroom at Bayou Place on Sunday, November 12 at 5 p.m. Doors will open at 4:30 p.m. 

Tickets are $35.00 and are required for entry.  Each ticket includes entry into the event and one hardcover copy of ELON MUSK.  Walter will be personalizing at the conclusion of the event. 

Tickets (and the included books) can be purchased online or in-person at Brazos Bookstore until 2 p.m. on November 12. A limited number of tickets will be available for purchase at the Ballroom at Bayou Place venue at 4:00 p.m. Tickets (and the included books) ordered online after November 1 must be picked up on entry at the venue.  Lost books and/or tickets cannot be replaced.

Books not picked up at the event will be held at Brazos until December 31, 2023.  

From the author of Steve Jobs and other bestselling biographies, this is the astonishingly intimate story of the most fascinating and controversial innovator of our era—a rule-breaking visionary who helped to lead the world into the era of electric vehicles, private space exploration, and artificial intelligence. Oh, and took over Twitter.

When Elon Musk was a kid in South Africa, he was regularly beaten by bullies. One day a group pushed him down some concrete steps and kicked him until his face was a swollen ball of flesh. He was in the hospital for a week. But the physical scars were minor compared to the emotional ones inflicted by his father, an engineer, rogue, and charismatic fantasist.

His father’s impact on his psyche would linger. He developed into a tough yet vulnerable man-child, prone to abrupt Jekyll-and-Hyde mood swings, with an exceedingly high tolerance for risk, a craving for drama, an epic sense of mission, and a maniacal intensity that was callous and at times destructive.

At the beginning of 2022—after a year marked by SpaceX launching thirty-one rockets into orbit, Tesla selling a million cars, and him becoming the richest man on earth—Musk spoke ruefully about his compulsion to stir up dramas. “I need to shift my mindset away from being in crisis mode, which it has been for about fourteen years now, or arguably most of my life,” he said.

It was a wistful comment, not a New Year’s resolution. Even as he said it, he was secretly buying up shares of Twitter, the world’s ultimate playground. Over the years, whenever he was in a dark place, his mind went back to being bullied on the playground. Now he had the chance to own the playground.

For two years, Isaacson shadowed Musk, attended his meetings, walked his factories with him, and spent hours interviewing him, his family, friends, coworkers, and adversaries. The result is the revealing inside story, filled with amazing tales of triumphs and turmoil, that addresses the question: are the demons that drive Musk also what it takes to drive innovation and progress?

Walter Isaacson is the bestselling author of biographies of Jennifer Doudna, Leonardo da Vinci, Steve Jobs, Benjamin Franklin, and Albert Einstein. He is a professor of history at Tulane and was CEO of the Aspen Institute, chair of CNN, and editor of Time. He was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2023. Visit him at

Douglas Brinkley is the Katherine Tsanoff Brown Chair in Humanities and Professor of History at Rice University, presidential historian for the New-York Historical Society, trustee of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library, and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. The Chicago Tribune dubbed him “America’s New Past Master.” Six of his nonfiction books have been chosen as New York Times’s “Notable Book of the Year”. He is also the recipient of such environmental leadership prizes as the Frances K. Hutchison Medal (Garden Club of America), Robin W. Winks Award for Enhancing Public Understanding of National Parks (National Parks Conservation Association), and the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Lifetime Heritage Award. His book The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast received the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. As a music producer he earned two Grammy Awards for
Presidential Suite (Large Jazz Ensemble) and Fandango on the Wall (Latin Jazz). He is the recipient of seven honorary doctorates in American studies. His two-volume, annotated Nixon Tapes recently won the Arthur S. Link–Warren F. Kuehl Prize. His most recent book is Silent Spring Revolution: John F. Kennedy, Rachel Carson, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, and the Great Environmental Awakening. He lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife and three children.

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