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Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

The Tulane Hullabaloo

Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

The Tulane Hullabaloo

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Walter Isaacson, Michael Lewis to speak Wednesday at Tulane

Authors Walter Isaacson and Michael Lewis will visit Tulane University on Wednesday to discuss their new books on two of the most controversial technology leaders of the modern era. 

Isaacson, who recently published a biography of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, and Lewis, who shadowed former cryptocurrency giant Sam Bankman-Fried, will appear at 6:30 p.m. in a sold-out McAlister Auditorium. 

The event is the first of the school year hosted by the New Orleans Book Festival, which plans to bring dozens more authors to campus during its annual gathering in March. 

Isaacson, who also teaches at Tulane, spent years following Elon Musk — the famed and complicated leader who owns the electric car company Tesla, the rocket company SpaceX and who bought Twitter last year, gutted its staff and renamed the company to X, among other contentious changes. 

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The culmination of Isaacson’s work was published Sept. 12 in a biography called “Elon Musk.”

Lewis mirrored much of that work with a different subject: Sam Bankman-Fried. The cryptocurrency giant is now a criminal defendant accused of fraud

Lewis’ book, called “Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon,” dives deep into the rise and fall of Bankman-Fried. Bankman-Fried founded cryptocurrency exchange FTX, became the world’s youngest billionaire then abruptly resigned as CEO as the company collapsed into bankruptcy. He was then arrested and charged with orchestrating one of the largest financial frauds of his generation. 

Lewis released the book Oct. 3, the same day Bankman-Fried’s trial began.  

And on Wednesday, Isaacson and Lewis head to Tulane to discuss their books on both men. 

In a story from The New York Times this month, Lewis hinted at what their discussion might be. Isaacson and Lewis both attended the Isidore Newman School in New Orleans, and in a September profile on Isaacson, Lewis told New York Magazine how often the school would praise Isaacson as a perfect alum. Isaacson has jokingly suggested Lewis exaggerated that acclaim, which led New York Magazine to connect Lewis’ high school story to critiques of embellishment in his books.

But Lewis told The New York Times he would set things straight in New Orleans. 

“I’m going to open by saying I want to talk about this New York magazine guy — this prick who did this — and what actually happened,” Lewis told The New York Times

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