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Elon Musk - Walter Isaacson

Elon Musk

By Walter Isaacson

  • Release Date: 2023-09-12
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Score: 3.5
From 159 Ratings


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?


  • Don’t wast your time.

    By Everyone :-(
    Not worth your time. Watching paint dry is far more interesting.
  • Another monumental masterpiece.

    By Dixklicker
    Musk will be the most significant living thing to have ever existed. Taking life to another planet, saving our ecosystem and defeating the woke mind virus. Absolute masterpiece showcasing his constant hard work and decades of sacrifices for others
  • Okay

    By Elizabeth, Meghan, Markle
    You know he is the richest man with a net worth of 269.3B making him the richest man in the world, and he does own Tesla but like he bought Twitter and named it. X many people think that mean I’m better, but don’t forget about the woman note to self: why won’t he buy the whole country of North Korea, it’s not doing so good right now
  • 3 days read

    By blainebassett
    Plowed through, Finished the book this morning, fascinating read/listen. Perception was spot on and it makes complete sense but not the greatest company culture. Would hate to be the successor after him. I haven’t been able to get thru a book this thick ever; 688 pages/24 hours of listening time
  • Elon Musk

    By Mrunderhill12
    Nobody goes more in depth or does it better than Isaacson.
  • Very entertaining and easy to digest

    By siggie the goat
    Just like Bill Gates himself said, love him or hate him, men like Elon who innovate and care deeply for humanity only come once in a lifetime.
  • A masterpiece.

    Elon will be remembered throughout history. We are truly lucky to live in his time and witness his genius. Isaacson does an amazing job as usual with his subject. Presenting his subject always from a very critical perspective which a paramount with such powerful force that is Elon.
  • Toothless

    By ICEbergJD
    Don’t buy. It’s clear that Walter is fond of Elon, fine. My issue is that the writing is so boring. Almost lazy and robotic. Reads like a press release written by Kimbal and chat GPT.
  • One of a kind

    By DrMcDougall
    Love him or hate him, you’ll always be entertained, informed, or annoyed by him. I find myself fascinated by him - and trying to figure out why he does all the things he does - so many successful businesses, and what is his ultimate purpose after everything is said and done - this book gives some hints, and maybe help you understand Elon a little better. The biographer has done another amazing job, just as he did with Jobs and Franklin. I recommend this book highly. It truly makes you think and isn’t that every book should do?