New Nonfiction: Elon Musk – Ashlee Vance

Pity the poor biographer of Musk. This larger-than-life entrepreneur/scientist’s story continues to unfold at such a pace it’s hard to find a stopping point. Dubbed a modern day Thomas Edison, Musk grew up in South Africa and went on to be one of the founders of PayPal. He used that leverage to launch SpaceX, Tesla, and SolarCity. His larger-than-life vision and ambition recalls not only Edison but giants like Henry Ford, Howard Hughes and Steve Jobs. Complex, difficult, undeniably driven, this is an absorbing portrait of a giant single-handedly driving the kind of research governments used to do.

Bloomberg Business Week will run a first serial as their May 15th cover story and the review coverage kicks off with the NYTBR and the San Francisco Chronicle.

“Musk has had a huge impact on multiple industries and is poised to have a major impact on how the world consumes energy. This timely biography, built on interviews with colleagues, past and present employees, and Musk himself, begins with the story of the businessman’s adventurous ancestors, his unconventional childhood, and how an aptitude for programming fueled early successes. The story combines celebrity, science, business, and ambition in a new take on the American dream….[Vance] does an admirable job of balancing the highs and lows of Musk’s outsized personality. He writes a thought-provoking chronicle that doesn’t suffer for being only a first act.”
Library Journal (starred review)

“Vance elucidates Musk’s unusual combination of vision, determination, intelligence, whimsy, and ruthlessness that enabled these successes. He describes Musk not as someone ‘chasing momentary opportunities in the business world’ but as someone ‘trying to solve problems that have been consuming him for decades.’ Vance ably conveys the reality of this man who is both a dreamer and a doer.”
— Publishers Weekly

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future (9780062301239) by Ashlee Vance. $28.99 hardcover. 5/19/15 on sale.

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