Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future

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In the spirit of Steve Jobs and Moneyball, Elon Musk is both an illuminating and authorized look at the extraordinary life of one of Silicon Valley’s most exciting, unpredictable, and ambitious entrepreneurs, Elon Musk—a real-life Tony Stark—and a fascinating exploration of the renewal of American invention and its new “makers”

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Elon Musk spotlights the technology and vision of Elon Musk, the renowned entrepreneur and innovator behind SpaceX, Tesla, and SolarCity, who sold one of his internet companies, PayPal, for $1.5 billion. Ashlee Vance captures the full spectacle and arc of the genius’s life and work, from his tumultuous upbringing in South Africa and flight to the United States to his dramatic technical innovations and entrepreneurial pursuits.

Vance uses Musk’s story to explore one of the pressing questions of our age: can the nation of inventors and creators who led the modern world for a century still compete in an age of fierce global competition? He argues that Musk—one of the most unusual and striking figures in American business history—is a contemporary, visionary amalgam of legendary inventors and industrialists including Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Howard Hughes, and Steve Jobs. More than any other entrepreneur today, Musk has dedicated his energies and his own vast fortune to inventing a future that is as rich and far-reaching as the visionaries of the golden age of science-fiction fantasy.

Thorough and insightful, Elon Musk brings to life a technology industry that is rapidly and dramatically changing by examining the life of one of its most powerful and influential titans.

New York Times Bestseller – Named One of the Best Books of the Year by The Wall Street Journal, NPR, Audible and Amazon
In Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, veteran technology journalist Ashlee Vance provides the first inside look into the extraordinary life and times of Silicon Valley’s most audacious entrepreneur. Written with exclusive access to Musk, his family and friends, the book traces the entrepreneur’s journey from a rough upbringing in South Africa to the pinnacle of the global business world. Vance spent more than 30 hours in conversation with Musk and interviewed close to 300 people to tell the tumultuous stories of Musk’s world-changing companies: PayPal, Tesla Motors, SpaceX and SolarCity, and to characterize a man who has renewed American industry and sparked new levels of innovation while making plenty of enemies along the way.

Vance uses Musk’s story to explore one of the pressing questions of our time: can the nation of inventors and creators which led the modern world for a century still compete in an age of fierce global competition? He argues that Musk–one of the most unusual and striking figures in American business history–is a contemporary amalgam of legendary inventors and industrialists like Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Howard Hughes, and Steve Jobs. More than any other entrepreneur today, Musk has dedicated his energies and his own vast fortune to inventing a future that is as rich and far-reaching as the visionaries of the golden age of science-fiction fantasy.

Reviews

“Ashlee Vance’s new book, ‘Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX and the Quest for a Fantastic Future,’ is a tremendous look into arguably the world’s most important entrepreneur. Vance paints an unforgettable picture of Musk’s unique personality, insatiable drive and ability to thrive through hardship.” – The Washington Post

“It is the book I have enjoyed most this year.” – Tyler Cowen, famed economist and best-selling author

“The best business book I have read in years.” – Don Graham, former publisher of The Washington Post

“Exhaustively reported . . . this work will likely serve as the definitive account of a man whom so far we’ve seen mostly through caricature. By the final pages, too, any reader will sense the need to put comparisons to Steve Jobs aside. Give Musk credit. There is no one like him.” – The New York Times

“Ashlee Vance’s portrait of the entrepreneur at mid-life is an essential read . . . a riveting portrait of Silicon Valley’s most driven entrepreneur since Steve Jobs.” – The Financial Times

“The result is a book that is smart, light on its feet and possesses a crunchy thoroughness. . . . Mr. Vance delivers a well-calibrated portrait of Mr. Musk, so that we comprehend both his friends and his enemies. It’s a book with many ancillary pleasures. Mr. Vance brings us up to date on the states of green energy and space launches. He also veers away from his subject just often enough, offering profiles of the frequently brilliant people who work alongside Mr. Musk The best thing Mr. Vance does in this book, though, is tell Mr. Musk’s story simply and well.”- The New York Times

“Really good biographies stand out in two ways. First, they provide lots of zesty stories that haven’t been told before. Beyond that, they explain all the zigzags and false clues of a prominent person’s life, in a way that makes the total picture come into focus. . . it’s clear that this new Musk bio delivers the goods in both respects. . . Ashlee Vance provides a wealth of insights about how this tech titan operates.” – Forbes

“Vance’s lively book yields all manner of fascinating insights about Musk’s companies, his vision, and his personal life.” – Slate

“Of the many profiles of business leaders, Vance’s take on Musk is among the best. The author’s objective and unbiased viewpoint captures Musk’s good and bad, his achievements and failures.” – The Motley Fool

“Vance left few, if any, stones unturned . . . A detailed portrait of a figure both loved and feared–sometimes by the same people at the same time.” – The Space Review

“Vance’s book is a masterful piece of reporting.” – Vice

“Musk rivals Jobs in the same way this book rivals Isaacson’s classic.” – Whitney Tilson Founder, Kase Capital Management

“Mr. Vance tells the stories of both SpaceX and Tesla with intricacy and insight. . . . What does come through is a sense of legitimate wonder at what humans can accomplish when they aim high, and aim weird. (Dwight Garner, New York Times)

“[T]his work will likely serve as the definitive account of a man whom so far we’ve seen mostly through caricature. By the final pages, too, any reader will sense the need to put comparisons to Steve Jobs aside. Give Musk credit. There is no one like him.” (New York Times Book Review)

“[A] spirited and riveting biography.” (Wall Street Journal)

“The SpaceX and Tesla founder certainly sees setbacks as an unavoidable part of innovation. But a brilliant new biography paints a picture of him as an obsessive, intolerant perfectionist.” (Financial Times)

“Fascinating and superbly researched…” (The Guardian UK)

Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Ecco (May 19, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062301233
ISBN-13: 978-0062301239
Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches