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Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future Audio CD – Unabridged, May 19, 2015

4.7 out of 5 stars 13,099 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

For anyone interested in technology, entrepreneurship or the price of greatness, 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 book bursts with telling anecdotes and quotes that illuminate who Musk is. - 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

"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

From the Inside Flap

There are few industrialists in history who could match Elon Musk's relentless drive and ingenious vision. A modern alloy of Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Howard Hughes, and Steve Jobs, Musk is the man behind PayPal, Tesla Motors, SpaceX, and SolarCity, each of which has sent shock waves throughout American business and industry. More than any other executive today, Musk has dedicated his energies and his own vast fortune to inventing a future that is as rich and far-reaching as a science fiction fantasy.

In this lively, investigative account, veteran technology journalist Ashlee Vance offers an unprecedented look into the remarkable life and times of Silicon Valley's most audacious businessman. Written with exclusive access to Musk, his family, and his friends, the book traces his journey from his difficult upbringing in South Africa to his ascent to the pinnacle of the global business world. Vance spent more than fifty hours in conversation with Musk and inter- viewed close to three hundred people to tell the tumultuous stories of Musk's world-changing companies and to paint a portrait of a complex man who has renewed American industry and sparked new levels of innovation--all while making plenty of enemies along the way.

In 1992, Elon Musk arrived in the United States as a ferociously driven immigrant bent on realizing his wildest dreams. Since then, Musk's roller-coaster life has brought him grave disappointments alongside massive successes. After being forced out of PayPal, fending off a life-threatening case of malaria, and dealing with the death of his infant son, Musk abandoned Silicon Valley for Los Angeles. He spent the next few years baffling his friends by blowing his entire fortune on rocket ships and electric cars. Cut to 2012, however, and Musk had mounted one of the greatest resurrections in business history: Tesla, SpaceX, and SolarCity had enjoyed unparalleled success, and Musk's net worth soared to more than $5 billion.

At a time when many American companies are more interested in chasing easy money than in taking bold risks on radical new technology, Musk stands out as the only businessman with enough dynamism and vision to tackle--and even revolutionize--three industries at once. Vance makes the case that Musk's success heralds a return to the original ambition and invention that made America an economic and intellectual powerhouse. Elon Musk is a brilliant, penetrating examination of what Musk's career means for a technology industry undergoing dramatic change and offers a taste of what could be an incredible century ahead.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ HarperCollins Publishers and Blackstone Audio; Unabridged edition (May 19, 2015)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Audio CD ‏ : ‎ 1 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1481533657
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1481533652
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 10.4 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.3 x 1.4 x 5.8 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 13,099 ratings

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Ashlee Vance is an award winning feature writer for Bloomberg Businessweek magazine. Vance is also the host of the "Hello World" TV show. Previously, he worked for The New York Times and The Register.

Vance was born in South Africa, grew up in Texas and attended Pomona College. He has spent more than a decade covering the technology industry from San Francisco and is a noted Silicon Valley historian.

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
13,099 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on June 8, 2015
666 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on September 20, 2015
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5.0 out of 5 stars Don't ask for permission to do something great.
By Gina Lynch, Tomorrows Tech Podcast on September 20, 2015
One of the most inspiring books I have ever read. A few life changing points for me:

1) First intro chapter shows how relentless the author was. Great lesson there. He didn't ask for permission, he just went out and wrote it. Said he was going to write it with or without him on board. Which ultimately won Elon's respect since that's how he operates too.

2) Elon and his brother Kimbal coming over at 18 years old from south Africa. Their tactic about picking up the newspaper and cold calling the most interesting people to take to lunch is awesome. I challenge myself to do this now and I think its a great strategy to get out of your comfort zone. I gather he had the idea for pay pal with that tactic - it landed him the bank internship where he discovered the inefficiencies of banking world.

3) Elon has no "fear" button. Inhuman ability to withstand massive risks, pressure, and family drama all at once.

4) I bought 20 books. That's how much I loved it. Would call up and take a "mad scientist" or business investor or tesla owner For coffee/lunch/networking and tell them about how great this book is and see what crazy ideas they had brewing as well. Started connecting them together and meeting all kinds of moonshot thinkers. Great Networking Icebreaker.

5) Requested a tesla charging station be installed at my place of work because well...we need to encourage more telsas around here and If Elon stops by we will be ready.

6) Googled Justine found her Ted talk she did about him And enjoyed Elons commencement speech too.

7) Started an interest in this whole solar idea, Bought a solar cell phone charger that will be a gateway into way Into it and go from there. Tours of people that have solar homes in the area.

8) Most ambitious dude ever with this whole Mars thing.

9) After you read this book you will never again complain about being busy.

10) I didn't realize Larry Page and Elon were so close. Hope he is wrong about the AI thing though, but also triggered me to buy the book "the singularity is near"

I love the impact of the cover and I write a favorite quote in and give as a gift of inspiration to innovators in the area.
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164 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on January 27, 2017
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35 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on November 19, 2016
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Top reviews from other countries

Amit sarawagi
5.0 out of 5 stars Elon Musk - Unstoppable force
Reviewed in India on November 3, 2017
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367 people found this helpful
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Ujjwal Biswas
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in India on May 3, 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in India on May 3, 2018
So good to have this book, if u wanna buy go for it
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171 people found this helpful
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Vijay Sood
5.0 out of 5 stars Experience revolution here
Reviewed in India on September 19, 2018
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141 people found this helpful
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A. T.
3.0 out of 5 stars I liked learning about how Musk’s companies came to be
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 7, 2018
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45 people found this helpful
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The Tech Reviewer
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and insightful
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 29, 2019
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25 people found this helpful
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