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Elon Musk : how the billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is shaping our future / Ashlee Vance.

By: Vance, Ashlee [author.].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: London : Virgin Books, an imprint of Ebury Publishing, 2015Description: 392 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (chiefly colour), portraits ; 24 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9780062301239.Other title: Elon Musk : Tesla, SpaceX, and the quest for a fantastic future [Other title].Subject(s): Musk, Elon | Tesla Motors (Firm) | SpaceX (Firm) | PayPal (Firm) | Businesspeople -- United States -- Biography | Businesspeople -- South Africa -- Biography | Internet industry | Clean energy industriesGenre/Form: Biographies.DDC classification: 332.178 Summary: An authorized portrait of one of Silicon Valley's most dynamic entrepreneurs evaluates his role in the successes of such innovations as Tesla and Space X while evaluating America's technological competitiveness.
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Biographies B MUS 2 Available

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

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--a real-life Tony Stark--and a fascinating exploration of the renewal of American invention and its new "makers."

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.

First published in the United States by HarperCollins.

Includes bibliographical references.

An authorized portrait of one of Silicon Valley's most dynamic entrepreneurs evaluates his role in the successes of such innovations as Tesla and Space X while evaluating America's technological competitiveness.

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Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • 1 Elon's World (p. 1)
  • 2 Africa (p. 23)
  • 3 Canada (p. 45)
  • 4 Elon's First Start-Up (p. 57)
  • 5 Paypal Mafia Boss (p. 75)
  • 6 Mice in Space (p. 97)
  • 7 All Electric (p. 145)
  • 8 Pain, Suffering, and Survival (p. 181)
  • 9 Liftoff (p. 213)
  • 10 The Revenge of the Electric Car (p. 263)
  • 11 The Unified Field Theory of Elon Musk (p. 317)
  • Epilogue (p. 361)
  • Appendix 1 (p. 365)
  • Appendix 2 (p. 371)
  • Appendix 3 (p. 377)
  • Acknowledgments (p. 383)
  • Notes (p. 387)

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Known for the companies he has founded or developed including PayPal, Tesla Motors, and SpaceX, Elon 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 in which start-ups change the world and the rugged individualist succeeds by building teams. Vance, a tech writer for the New York Times and Bloomberg Business, 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, as Musk is still leading the field in innovation. VERDICT Vance's study cuts across genres and will inform even those who follow the tech world closely.--Catherine Lantz, Univ. of Illinois at Chicago Lib. © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

Vance (Geek Silicon Valley) paints a complicated picture of a complicated man in this biography of Silicon Valley tycoon Elon Musk. Vance follows Musk from a difficult childhood in South Africa to his education at Queen's University in Ontario and later at the University of Pennsylvania. Musk's early successes with Internet start-ups were only the beginning. He became the prime mover behind SpaceX, "the only private company to dock with the ISS"; Tesla, maker of the Model S electric car; and SolarCity, a solar power company with a unique business model. Throughout, 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. Agent: David Patterson, Foundry Literary + Media. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

Cut from the same mold as such famous technology pioneers as Steve Jobs and Richard Branson, billionaire engineer and entrepreneur Elon Musk is easily one of the most visionary inventors now pushing the envelope of scientific innovation. His Tesla electric cars have already shaken up the auto industry, and his recent start-up company, SpaceX, is already cornering the market on cheap reusable rockets. In this thoughtful and compelling biography of the Silicon Valley tycoon, Bloomberg Businessweek journalist Vance takes on the twin assignments of trying to understand Musk's unique contributions to society and exploring whether it's really possible for one inventive genius to significantly change the world. Vance takes readers inside Muskland, the Southern California factories where Musk works long hours, delves into his rough South African upbringing, and dissects his temperament and sometimes contentious relationships while highlighting Musk's somewhat grandiose ideas about powering Earth with solar energy and eventually terraforming Mars. Vance invites readers to keep watch on Musk's accomplishments and stay tuned for another biography if and when the businessman's futuristic aspirations become reality.--Hays, Carl Copyright 2015 Booklist

Kirkus Book Review

A look at aerospace/automotive mogul Elon Musk. It could be said that Bloomberg Businessweek writer Vance (Geek Silicon Valley: The Inside Guide to Palo Alto, Stanford, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Santa Clara, 2007) has provided a much-needed portrait of an Internet-age hero, but that would depend on whether one's idea of a hero is, say, a Doctors Without Borders physician or the self-made founder of Tesla and SpaceX. Musk's ultimate ambition is to someday "die on Mars," a hypothetical event that some of his more outspoken critics may not root against. After enduring a South African childhood marked by divorce and beatings at school, Musk moved to Canada and, from there, the United States, where he earned a degree at the University of Pennsylvania. He left his Stanford doctorate program after two years to participate in the wave of Silicon Valley startups, helming a couple of half-realized but promising business ventures, both of which he sold for millions (one was an early incarnation of PayPal). Soon, Musk's ambitions became too big for the narrow Silicon Valley framework. He took his money and invested not only in a rocket-building company (SpaceX), but also a boutique electric car manufacturer (Tesla), among other side ventures. After years of frustration, Tesla and SpaceX became profitable companies almost simultaneously, and Musk was worth billions of dollars and beset with new aspirations to make human beings an "interplanetary" species. Though Vance doesn't spend the entire book praising his subjecthe does provide peeks at a man who sometimes rules his techie fiefdom by fear and treats his significant others like employeesthe author undermines journalistic objectivity by excusing Musk's tyrannical behavior as the prerogative of a Nietzschean superman working to save humanity. Despite Vance's best efforts, Musk comes off as another megalomaniacal hypercapitalist whose stock in trade is luxury goods and services for luxury clients. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.