These books allow you to explore and dissect the life and lessons of giants.
The Man Who Knew Infinity by Robert Kanigel
The story of Srinivasa Ramanujan is vastly under told compared to that of other modern geniuses. Kanigel follows the relationship between the young Indian mathematician and his mentor, G.H. Hardy, at Cambridge University where they published some of the most original work of the past century. Beneath the numbers, however, hides an incredibly touching tale.
Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Goodwin spent 10 years working on this book, and it shows. It describes the life of Abraham Lincoln, but with a focus on his leadership style and his relationship with five prominent men in his cabinet. Though a historical account, the text flows with a rich and engaging narrative. Team of Rivals is a long but rewarding read. We can all learn something from Lincoln.
Madame Curie by Eve Curie
Marie Curie is a two-time Nobel Prize winner and one of the greatest modern scientists the world knows. Her daughter wrote this biography. Though not entirely objective, it paints a vivid image of an inspiring women’s work ethic, the legendary love affair and professional partnership she had with her husband, and the struggles and tragedies she persisted through.
The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell by Bertrand Russell
Russell was a Nobel laureate, a historian, a mathematician, and a philosopher. He had one of the most lucid minds of the 20th century, and he rarely shied away from an intellectual debate. This book is as much an insight into Russell’s life as it is a work of philosophy itself. If nothing else, it’s worth reading just for the hauntingly beautiful prologue.
Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance
Musk is one of the most influential men in the world right now, and depending on how the next few decades play out, he could very well go down in history as one of the most influential people who ever lived. This is a biography authorized by the man himself. It begins with his childhood and ends at the feet of his vast ambition. Musk’s story has a lot to teach.