by Walter Isaacson

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1 positive comments

3 neutral comments

1 negative comments

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  • @bobarmsnovelist @BCDreyer You’ve hit the nail on the head. Dan Brown was too ignorant to know that Da Vinci wasn’t… https://t.co/12vWEkWt51
  • I read Big debt Crises by Ray Dalio, a bit of Bob Woodward’s ‘fear’ [won’t count it]. Currently reading Leonardo D… https://t.co/NKMZy9mAIF
  • This book Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson is amazing! Shows where mans curiosity can lead man to surreal experiences and living.
  • Wisdom is the daughter of experience. Leonardo da Vinci https://t.co/WqTTIEEYXF
  • 7 positive comments

    0 neutral comments

    3 negative comments

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    What people are saying on Amazon (sample)

    • While decidedly an affectionate biography, Isaacson is able to piece together the thought process of a genius. As he states at the outset, the previous subjects of his biographies have all one common element - the multidisciplinary approach of their thinking. Perhaps what comes through in this epic biography, is the profound power of observation. Whether it is in the description of 67 different words to describe flow of water, or the to-do lists of da Vinci. the various attempts to "square a triangle or circle", Isaacson is able to (poetically) describe the power of observation, meticulous planning, and a genuine sense of curiosity. Of course, Mona Lisa and the Last Supper gets its own well-deserved chapters, but the descriptions on how Leonardo explore the human anatomy and distilled principles from Physics for his paintings is fascinating, entertaining and inspiring.Using an example from Freud, Isaacson humbly channels the difficulty of trying to psychoanalyze a genius who lived generations ago; but the reliance of the sketches and work-in-progress, citations, and a powerful narration able to 'connect-the-dots' makes for a sensitive portrayal. The reliance on the sketches as the primary references to build the narrative of Leonardo's thought process is not only unique but also challenges a reader to think beyond finished product and enjoy and respect the process. The final chapter on potential lessons for a reader - sort of life lessons from Leonardo - is in itself well worth the book.The book (physical) is a joy to hold; one wishes that the publisher had created a pull out of the wonderful timeline that the book starts off with.. some of the photos could have made into landscape for readers to better appreciate the detail; a reader is likely to significantly benefit from investing in Leonardo da Vinci: Complete Paintings and Drawings . One will be able to better appreciate the process and the product with these two wonderful books in hand.
    • Walter Isaacson does a wonderful job portraying the life of Leonardo da Vinci. The text goes more or kess in chronological order and is, in my opinion, the best biography of Leonardo out there. Bramly's biography comes close but is clearly out of date (not mentioning recent attributions). Isaacson clearly knows the historiography. He repeatedly cites scholars like Martin Kemp in telling the stories of recent attributions (Salvator Mundi, La Bella Principessa). Isaacson is also familiar with the work of Toby Lester (Vitruvian Man, Francesco di Giorgio). In terms of history, Isaacson has a clear general grasp of the great men who influenced Leonardo (such as Alberti). Leonardo's various interests, skills, shortcomings, and curiosity are explored in great detail. Additionally, the book is well-illustrated and includes numerous images from his notebooks, his paintings, and key locations. Finally, Leonardo da Vinci has a current biography aimed at a popular audience written by perhaps the greatest biographer of the early-twentieth century. I highly recommend this text.
    • The book is fascinating! The quality of the book is about the worst I have ever seen. There’s virtually no glue binding the pages. I bought this as a gift for my husband. He’s very careful with books but even with gentle reading, this book started to fall apart before he had even gotten through the first several chapters. I just hope it stays together enough so he can finish it.We order a lot from Amazon - I have ne era received anything that was such inferior quality. I hope Amazon will investigate their supplier for books and find a new supplier who will deliver quality commensurate with the price paid. This isn’t worth a buck in its present state. We like to pass along books that we enjoy but I’m afraid this one is destined for the trash/recycling. What a shame. What a waste. :(
    • Magnificent Biography of one of the worlds great innovators. This book is massive, not only in length but in depth. Isaacson's biographical narrative is seamlessly interwoven with analysis and context of the work of da Vinci. The book itself is beautifully printed on high quality paper with numerous well rendered illustrations abundantly presented. In presenting da Vinci's personal thoughts and events of his life, Isaacson identifies sources supported by plenty of end notes and citations. You really see the scope of research and care that went into completing what will easily become the biography of record of the great master. Having read previous da Vinci biographies I contend that one of this versions strengths is its interpretation of da Vinci's relationship to the artists, scientists and philosophers of not just his contemporaries, but of his continued influence on those disciplines throughout human history and contemporary thought. Really quite an accomplishment. The downside of reading about da Vinci is how it can make you feel a great personal loss for time wasted on meaningless pursuits.
    • Walter Isaacson is on a quest. To understand his Leonardo Da Vinci you have to understand something of why he choose to write a biography about him at all, after writing biographies of Steve Jobs and Albert Einstein. Thankfully, Isaacson is explicit about what interests him in these personages and so there is no need for reading between the lines.What Isaacson wants to understand is what makes some men and women people of genius. Not the silly way genius is portrayed in the movie Amadeus, in which it is simply some innate talent, but the character traits which enable rare individuals with the capacity to permanently change the world with the mere power of their mind.With that goal in mind, one is ready to appreciate Isaacson’s Leonardo Da Vinci. The book begins discussing his early achievements in art and the investigation of nature within the first forty pages, fairly quickly for a 525 page tome. And the book is dominated by appreciations of his work, both artistic and scientific (to use a modern distinction unrecognized by Leonardo). Along the way there is a wonderful resonance between Isaacson describing the characteristics of Leonardo that led to his peculiar type of genius and then seeing that genus instantiated in a particular unpublished treatise on anatomy or in a work of art such as the Mona Lisa.If you are interested in this quest, in both seeing what led to Leonardo being a genius, and then seeing that genius expressed in his creative work, you will love Isaacson’s Da Vinci. Many biographers prefer to dwell on a lengthy account of the culture and history of the time and focus on the personal life of their subject. Others choose to try to psychoanalyze their subject and allow the reader to understand the subconscious drives which led to their accomplishments.None of that is to be found in Isaacson’s work. Though a summary doesn’t do the book justice, Isaacson sees Leonardo as unusually perceptive of the world around him, with an insatiable curiosity, a proper understanding of how to balance theory and experiment and a disdain for doctrines handed on by the past. These traits, and others, led him to understand the effect of light in creating the illusion of three dimensions in painting, which muscles are used to smile, how men and women might one day be able to fly and all the many other prescient things expressed in his art and notebooks.If there is anything to criticize, it is that Isaacson is almost universally positive, almost effusively, about Leonardo. But this is because the book focuses mostly on the factors that led to this genius and the actual fruits of his intellect. Admittedly, it is hard to be critical of those aspects of Leonardo’s life.One final point to make to potential readers: Isaacson writes in clear and simple English. Though the book is 525 pages long I read it in less than a day. If he had chosen to adopt the tone of many academics this would have been a far less pleasurable, and longer, read.Isaacson set out to determine both what made Leonardo a genius and why he is considered one. While every reader can form their own opinion as to whether he was successful, I think both the importance of the quest and its achievement in the case of Leonardo will be doubted by few readers of this book.