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Leonardo da Vinci Hardcover – October 17, 2017

4.4 out of 5 stars 2,350 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of October 2017: With biographies of Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, and Steve Jobs under his belt, and a reputation as one of our premiere nonfiction writers, Walter Isaacson is the right person to take on a monumental figure like Leonardo da Vinci. To write this biography Isaacson immersed himself in da Vinci’s 7,200 pages of notebooks, which these days are spread across the map. Da Vinci’s interests were even more divergent, and Isaacson’s empathetic and deeply researched portrait illustrates how he willed himself to genius through endless curiosity and a creativity that sometimes crossed over into fantasy. Much like Isaacson’s previous subjects of Ben Franklin and Steve Jobs, da Vinci was a polymath-- he was passionate about art, science, nature, and technology, and he never stopped questioning, practicing, or experimenting. This is what made him the great innovator and historical figure that we recognize today—and Isaacson points out that this is a particular form of genius that can teach us how to live our own lives. -- Chris Schluep, Amazon Book Review

Review

"As always, [Isaacson] writes with a strongly synthesizing intelligence across a tremendous range; the result is a valuable introduction to a complex subject. . . . Beneath its diligent research, the book is a study in creativity: how to define it, how to achieve it. . . . Most important, Isaacson tells a powerful story of an exhilarating mind and life."
The New Yorker

“To read this magnificent biography of Leonardo da Vinci is to take a tour through the life and works of one of the most extraordinary human beings of all time and in the company of the most engaging, informed, and insightful guide imaginable. Walter Isaacson is at once a true scholar and a spellbinding writer. And what a wealth of lessons there are to be learned in these pages."
—David McCullough, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Wright Brothers and 1776

“Isaacson’s essential subject is the singular life of brilliance. . . . Isaacson deftly reveals an intimate Leonardo . . . a masterpiece of concision.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“I’ve read a lot about Leonardo over the years, but I had never found one book that satisfactorily covered all the different facets of his life and work. Walter—a talented journalist and author I’ve gotten to know over the years—did a great job pulling it all together. . . .  More than any other Leonardo book I’ve read, this one helps you see him as a complete human being and understand just how special he was.”

Bill Gates

“A captivating narrative about art and science, curiosity and discipline.”
—Adam Grant, #1 New York Times Bestselling author of Originals

“He comes to life in all his remarkable brilliance and oddity in Walter Isaacson’s ambitious new biography . . . a vigorous, insightful portrait of the world’s most famous portraitist...Isaacson’s purpose is a thorough synthesis, which he achieves with flair.”
The Washington Post

“Walter Isaacson is a renaissance man. . . . Rather like Leonardo, he’s driven by a joyful desire to discover. That joy bubbles forth in this magnificent book. In Isaacson, Leonardo gets the biographer he deserves—an author capable of comprehending his often frenetic, frequently weird quest to understand. This is not just a joyful book; it’s also a joy to behold. . . . Isaacson deserves immense praise for producing a very human portrait of a genius.”
—The Times of London

“The pleasure of an Isaacson biography is that it doesn’t traffic in such cynical stuff; the author tells stories of people who, by definition, are inimitable....Isaacson is at his finest when he analyzes what made Leonardo human.” 
—The New York Times

“Monumental  . . . Leonardo led an astonishingly interesting eventful life. And Isaacson brilliantly captures its essence.”
The Toronto Star

"Majestic . . . Isaacson takes on another complex, giant figure and transforms him into someone we can recognize. . . . Totally enthralling, masterful, and passionate.”
Kirkus Reviews, starred review

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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
2,350 customer ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on October 17, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on October 17, 2017
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Top international reviews

NicJ
1.0 out of 5 stars Art heist: I ordered the hardback at £25 but get a battered edition that's in Italian!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 21, 2020
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Trahlem UK
4.0 out of 5 stars What makes Leonardo great
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 18, 2019
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OB
4.0 out of 5 stars Thorough research document
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 10, 2020
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Marcello
5.0 out of 5 stars Consigliato a tutti coloro che non vogliono fermarsi alla Gioconda
Reviewed in Italy on February 15, 2018
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Trudge
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 5, 2020
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Paul Ross
5.0 out of 5 stars This book will live with me for a long time!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 8, 2019
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible read.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 27, 2019
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Fisher
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed with delivery
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 3, 2019
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Francesca C
5.0 out of 5 stars Minor problem with this order
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 28, 2019
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Neil
5.0 out of 5 stars Kept me interested until the end.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 5, 2019
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Johnny Appleseed
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing character in history with a great story told in ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 15, 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars Correct order
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 2, 2020
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faisal
1.0 out of 5 stars Not bad book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 9, 2019
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Alan Stoffell
5.0 out of 5 stars The man was a genius.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 30, 2020
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Catarina Soares
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb scholarship!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 30, 2019
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