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Leonardo da Vinci Hardcover – 17 October 2017

4.6 out of 5 stars 4,703 ratings

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Product description


"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

"Illuminating . . . This is a monumental tribute to a titanic figure."
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Isaacson uses his subject’s contradictions to give him humanity and depth.” 
—Anthony Grafton, The New York Times 

“Encompassing in its coverage, robust in its artistic explanations, yet written in a smart, conversational tone, this is both a solid introduction to the man and a sweeping saga of his genius.”
Booklist, starred review

“A fresh and enthusiastic reading of the extraordinary da Vinci notebooks, written in a way that makes them both accessible and contemporary. Absorbing, enlightening and always engaging.”
Miranda Seymour, author of Mary Shelley

“Isaacson's biography is linear enough to follow easily, yet it returns, as did the artist, time and again, to the highly concrete, enticingly yet rigorously investigable mysteries of the human and natural world. Model . . . . This beautiful book, on coated stock, showing text and illustrations to the best advantage, is a pleasure to hold.”
—Bay Area Reporter

“Isaacson, to his credit, helps us see Leonardo’s artistic vision with fresh eyes. . . . He writes simply and clearly, and even though his principal character hails from antiquity, the narrative hums like a headline from the morning paper, alert to topical parallels between then and now . . . we finish the book with a renewed conviction that the world’s most famous Renaissance man was, in essence, inimitable.”
—Christian Science Monitor

“A full and engrossing profile of the artist . . . The author moves fluidly between the scientific inquiries of Leonardo’s notebooks and the artistic achievements in his sketchbooks, and carries the same themes, such as the artist’s boundless curiosity and inquiry, through them in a way that does not seem too facile or overapplied.”
—East Hampton Star

“A 21st century page-turner."
—USA Today

“Exuberant . . . a richly illustrated ride through the artist’s life . . . a fascinating, bonbon-size tribute to the man who thought to ask.”

 “Beautifully produced and illustrated, the biography is an ideal match of author and subject. . . . Fascinated by Leonardo’s genius, Isaacson lucidly and lovingly captures his stunning powers of observation that spanned so many disciplines. . . . Isaacson’s monumental and magnificent biography does succeed in helping us understand what made da Vinci’s paintings so memorable, and in making Leonardo much more accessible, as a genius, a man of and outside of his times, and as a 'quirky, obsessive, playful, and easily distracted' human being.”
Tulsa World

“In some ways this is Walter Isaacson's most ambitious book. He uses the life he recounts in a wonderful way to speculate on the source of geniuses...always you are informed, entertained, stimulated, satisfied. This has to be the most beautifully illustrated and printed book I've seen in recent years.” 
—Fareed Zakaria GPS

“[A] splendid work that provides an illuminating guide to the output of one of the last millennium’s greatest minds.”
Guardian US

"Leonardo da Vinci's prowess as a polymath — driven by insatiable curiosity about everything from the human womb to deadly weaponry — still stuns. In this copiously illustrated biography, we feel its force all over again. Walter Isaacson wonderfully conveys how Leonardo's genius unified science and art." 


"Luminous . . . Leonardo Da Vinci is an elegantly illustrated book that broadens Isaacson’s viewfinder on the psychology of major lives – Henry Kissinger, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs are the subjects of his previous biographies, best-sellers all."


About the Author

Walter Isaacson, a professor of history at Tulane, has been CEO of the Aspen Institute, chair of CNN, and editor of Time. He is the author of Leonardo da VinciThe Innovators; Steve JobsEinstein: His Life and UniverseBenjamin Franklin: An American Life; and Kissinger: A Biography, and the coauthor of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made. Visit him at Isaacson.Tulane.edu.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Simon & Schuster (17 October 2017)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 624 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1501139150
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1501139154
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1 kg 360 g
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 15.56 x 3.81 x 23.5 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 4,703 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
4,703 global ratings
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Top reviews from India

Reviewed in India on 8 January 2018
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Reviewed in India on 18 April 2018
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Reviewed in India on 16 January 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
By Aman Daral on 16 January 2018
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34 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in India on 18 December 2017
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7 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in India on 19 July 2020
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4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and artistic but thanks to Amazon it got a dent...
By 22l on 19 July 2020
What a beautiful book this is,I haven't started reading it but the look of the book is just gorgeous,this is the best book I have ever bought.
The page quality of this book is just stunningly amazing,never had a book having such good quality pages.
I bought it for 799 and this is the most costly book I ever bought apart from my academic books,but I would say it's okay to pay that price, because it's quality is amazing and the content is invaluable.
Can't wait to read this book.
But as good as the book is,the delivery was a bit rough, because the book got a dent and it's not expected from Amazon,they packagded it well in a plastic bag,but did not put it into a cardboard box,and that's why it got a dent.
I should say you should read this book...
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3 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in India on 9 May 2018
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Reviewed in India on 19 January 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT SERVICE
By Vivian Vandingliana on 19 January 2019
I really wanna thank Amazon for delivering this book today, as I really admire about invention and innovation I'm sure the books gonna be good, The Paper Quality, and the cover of the Book is superb, It's really cheap for the price I paid, I think the thickness of this book might be around one ream. And about the service, I personally wanna thank these Amazon Associate Viz : Bharat, Sangita, Nishant and Rajat, Since the purchase is a Big price for a student like me I was worried it would be lost along the way, and since I'm really eager to read the book, I pestered them with a loads of questions about the where about of the parcel, they Patiently and happily answered my questions and tell me not to worry, which really console me. The package is also great with 4 layer of cover, ( The book is Covered with flim) It's a great service for me Amazon. You have new future regular Customer.
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Top reviews from other countries

4.0 out of 5 stars Good book but can be hard going
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 1 September 2018
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44 people found this helpful
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Edward B. Crutchley
5.0 out of 5 stars First class
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 10 January 2019
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Kevin Hoy
5.0 out of 5 stars If you are curious, you will love it
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 8 April 2018
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Martin Davidson
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed it. Clear and insightful
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 14 December 2017
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Daniel Priestley
5.0 out of 5 stars A trip back in time to visit a timeless genius.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 23 August 2018
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