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Business News/ Companies / People/  Is Elon Musk in ‘Demon Mode’? New biography digs deeper into the life of the world’s richest man

Elon Musk is unveiled as a complex character in an eagerly-awaited biography by Walter Isaacson, the man renowned for chronicling the lives of Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein and Leonardo da Vinci. Driven by what some describe as a "demonic" zeal, Musk's multifaceted life—from his early struggles with an overbearing father to his recent unorthodox management decisions—gets a closer look.

Isaacson's book on Musk has already become a bestseller in the United States, even before its official release. Despite being over 600 pages long, it has caught the attention of both media and readers alike, with advance orders topping Amazon’s US charts.

Also Read: Elon Musk took $1 billion loan from SpaceX while acquiring Twitter: Report

Musk's life journey has always intrigued many. In this biography, much light is shed on Musk's complex relationship with his father, Errol, who is portrayed as a manipulative individual.

According to the author, it's this early life turmoil that's become the driving force behind Musk's extreme productivity and unparalleled ambition. The book borrows a term from Musk's former partner, Grimes, dubbing this driving force as "demon mode"—a state claimed to be common among high achievers.

While many aspects of Musk's early life are already in the public domain, Isaacson's work offers new insights into Musk’s more recent ventures. The book describes an incident where Musk’s decision to deny Starlink Internet access to the Ukrainian military led to tensions with Kyiv. However, the validity of this account was later questioned by Musk himself, AFP reported.

Also Read: Elon Musk's Starlink denial for Ukraine's Crimea operation sparks Pentagon inquiry

The acquisition of Twitter, now rebranded as X, by Musk also finds significant coverage in Isaacson's narrative. Shortly after the takeover, Musk and his team sifted through internal communications, leading to the sacking of numerous employees who had expressed reservations about the new management.

Interestingly, Musk’s conviction that technology and willpower alone can bring about monumental change is also touched upon. His refusal to collaborate with Bill Gates on charitable initiatives, simply because Gates had bet against Tesla in the stock market, offers another glimpse into his strong-willed nature.

Also Read: Errol Musk says he isn’t proud of his billionaire son Elon

Moreover, the biography reveals that Musk, concerned about global depopulation, has fathered 10 children, including a previously undisclosed child with Grimes and twins via sperm donation to Shivon Zilis, an executive at Neuralink, a company owned by Musk.

While some critics have lauded Isaacson's deep reporting, others believe the book falls short in offering a nuanced interpretation of Musk.

(With AFP inputs)

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Sounak Mukhopadhyay
Sounak Mukhopadhyay, who also goes by the name Sounak Mukherjee, has been producing digital news since 2012. He's worked for the International Business Times, The Inquisitr, and Moneycontrol in the past. He's also contributed to Free Press Journal and TheRichest with feature articles. He covers news for a wide range of subjects including business, finance, economy, politics and social media. Before working with digital news publications, he worked as a freelance content writer.
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Updated: 12 Sep 2023, 08:19 AM IST
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