Musk’s Reading List Reflects His Own Battle ‘Against The Gods’ via Tom Randall, Bloomberg

What kind of book do you read when you’re trying to overturn two of the world’s most entrenched industries and it feels like everyone is hating on you? I asked Elon Musk, and his response couldn’t be more perfect.

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At the conclusion of a press event, I asked Musk, an avid reader, what he’s been into lately. He started to demur, then checked himself. “Actually, I’m reading a book called Twelve Against the Gods, by Bolitho,” he said. “It’s really quite good.”

Musk being Musk, news of his latest read sent the price of the few copies out there up 1500 percent.

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Musk has wide-ranging tastes, from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings to manuals about rocket propellants

Read the full article here.

The book is now selling for hundreds or even thousands dollars – if you are crazy enough to buy it see it below – but note if you are interested its hard to find and if you do want it will cost hundreds of dollars  – we found one listing on ebay and the auction is far from over but the current bid is $237 so that number will rise – we wonder how much the book will be worth when Tesla buys SolarCity (which is deeply tied to SpaceX) and if anything happens to those cash burning companies… – caveat emptor

Twelve against the gods – Description

Twelve against the gods: The story of adventure by William Bolitho

Twelve against the gods is the story of adventure by the interpretation of facts and misfacts developed by the author William Bolitho. Those with biographies include: Alexander the Great,, Casanova, |Mahomet, |Lola Montez, Cagiostros, Charles XII of Sweden, Napoleon I, Catline, Napoleon III, Isadora Duncan, and Woodrow Wilson.

Twelve against the gods – Review

“I can’t believe I’m the first to review this hysterical classic literary misfit title. Its dyspeptic WW I-wounded author tells eleven stories of people whose careers embodied a common and classic theme: 1) inordinate success; 2) consequent hubris (i.e., ego-appropriation of the grace of the “Gods” of karma); 3) catastrophic collapse, as the Gods desert the irreverent ingrate. Interesting stories all, though not exactly world-beating literature.

Then he limns the saga of the amazing legend-in-his-own-lifetime Charles XII, of politically inconsequential early Sweden. This chapter alone makes the book a prime candidate for “cult classic” status.

Charles had an early and utter conviction of his impending date with destiny, and consciously fashioned himself after a pseudo-historical caricature of Alexander the Great. Much as those deeply devoted but culturally clueless early Russian Christians managed to build (in wood, yet) copies of fantastic “Greek churches” invented by Mediterranean painters but never actually constructed by anyone, so Charles managed to pull off his outrageous personal omnipotence and invincibility fantasies against overwhelming odds. Until….

I won’t spoil the abrupt ending. Suffice it to say, I laughed out loud more than once reading this brief but wickedly wry account.

The only military history I know of that comes at all close for humor was my ROTC text’s remarkably unbiased military history of the invasion of Cuba during the Spanish American War. But whereas that story was laughable due to the U.S. forces’ pervasive incompetence (e.g., horses pushed off the landing boats promptly started swimming out to sea), Charles’ idyll — at one point he actually launched a “punitive expedition” against Peter the Great of Russia! — is fall-down funny due to the absolute incongruity of his preposterous success, given what he had to work with.

This title is a steal, especially in the 1929 hardback edition — but not after the first dozen readers of this review gobble them up. If you don’t laugh out loud reading the Charles chapter, I’ll buy the book from you, as a Christmas gift for a friend in need of a hoot or three….”

— Beyond-Is-Within Also

Twelve against the gods

Twelve against the gods: The story of adventure by William Bolitho