Total Recall : Arnold Schwarzenegger
---Arnold became world class in four different domains in his lifetime -- bodybuilding, acting, politics, business. His root methodology, beliefs, and refreshing honesty can provide a lot of guidance for the ambitious.
Benjamin Franklin -- Walter Issacson
---Amazing. Teaches you how tor relate with people and gives you perspective. Business, science, politics...not just world class but world history
Roosevelt - Edmun Morris
---One of the most inspiring people -- Very accurate, detailed biography that can give people zeal for hustle.
Autobiographies are the perfect mix of personality and non-fiction for me. What are you favorites, what did you learn from them?
Off the top of of my head, for the entrepreneur minded:
Anyone Can Do It by Duncan Bannatyne (UK entrepreneur, also an investor on Dragon Den)
Losing my Virginity by Richard Branson
Also the most recent one I read that's unrelated but an amazing life and story
A Heart Blown Open: The Life & Practice of Zen Master Jun Po Denis (teenager father, one of the biggest LSD maker/millionaire, living life on the road, in prison, fighting cancer, becoming a Zen master, etc)
You ask for our favorite AUTObiographies but you list Franklin's biography authored by Walter Issacson. I haven't read this book, but if if you haven't read Franklin's actual autobiography I'd definitely give it a shot. He actually does lots of time tracking, I'm sure Sebastian has read it :P
1. The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life - Why I like it? Because it allow a certain insight into his mind and business which let's face it, is great giving that he is one of the best investor in the world. But as much as you want to like him, he also show certain aspect of his life where you say to yourself, "What an asshole". Plain and simply.
2. Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins. Amazon Book Review "From the author of the phenomenal New York Times bestseller comes an exposé of international corruption, and an inspired plan to turn the tide for future generations"
Have you read those biographies? If you did, what did you think and if not, what are you waiting for. Definitely worth it.
Losing my Virginity is great. I thought me how far one can get by placing your customer above anything else. And the adventure stories are just crazy there. Richard should have been dead 5 times by now.
Steve Jobs' biography is also great. Makes you realize what a complicated personality he really was.
Not an autobiography exactly but Caesar's De bello gallico has some good lessons. SM mentioned it a while back.
Ooh, cool question, a few years ago I got really into autobiographies, deciding they were a good source of "non-fiction narratives" - ie, someone's life always makes for a good story, but one that actually happened.
- Malcolm X: drug dealer to prisoner to political leader. Fascinating, fascinating man.
- Bertrand Russell: one of the greatest minds of the 20th century.
- Ben Franklin: haven't read the Isaacson biography but his own autobiography is interesting (and it's always illuminating to read both a biography and an autobiography of the same person)
Great question -
I’m curious as to what your take on getting involved in politics is. For as long as I’ve been reading your blog, I’ve never seen you directly mention the subject, but many of the topics you touch on would be things anyone interested in statecraft would do well to master.
The way I see this, and I guess it is just part of my personality, is that it would be an all or nothing sort of deal. Either you get seriously involved or you stop paying close attention. It has really been wearing on my sanity to be knowledgeable on the subject but do nothing about it.
[...personal details about local government problems removed...]
Question from a reader --
You mentioned in "On Disagreeing With A Client's Plans" that there are benefits to being good at politics, looking good, etc. Why should one invest his or her energy in politics (activity A) rather than activities X, Y, and Z?