What made me pick it up: Kidder has a wonderful way of writing about individuals that captures their charisma on the page and make you want to follow them on their journey. His previous book Mountains Beyond Mountains did this for Partners In Health founder Dr. Paul Farmer. I have been an avid follower of PIH since reading that book, so I wanted to read this immediately to find out who could have been so compelling that Kidder needed to write a book about them.
My favorite things: I’m consistently impressed with how the author humanizes successful individuals. He shows all of the traits, good and bad, that make them who they are and lead to their success or in some cases their failures before and in the midst of their successes. In this case, the manic side of English’s bipolar disorder is a driving force in his serial entrepreneurship.
Who it’s great for: Anyone who has enjoyed Kidder’s other books. Those looking for a good biography. Fans of Silicon Valley pioneer stories — I was reminded strongly of Creativity, Inc.