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Extended Audio Sample Leonardo Da Vinci Audiobook, by Sherwin B. Nuland Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (171 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Sherwin B. Nuland Narrator: Scott Brick Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2000 ISBN: 9781415910825
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The #1 New York Times Bestseller

“A powerful story of an exhilarating mind and life...a study in creativity: how to define it, how to achieve it.”—The New Yorker

“Vigorous, insightful.”—The Washington Post

“A masterpiece.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“Luminous.”—The Daily Beast

He was history’s most creative genius. What secrets can he teach us?

The author of the acclaimed bestsellers Steve Jobs, Einstein, and Benjamin Franklin brings Leonardo da Vinci to life in this exciting new biography.

Based on thousands of pages from Leonardo’s astonishing notebooks and new discoveries about his life and work, Walter Isaacson weaves a narrative that connects his art to his science. He shows how Leonardo’s genius was based on skills we can improve in ourselves, such as passionate curiosity, careful observation, and an imagination so playful that it flirted with fantasy.

He produced the two most famous paintings in history, The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa. But in his own mind, he was just as much a man of science and technology. With a passion that sometimes became obsessive, he pursued innovative studies of anatomy, fossils, birds, the heart, flying machines, botany, geology, and weaponry. His ability to stand at the crossroads of the humanities and the sciences, made iconic by his drawing of Vitruvian Man, made him history’s most creative genius.

His creativity, like that of other great innovators, came from having wide-ranging passions. He peeled flesh off the faces of cadavers, drew the muscles that move the lips, and then painted history’s most memorable smile. He explored the math of optics, showed how light rays strike the cornea, and produced illusions of changing perspectives in The Last Supper. Isaacson also describes how Leonardo’s lifelong enthusiasm for staging theatrical productions informed his paintings and inventions.

Leonardo’s delight at combining diverse passions remains the ultimate recipe for creativity. So, too, does his ease at being a bit of a misfit: illegitimate, gay, vegetarian, left-handed, easily distracted, and at times heretical. His life should remind us of the importance of instilling, both in ourselves and our children, not just received knowledge but a willingness to question it—to be imaginative and, like talented misfits and rebels in any era, to think different. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Nuland’s ability to distill one of the greatest minds ever into its pure essence is truly awe-inspiring.”

    Time

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rick Edwards | 1/9/2014

    " It's a fine short biography, a good introduction to da Vinci. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kirk Bower | 1/4/2014

    " Short but very comprehensive. I didn't crack any codes, but I was never good at that. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Joe Hilley | 1/2/2014

    " This book started well, but then the writing became awkward with a lot of jumping ahead in time, then coming back, which destroyed the chronology of the book and made it hard to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meltha | 12/9/2013

    " A biography of da Vinci written from the point of view not of an art historian or "da Vinci code" expert, but a biologist. This is da Vinci the scientist. The man was, without a doubt, brilliant. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Patrick | 12/7/2013

    " A fascinating person, but this book is tough to get through, since Sherwim Nuland is not a professional biographer or historian. He gave it a good effort, though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 12/4/2013

    " I liked this short, focused biography; it made me think. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 K8e | 11/27/2013

    " Written for art historians/serious art scholars. It's got a little interesting info, whole lotta boring. You might need a dictionary while reading this one too... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Judy | 9/24/2013

    " What a mind, true genius!!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Peregrine 12 | 11/19/2012

    " I learned a LOT about Da Vinci by reading this little book. Fun to read, fun to think about. Surprise yourself! Get a copy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alice Verberne | 9/2/2012

    " Interesting information about the life of the artist. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Helen | 7/12/2012

    " A fairly good, albeit not very comprehensive, biography of the great artist (and then-some). A bit distracting because it goes back and forth in time, but a pretty good first introduction. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Melody | 7/11/2012

    " Thin, short and not particularly compelling. I understand that there isn't much biographical information available, and I think Nuland gave it the old college try, but this just didn't work for me. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Emily | 3/22/2012

    " I didn't really enjoy this book as I did many others. It just didn't grab my attention. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 John | 5/7/2011

    " Mostly a lot of, "Wow, wasn't Leonardo AMAZING!!!" Focused largely on his studies of anatomy, which I hadn't known much about. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alice | 1/17/2011

    " Interesting information about the life of the artist. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Peregrine 12 | 12/23/2010

    " I learned a LOT about Da Vinci by reading this little book. Fun to read, fun to think about. Surprise yourself! Get a copy. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Joe | 11/2/2010

    " This book started well, but then the writing became awkward with a lot of jumping ahead in time, then coming back, which destroyed the chronology of the book and made it hard to read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 John | 9/30/2010

    " Mostly a lot of, "Wow, wasn't Leonardo AMAZING!!!" Focused largely on his studies of anatomy, which I hadn't known much about. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 8/25/2010

    " I liked this short, focused biography; it made me think. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Helen | 7/29/2010

    " A fairly good, albeit not very comprehensive, biography of the great artist (and then-some). A bit distracting because it goes back and forth in time, but a pretty good first introduction. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 K8e | 11/4/2009

    " Written for art historians/serious art scholars. It's got a little interesting info, whole lotta boring. You might need a dictionary while reading this one too... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meltha | 6/6/2009

    " A biography of da Vinci written from the point of view not of an art historian or "da Vinci code" expert, but a biologist. This is da Vinci the scientist. The man was, without a doubt, brilliant. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Melody | 3/18/2009

    " Thin, short and not particularly compelling. I understand that there isn't much biographical information available, and I think Nuland gave it the old college try, but this just didn't work for me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Judy | 7/29/2007

    " What a mind, true genius!!! "

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About the Author
Author Sherwin B. Nuland

Sherwin B. Nuland, MD, is clinical professor of surgery at Yale, where he also teaches bioethics and medical history. In addition to his numerous articles for medical publications, he has written for the New Yorker, New Republic, New York Times, Time, and New York Review of Books. He writes a regular column for American Scholar entitled The Uncertain Art. He lives in Connecticut with his family.

About the Narrator

Scott Brick, an acclaimed voice artist, screenwriter, and actor, has performed on film, television, and radio. He attended UCLA and spent ten years in a traveling Shakespeare company. Passionate about the spoken word, he has narrated a wide variety of audiobooks and won over fifty AudioFile Earphones Awards and several of the prestigious Audie Awards. He was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine and the Voice of Choice for 2016 by Booklist magazine.