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The Most Productive People in History: 18 Extraordinarily Prolific Inventors, Artists, and Entrepreneurs, From Archimedes to Elon Musk
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The Most Productive People in History: 18 Extraordinarily Prolific Inventors, Artists, and Entrepreneurs, From Archimedes to Elon Musk

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  196 ratings  ·  19 reviews
They never knew how he did it. Few composers write more than one or two symphonies in their lifetimes. Beethoven spent a year on his shorter symphonies but more than six years on his 9th Symphony. But Georg Philipp Telemann composed at least 200 overtures in a two-year period. Over his lifetime Telemann's oeuvre consists of more than 3,000 pieces, although “only” 800 survi ...more
Kindle Edition, 238 pages
Published April 29th 2015 by Five Minute Books
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Start your review of The Most Productive People in History: 18 Extraordinarily Prolific Inventors, Artists, and Entrepreneurs, From Archimedes to Elon Musk
Oct 11, 2015 rated it liked it
At least five people that I was not expecting to make it to this list. It is sad that we do not have more than one living example from this list (Elon Musk). Theodore Roosevelt is the most amazing person and i always admired his reading habits - five books per week throughout his life. Thomas Alva Edison's sleeping habits are legendary. All these people had some things in common : highly motivated, looked at the big picture, great leaders, focused on whatever they did and finally rose early, pac ...more
Víctor Cid
El libro trata de comprimir las vidas de 18 grandes genios de la historia, hablando de sus grandes éxitos, de sus excentricidades, etc. Algunos autodidactas, otros con una estricta organización, lo que parece común a todos ellos es su enorme dedicación a la lectura para cultivar su intelecto.
Vicki Smith
May 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Composed of a series of poignant and sometimes humorous stories, very quality writing by this author. A great way to prevent yourself from making these mistakes is to become aware of them and to be able to recognize when you are doing them. For each of these mistakes, I will briefly touch upon WHY they are counterproductive despite how they may seem. I have to admit it: I like bright, alot can be learn from these individuals. DISCLOSURE: I received this product for free in exchange for an unbias ...more
Mohamed Shehab
Dec 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: biographies, history
The book is very well defined. However, the choices of the author was based most probably on the most prolific people in the history, not the most influential people and even regardless the quality of their production. So i suppose that there should be some names in this book who the author didn't take in consideration. ...more
Hester Maree
Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: historical
Although this book of interesting facts reads a bit like an encyclopedia I think, in fairness, it would have been challenging to write it in any other way than devoting a chapter to each person. The choice of 18 inventors, artists and entrepreneurs through the ages is daunting and would probably vary greatly depending on one’s own idea of which productive people most influenced our world.
The author includes Archimedes, Isaac Newton, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, Elon Musk (fascinating stuff)
Miguel Sanchez Ruiz
El libro intenta hacer una reseña biográfica de los personajes y durante el trayecto mencionar cuales son los hábitos de productividad de cada uno de los personajes, mencionando cuales son sus éxitos, en que momento de su vida los obtuvieron, los hábitos y que repercusiones tuvieron en la vida del personaje.
Retoma personajes importantes como Da Vinci o Musk, sin embargo no es muy claro con el proceso productivo de muchos personajes y tiende a redundar en muchos de ellos, sin embargo, te mantiene
Riley Busch
May 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
i re-read parts of this book when I'm feeling mentally uninspired or "lost" in terms of goals and focus. It immediately inspires me to get up and DO SOMETHING, whatever it is. I like that it touches on a combination of people that I knew of and those that I didn't and was written in a way that made them all fascinating, albeit a little crazy. Good way to learn a little about a lot of people without having to read a full length biography on each. ...more
Oct 29, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Es una recopilacion de vidas de personajes conocidos (otros no tanto), con vidas productivas documentadas. Una extensa bibliografía. No lo recomiendo mucho, hay otros libros que pueden servir mejor a este propósito.
Hoàng Hưng
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great book for workaholic want-to-be,
Kamil Kuryś
May 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
Don't expect this book to change your life or work ethic - most likely it won't. But if you don't do that then it can be a very pleasurable read for a lazy saturday afternoon. Solid 3.5-4 stars. ...more
Kian Moini
Nov 19, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chad Gagnon
Jan 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Overall, largely interesting glimpse into some famous figures throughout history. Surprised to not see more of the American Titans on this list, like Carnegie, Vanderbilt, or Rockefeller.
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very enjoyable book, Michael is a great writer and got me hooked on Richard Burton .
Cynthia Feenstra
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
Read this for book club. 14 of us all thought the same thing. It was poorly written, read like an encyclopedia, and failed to inspire any of us. We couldn't understand the reviews. ...more
Ken Hamner
Jul 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Fairly interesting book. Not as informative as I expected.
Adam Sadie
Feb 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Solid book with stories of successful people and their daily agenda and drive throughout years
Waseem Ahmed
Sep 15, 2015 rated it liked it

Enjoyed reading the biographies of various productive people in history. I enjoyed getting to know Archimedes,Thomas Edison,Isaac Asimov,Napoleon Bonaparte and most of all Elon Musk(must read a detailed book on him).I was fascinated by Ibn Sina and now i want to read his most famous work 'The Book Of Healing'. This book was good. However I could not understand the last part of the book as it dealt more with Christian teachings(no offence).
Timothy Mulroy
Aug 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Excellent look into an eclectic and diverse group of productive people. I'm not sure I would have grouped them in the same way as it made certain sections a little dry but I definitely gleaned some nice insight into efficiency vs effectiveness. ...more
Jay Ranton
Jun 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-help, nonfiction
Great book, no rif raff just the facts. Very very challenging
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Feb 27, 2019
Anders Vandenberg
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Roberto Orona
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Feb 10, 2018
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Dec 18, 2018
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Jan 28, 2017
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Jun 18, 2015
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Jan 03, 2017
Yana Busko
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Mar 28, 2019
S V Chalapathy Rao
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Nov 26, 2015
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Oct 30, 2016
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Michael Rank is a doctoral candidate in Middle East history. He has studied Turkish, Arabic, Persian, and Armenian, but can still pull out a rural Midwestern accent if need be. He also worked as a journalist in Istanbul for nearly a decade and reported on religion and human rights.

He is the author of the #1 Amazon best seller “From Muhammed to Burj Khalifa: A Crash Course in 2,000 Years of Middle

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“Roosevelt's productivity resulted from how he chose to spend his time. He read frequently due to his belief that efficiency did not come from packing in scheduled activities down to every last minute of the day. Rather, it was through the regular feeding of his intellect. Even during the height of a presidential campaign, he packed in nearly four hours of reading a day. He enjoyed works of fiction, science, political philosophy, and history. One can imagine a nervous political aide bursting in his study, telling Roosevelt to put down his copy of Cicero because he was scheduled to begin the day's fourth speech in only two minutes. Researcher Robert Talbert notes that a second explanation for Roosevelt's productivity was his method of splitting up his schedule. His reading times were broken up into 45 minute-increments, divided between three half-hour time slots and three one-hour time slots. There is no way that Roosevelt could have known this, but such a segmented approach to reading is the best way for the brain to retain information. A 2008 study from the University of Illinois found that the brain's attentional resources drop after a long period of focusing on a single activity. Even brief diversions can significantly increase one's ability to focus on a task for a long period of time.” 5 likes
“Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.” 3 likes
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