In vividly describing the life and times of Leonardo Da Vinci, Isaacson was incredibly thorough in his research and insightful in his analysis, providing copious references for the serious student but keeping the text accessible and enjoyable to the casual reader. In dealing with Leonardo's amazing works of art, science and engineering, and the fascinating context of the Italian Renaissance, Isaacson has written a truly enjoyable story that both educates and inspires. (For example: most of those amazing engineering plans for flying machines etc. were actually just designs for props for theatrical amusements.) I highly recommend this richly illustrated and masterfully written book.