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The Creative Edge: 17 Biographies of Cultural Icons

ISBN: 978-1-118-31945-1
392 pages
January 2012, Wrightbooks
The Creative Edge: 17 Biographies of Cultural Icons (1118319451) cover image


Discover the x-factor—the driving force behind extraordinary success.

What accounts for the difference between the mega-success of Madonna and a thousand other wannabees waiting in the wings? Why did JK Rowling succeed where so many others aspiring writers have failed? And what was it about the slightly neurotic and mediocre schoolboy Sigmund Freud that ensured his position as one of the most brilliant and original thinkers in history?

In this engrossing new book, Taylor builds on his theory that feeling like an ‘outsider’ from an early age, whether consciously or subconsciously not fitting into the norm, creates an edge that can drive outstanding success in later life. To this core philosophy Taylor adds a new ingredient: that of creativity, and he explores the interplay of these two factors—a lack of belonging and creativity—in the lives of a sparkling cast of individuals. Go beyond the glitz and glamour to discover how creative energy, harnessed to produce lives and works of extraordinary genius, can often exist against a backdrop of personal struggle and despair.

From childhood outsider to adult icon, understand the journey of the following celebrities:
Brad Pitt • Elvis Presley • Frieda Kahlo • Walt Disney • Sigmund Freud • Albert Einstein • Andy Warhol • Coco Chanel • David Beckham • Dan Brown • John Lennon • Sir Edmund Hillary • JK Rowling • Angelina Jolie • Tiger Woods • Amelia Earhart • Madonna

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Table of Contents


Part One: The Cultural Icons.

1. Elvis Presley - Kinky King of Rock 'n' roll.

2. John Lennon - Troubled but Brilliant Beatle.

3. Madonna - Exhibitionist Pop Diva.

4. Angelina Jolie - Down-to-Earth Sex Goddess.

5. Brad Pitt - Celluloid Chick Magnet.

6. JK Rowling - Spellbinding Storyteller.

7. Dan Brown - Cloak-and-Dagger Heretic.

8. Andy Warhol - Eccentric Art Phenomenon.

9. Frida Kahlo - Flamboyantly Tragic Artist.

10. Albert Einstein - Physicist Who Escaped to the Cosmos.

11. Sigmund Freud - Psychoanalyst Trapped by His Own Oedipal Complex.

12. Walt Disney - Tyrannical Nostalgia Mogul.

13. Coco Chanel - Fashion Liberator.

14. Amelia Earhart - Accident-Prone Aviatrix.

15. Edmund Hillary - Everest's Unexpected Conqueror.

16. Tiger Woods- Self-Programmed Golf Wizard.

17. David Beckham - Fastidious Football Star.

Part Two: Insights.

18. The Common Factors.

19. What are Outsiders?

20. Outsiders are Made Early.

21. Intelligence and Other Advantages.

22. Creative Edge.

23. Inventing Their Own Lives.

24. Creative or Crazy?

25. Paying the Piper.

26. Ten Tips for Aspiring Cultural Icons.


Further Reading.


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Author Information

Brent D Taylor has for over 20 years run a successful business in social and market research for government and large corporations. He has an honours degree in psychology.

Brent has long been fascinated with extreme achievers and discovered that there was a lack of coherent explanation about why extreme achievers are as they are. His first book on this subject, The Outsider's Edge: The Making of Self-made Billionaires, was published in 2007. He studied famous self-made billionaires, not out of a in 2007. He studied famous self-made billionaires, not out of a fascination with getting rich, but in order to understand why they got rich and others didn't. Having successfully identified the factors that lead to extreme wealth, Brent explores what factors lead people to become cultural icons in this book.

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