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New book delves into what drives Elon Musk’s galactic ambition and abrasive genius 

When the global financial crash hit in 2008, Elon Musk’s business empire was left on the brink of collapse.

His rocket business SpaceX had seen three catastrophic launch failures. His electric car manufacturer Tesla was haemorrhaging cash, with 18 per cent of its workforce laid off.

The $200 million (£159 million) he made from the sale of PayPal to Ebay six years earlier was almost all gone. 

Musk’s girlfriend, British actress Talulah Riley, said he would wake up at night screaming and seemingly in physical pain.

‘That was definitely the worst year of my life,’ Musk has said. 

‘I remember waking up and thinking, ‘Man, I never, ever thought I was someone who would be capable of a nervous breakdown. Damn! This is the closest I’ve ever come.’ It seemed pretty dark.’

With much of his personal…

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