Elon Musk was born in Pretoria, South Africa, in 1971. His grandfather J. N. Haldeman was a staunch anti-Communist from Canada who in the nineteen-thirties and forties had been a leader of the anti-democratic and quasi-fascist Technocracy movement. (Technocrats believed that scientists and engineers should rule.) “In 1950, he decided to move to South Africa,” Isaacson writes, “which was still ruled by a white apartheid regime.” In fact, apartheid had been declared only in 1948, and the regime was soon recruiting white settlers from North America, promising restless men such as Haldeman that they could live like princes. Isaacson calls Haldeman’s politics “quirky.” In 1960, Haldeman self-published a tract, “The International Conspiracy to Establish a World Dictatorship & the Menace to South Africa,” that blamed the two World Wars on the machinations of Jewish financiers.