This is Ray Monk's biography of Ludwig Wittgenstein, one of the most famous philosophers of the 20th Century. Wittgenstein was born in 1889 to one of the wealthiest families in Vienna, Austria, but from an early age felt drawn into pondering philosophical questions like, for instance, "Why should one tell the truth if it's to one's advantage to tell a lie?"
Though drawn to philosophy, he first obtained a degree in aeronautics at the Technical University in Berlin and subsequently went to Manchester, England, to further his aeronautical studies. There he was introduced to Bertrand Russell's work in logic and mathematics and became increasingly obsessed with it. He later became Russell's protege at the famous University of Cambridge in England but grew to despise academic life and to seek isolation in rural environs instead to work out his own thoughts on the subjects that interested him.