'I'm not sure I could identify one single life-shattering book - my interests are too varied for that. I don't really believe in icons, 'leaders', 'champions'; at ARM we're more interested in 'we', 'us', culture and teamwork. But the book I've read that has had the biggest impact on me recently is The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B by Sandra Gulland. It's a quite fascinating book, written as a diary, about Napoleon's wife Josephine.
I'm from a science, engineering and maths background - I'd never been that interested in history at school. But this book brought home to me what a massive event the French revolution was. My wife and I had been staying at a French chateau, she was reading the book, and it turned out that a large part of the chateau had been destroyed during that period. I realised just what the revolution had done, what the guillotine meant and so on. It really wasn't so very long ago.
Sandra Gulland really has written a wonderful book. In fact, I've just been given the follow-up, Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe as an anniversary present.'