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Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography Hardcover – 24 Oct 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 538 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown (24 Oct. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408703742
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408703748
  • Product Dimensions: 16.6 x 5.1 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (538 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,498 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Walter Isaacson, the CEO of the Aspen Institute, has been chairman of CNN and the managing editor of Time magazine. He is the author of Benjamin Franklin: An American Life and of Kissinger: A Biography, and the coauthor of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and daughter.

Product Description


a must read (Sunday Times)

astounding (Mark Prigg Evening Standard)

richly entertaining (Toby Young Mail on Sunday)

exemplary (Michael Bywater Independent)

riveting (Tim Martin Daily Telegraph) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

* An extraordinary book which gives us a unique insight into the life and thinking of the man who has single-handedly transformed the way we live today

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Hasan Tariq TOP 500 REVIEWER on 7 April 2015
Format: Hardcover
Wow. I'm halfway through this book and, while it's well-written and interesting, I can't get over what a jerk SJ was. Yes, he was brilliant and all that. But he seemed to view other humans as nothing more than ants in his ant farm, sub-biologicals that he could squish whenever he felt like it. And did.

Some might say that his gifts to tech development, or the fact that he changed and invented whole industries, would compensate. Maybe the two things went together, cruelty and brilliance.

But the lesson to be drawn here, future CEOs, isn't that his cruelty fed his brilliance! He was aware of the pain he was causing other people, yet like so many other cruel, overbearing, harsh, thoughtless and petulant overlords, he was very thin-skinned. Also, I don't believe that his often-cited sense of abandonment, from having been put up for adoption, justifies his behaviour.

He was, as the author put it, "bratty." Jobs would fiddle with design changes to the point of driving his team mad. A thousand different variations of white weren't satisfactory. He wanted a new colour to be invented, regardless of the damage done to the roll out of the new object.

As I said, I'm only halfway through the book. Hopefully there'll be some positive info about SJ that will balance out some of the negativity I've spelled out. I'll finish this review when I finish the book.

April, 15 2015: I finished the book. Here are the rest of my thoughts.

Isaacson makes an interesting point when he says Jobs was a genius. He means genius not in terms of a high IQ, but in terms of an ability to see things in surges of intuition, inspiration, and creativity. Because of his genius, I agree that Jobs deserves to be included in the company of Edison, Franklin, et al.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm not in the tech industry. I don't even know much about the industry to be honest, if you asked me the guys behind Google I would need to search memory for minutes. But I am interested in Steve Jobs as a person. I watched every Apple event in the 2000s, his main interviews, and read some-good-some-bad stories about him. He was a character and as someone who is interested in psychology I was curious to learn more about this man; how he thinks, what might be the reasons behind his actions and decisions..etc The book does a great job giving you all you want to know about Steve. By the half-way with what you learned about him in the first half, you can take some guesses on how Steve will react to the new events in his life.

The best part of the book was it is an honest book. I don't like biographies that show people as a superhero or saint who never ever do any mistakes or don't hurt anybody. Nobody is perfect and I like to learn about the imperfections about someone when I read their biographies. This book does this incredibly well. There is Steve Jobs in the book, with his very talented side, his weaknesses, his mistakes, his maturing as a person over the years, his quirky side.

The only warning I think I should give is there are a lot of full names in the book. Which is actually great for those interested in the tech industry, it's informative and can be used as a reference book. For those like me who are not that interested it gets a little hard to remember all the names and what their job was. Not that I'm complaining.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There are times when the best form of defence is attack, and Jobs, whilst having a dubious record in all kinds of areas, cannot be thought of as anything less than a brilliant strategic thinker and probably the world's greatest salesman into the bargain. As such, when cancer looked like it might claim him early, he commissioned Walter Issacson to write the version of himself that he would wish on posterity. Issacson's Jobs is selfish, petulant and devoid of any redeeming features, and this of course, is the point. Jobs undoubtedly knew any future biographer would struggle to find anything edifying to say about him, and commissioning this book was his first shot at controlling the damage that time will inflict on his compromised legacy. If stealing is so wrong, as Jobs claimed in the development of iTunes, then why did he do so much of it? From friends, competitors, colleagues and girlfriends, Jobs' lack of a moral compass meant that such scruples were not for him, but for the customers he wanted to entice. The Zen buddhist in him did not apparently stir when telling colleagues young or old that their work was 's***', or that they were 'brain-dead', but was somehow quietly at work doing all those designs we really should attribute to Jonathan Ive (even bystanders like waiters or receptionists were insulted in this way: very Zen). The hypocrisy and callousness that produced some of the most vicious and controlling systems in the world also sold them to us in the form of freedom and counter-culture, which is what makes his lies quite so astonishingly outrageous, and this book certainly lays this out for us. He must have been absolutely ghastly.Read more ›
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