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Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography [Kindle Edition]

Walter Isaacson
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (437 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Review

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)

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

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2349 KB
  • Print Length: 568 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0349139598
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group (24 Oct. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408703742
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408703748
  • ASIN: B005J3IEZQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (437 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #5,055 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
209 of 236 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Steve is the star in a rushed, balanced biography 26 Oct. 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
As an avid tech news fan, and Steve admirer, I couldn't wait for the release and quickly finished the book in two days. Steve, not Isaacson, is the shining star and his life makes for a fascinating story regardless of who is telling it. Steve's accomplishments, boldness, twists and turns, wisdom, intelligence, abrasiveness and intuition all contribute to intriguing reading. However, how good a job did Isaacson do?

Isaacson's job was "fair" for a couple of reasons. On the plus side, Isaacson appeared mainly objective in describing Steve, which is an important and difficult task, giving the controversial nature of someone like Steve. Isaacson, reveals both Steve's brilliant and ugly sides (I was a bit skeptical Steve would insist on a biography only painting him in a positive light). It was great to see his human side and get an understanding of Steve's polarized personality.

However, it was a little frustrating how much Isaacson re-told of which was already out there. I knew much of what he wrote about Steve - elements of his business strategy, dealings and philosophies and the Apple products he helped create and market. Most of the book's contents I was aware of through watching his keynotes, AllThingsD interviews, Stanford address and reading the articles about him on Wired, Time and other tech news sites. In fact, Isaacson often used such sources which I found slightly disappointing - like getting second hand info. On the bright side, I have not noticed any contradiction in these sources with Isaacson's version of Steve - it's accurate.

Having said this, Isaacson does give a fair amount of novel insight into Steve's family life, relationships and younger years which is not readily available through other sources.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars flawed 2 Aug. 2014
By tallmanbaby TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is not an easy book to review, perhaps because it is really two books roughly glued together. The first book tells the story of Steve Jobs and the setting up of Apple and how it came to become one of the iconic brands of our time. The second books tells of the slow death from cancer of someone the author is clearly a close friend of. Unfortunately the first book is much the better of the two, and while the second seeks to maintain its dispassionate, warts and all account of Jobs, the author is clearly far to close to his subject, hanging out with his family and friends, to be objective. He is totally within the famed Jobs reality distortion field.

It is easy enough to see why Jobs chose Isaacson to pen an authorised biography. The man is whip smart, he knows his stuff, this is no mere hack job. There are only a few apple trivia items I would query, the iPod does not connect via Firewire, strictly speaking it is not an MP3 player either and iCloud is far from the triumph that the book paints, in truth it is little better than MobileMe was.

I started the book as a huge Apple and Jobs fan, and the book provides a far more warts and all approach than the upbeat Steven Levy book Insanely Great. However the book really made me dislike Jobs. Although being consistently rude to folk paid a fraction of what you are, does not make you Hitler, it is fairly inexcusable. To borrow the terminology from the Bob Sutton book, Jobs was not just an ‘armhole’ he was the whole jumper. The Apple ethos of minimalism and informality increasingly seemed to be an ostentatious gimmick, while Jobs burned through mountains of cash and burnt out employees on arty minimalist vanity projects.

I would give the first half of the book five stars, the second scrapes two stars.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mildly disappointing 15 Aug. 2013
By Fonaweb
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
After so much hype, I was really expecting a riveting read here but Apple followers will be a bit let down. The first two thirds of the book cover (obviously) identical ground to iCon (the previous comprehensive biography) and really don't add anything to that. The remaining third is really a whizz through the years of triumph without a lot of the juice, especially in the battles with the music companies which I recall were much more fraught and brutal than depicted here, with not too much fly on the wall dialogue. It's a record - but that's it.
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131 of 154 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Flawed man, Flawed autobiography 28 Oct. 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was eagerly anticipating this biography. Steve Jobs is a man who has fascinated me for many years and I looked forward into gaining an insight into the man who has had such a big effect on the modern world. Another reason why this biography was so potentially interesting was that it was authorised by a man who for a long time was intensely private, but was now facing his own mortality.

The book itself is written by famed biographer Walter Isaacson, who had previously written critically acclaimed biographies of Einstein and Benjamin Franklin. However interestingly this is the first time he had written one about a living person, especially one he knew well.

The biography itself starts off promisingly with a description of Steve Jobs early life, his adoption, his immersion in the counter culture and the early days of Apple. I think what is most fascinating is the ability for someone like Jobs to just walk into a job with no qualifications or experience, which shows a lot about Silicon Valley in those days. As the story unfolds we see the other side of Jobs, the petulant individual who could antagonise as much as inspire. It becomes clear that one of Jobs talents was his ability to understand the motivations and weaknesses of an individual. However he as often as not used that ability to destroy as much as achieve.

The story moves on to the breakup with Apple, his creation of NeXT and Pixar and his triumphant return to Apple. It is at that point that I feel the autobiography looses steam. The description of his success at Apple could have been written just as well by someone at Apple PR, and while his successes should be celebrated, there is not enough critic of the mistakes made on the way.
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