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Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography Hardcover – 24 Oct 2011

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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: 16.3 x 5.1 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (484 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,102 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

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) --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

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Hasan Tariq TOP 1000 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E.S. on 2 Dec. 2014
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Fonaweb on 15 Aug. 2013
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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209 of 237 people found the following review helpful By Tp Mayne on 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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