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Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography [Hardcover]

Walter Isaacson
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (358 customer reviews)
RRP: 25.00
Price: 16.75 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

24 Oct 2011

From bestselling author Walter Isaacson comes the landmark biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. In Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography, Isaacson provides an extraordinary account of Jobs' professional and personal life.

Drawn from three years of exclusive and unprecedented interviews Isaacson has conducted with Jobs as well as extensive interviews with Jobs' family members, key colleagues from Apple and its competitors, Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography is the definitive portrait of the greatest innovator of his generation.

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Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography + Losing My Virginity + Screw It, Let's Do It: Lessons In Life (Quick Reads)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown; UK edition 2011 little,brown. White hardback version with black lettering to the spine. edition (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 (358 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,633 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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
203 of 228 people found the following review helpful
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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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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129 of 152 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent insight into a complicated man 12 Aug 2013
By Mark Pack TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
For much of Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs it is easy to forget that this is in account of a successful genius rather than a grumpy failure. Difficult, rude, intemperate, unreasonable and often quite bizarre in his behaviour towards those nominally closest to him, Steve Jobs's personality does not get an easy ride in Isaacson's highly readable book. All these flaws make the core idea at the heart of Jobs's success stand out all the more starkly: an obsessive belief in the value and power of simplicity. Simple devices, easy to use and a pleasure to have.

From that obsession with simplicity (whose roots perhaps lie in the architectural style of his home when he was a kid), came the greatness of Steve Jobs. Saving that devices should be easy to use can sound so banal you lose sight of just how rare it is to have someone run a technology company that really believes in it and makes it happen. Just look at the mess of multiple remote controls and complicated instructions that make up most people's mix of TV and related devices to see how very different a world Steve Jobs has made for computers, music devices and phones by contrast.

For such a controversial figure as Steve Jobs, and one with such a dramatic working life, Walter Isaacson understandably takes many pages to tell the story. However, for all the book's length, it moves along at a brisk pace, with the detailed research and numerous interviews melded into very clear and readable prose.

It's an excellent read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Balanced and thought provoking
I waited a long time to read this, having bought it not long after it came out. I wanted the space to come to my own conclusions and wanted to read the book on my own terms. Read more
Published 3 days ago by A Biochemist
5.0 out of 5 stars with my respect
I bought this book for my nephew and realized that I have chosen the right gift
he is very happy, I am very happy that I bought it
Published 4 days ago by Svetlana
5.0 out of 5 stars Birthday gift
It was a gift for friend of mine. He enjoys Apple. The book has pictures of Apple people, products as well. He was really pleased about it.
Published 4 days ago by Anna Skupien
5.0 out of 5 stars inspiring!
Very well written and a great inspiration from a great man. Big apple fan but this book appeals to anyone.
Published 5 days ago by P. Owen
5.0 out of 5 stars A first class biography
An excellent summary of the man and his achievements and no holds barred about how difficult he could be whether dealing with loved ones, colleagues, and competitors. Read more
Published 16 days ago by John Scott Nicolson
2.0 out of 5 stars Rushed to market :(
Great content, but the writing style makes me wonder if perhaps it was rushed to market after Jobs' death. Read more
Published 17 days ago by
5.0 out of 5 stars The genius that was Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs was a genius. This book captures his legacy in such a compelling way that I couldn't put it down. He is inspirational and we all so much to him for enriching our lives.
Published 17 days ago by Stephen Woodward
4.0 out of 5 stars The ideology behind Apple products
Many years ago I was struck by the contrast between the ruggedised computer equipment that I worked on for space or military purposes and the poorly constructed consumer products... Read more
Published 21 days ago by Neil Milmine
5.0 out of 5 stars inspiring!
Appreciate the honesty of the portrayal but wish there was a bit less forced post rationalization, especially wrt Steve's childhood
Published 28 days ago by Sherene
5.0 out of 5 stars oh my God fantastic
you feel your there with him when you read the book, his intellectual mind is amazing.
Rest in peace, dont know if we wil ever see anyone like him again
Published 1 month ago by Lara
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Half price for the Hardback..great price..BUT.. 6 13 Mar 2012
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