Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Isaacson interviewed Jobs forty times over two years, and spoke to hundreds of his colleagues and family members in order to write this insightful biography.  The Apple Computer icon asked the biographer to write the book a number so his kids, who he acknowledged not spending enough time with, would learn who he really was as a human being.  Neither Jobs nor his wife asked for any control or restrictions over what Isaacson would write; in fact, his wife of over 20 years said, ” You shouldn’t whitewash it.  He’s good at spin, but he also has a remarkable story, and I’d like to see that it’s all told truthfully.”  Driven by forces Jobs did not even seem to understand, he created as many devotees as adversaries, and can be said to be one of the creative forces behind the personal computer, digital publishing, digitally animated movies, digital music, data phones and tablet computers.

Even though I am not part of the cult of Apple, this book  was very well written and gives readers a great deal of insight into this mercurial innovator.  Jobs seemed to look at things in one of two ways:  they were insanely great, or just pure s**t. (His words, not mine.)  And he never held anything back, making him a brilliant but rather difficult man to work for or with.  If he hurt people’s feelings, he simply told them that  this is the way he is, he couldn’t change.  At the same time, this was the man who was known to cry at meetings when his feelings were hurt. This bizarre dichotomy is just one if the aspects of Steve Jobs that makes him so interesting to contemporary readers.  I recommend this biography for students of contemporary culture, computer geeks like me, and anyone trying to understand the zealous devotion of many Apple users.

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