Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

79%

35 Critic Reviews

It's great stuff, and the communicated thrill of work and invention brings "Steve Jobs" to life.
-LA Times

Synopsis

FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE BESTSELLING BIOGRAPHIES OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN AND ALBERT EINSTEIN, THIS IS THE EXCLUSIVE BIOGRAPHY OF STEVE JOBS.

Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.

At a time when America is seeking ways to sustain its innovative edge, and when societies around the world are trying to build digital-age economies, Jobs stands as the ultimate icon of inventiveness and applied imagination. He knew that the best way to create value in the twenty-first century was to connect creativity with technology. He built a company where leaps of the imagination were combined with remarkable feats of engineering.  

Although Jobs cooperated with this book, he asked for no control over what was written nor even the right to read it before it was published. He put nothing off-limits. He encouraged the people he knew to speak honestly. And Jobs speaks candidly, sometimes brutally so, about the people he worked with and competed against. His friends, foes, and colleagues provide an unvarnished view of the passions, perfectionism, obsessions, artistry, devilry, and compulsion for control that shaped his approach to business and the innovative products that resulted.

Driven by demons, Jobs could drive those around him to fury and despair. But his personality and products were interrelated, just as Apple’s hardware and software tended to be, as if part of an integrated system. His tale is instructive and cautionary, filled with lessons about innovation, character, leadership, and values.
 

About Walter Isaacson

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Walter Isaacson, presidente del Instituto Aspen, ha sido presidente de la CNN y director ejecutivo de la revista Time. Es autor de Einstein, su vida y su universo, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life y Kissinger: A Biography, y es coautor, con Evan Thomas, de The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made. Vive con su esposa en Washington, D.C.
 
Published October 24, 2011 by Simon & Schuster. 657 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Business & Economics, Computers & Technology, Science & Math, History. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Nov 13 2011
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Weeks as Bestseller
Bookmark Counts:
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Critic reviews for Steve Jobs
All: 35 | Positive: 29 | Negative: 6

Kirkus

Excellent
Nov 15 2011

Though the narrative could have used a tighter edit in a few places, Isaacson's portrait of this complex, often unlikable genius is, to quote Jobs, insanely great.

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Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Sam Leith on Oct 25 2011

Isaacson writes dutiful, lumbering American news-mag journalese and suffers – as did Jobs himself – from a lack of sense of proportion.

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NY Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Janet Maslin on Oct 21 2011

His story calls for a book that is clear, elegant and concise enough to qualify as an iBio. Mr. Isaacson’s “Steve Jobs” does its solid best to hit that target.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent

Isaacson's. . .gives us a great warts-and-all portrait of an entrepreneurial spirit--and one of the best accounts yet of the human side of the computer biz.

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Examiner

Above average
Reviewed by Yumin Ye on Sep 15 2012

If you are not big on technology, there are some hard to keep up parts that will make the book seem long, but they are in there so you can appreciate the whole story.

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LA Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Richard Rayner on Oct 29 2011

It's great stuff, and the communicated thrill of work and invention brings "Steve Jobs" to life.

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Entertainment Weekly

Good
Reviewed by Tina Jordan on Nov 04 2011

If occasionally workmanlike, Isaacson's massive, broadly sourced bio is thorough, filling in many gaps in Jobs' life.

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The Washington Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Michael Rosenwald on Oct 23 2011

Isaacson clearly admires Jobs. . .But he still holds his subject to task for his often boorish behavior. . .

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The Telegraph

Excellent
Reviewed by Tim Martin on Oct 27 2012

. . .a riveting book, with as much to say about the transformation of modern life in the information age as about its supernaturally gifted and driven subject. . .

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The Telegraph

Good
Reviewed by Matt Warman on Oct 24 2011

The stories of Jobs fraught rivalry with Microsoft's Bill Gates and subsequently Google's Eric Schmidt make for intriguing, much-trailed tails – but the detailed descriptions of Apple’s keynotes and publicity are equally important.

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The Independent

Excellent
Reviewed by Michael Bywater on Nov 04 2011

It's a - literally - epic story, superbly told by Isaacson with none of the breathlessness of the usual boring hatchet-faced Chief Executive's Tale.

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Huffington Post

Good
Reviewed by Barbara Ortutay on Oct 24 2011

Apple fanboys, tech geeks and encyclopedic-minded journalists will likely comb the book for previously unknown details about Jobs and Apple. (...) In the end, it's a rich portrait of one of the greatest minds of our generation.

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Washington Independent Review of Books

Excellent
Reviewed by Lawrence DeMaria

Isaacson’s biography of Jobs is likely to cost a reader more than the price of the book. By the time one is finished, there is an almost irresistible urge to rush to the nearest Apple store to buy everything in sight.

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Open Letters Monthly

Below average
Reviewed by Courtney Fiske

In the course of nearly six-hundred pages, he fails to mention the elephant in the room: Apple’s horrific track record in China, by many accounts, the worst among its peers.

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Look At OKC

Below average
Reviewed by Dennie Hall on May 27 2012

Jobs was given to temper fits and often shed tears. No one could say life around him was dull. At 627 pages, the book is far too long, and the writing is far from spectacular.

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About.com

Excellent
Reviewed by John M. Formy-Duval on Sep 01 2011

Walter Isaacson has written the best biography of the year. Steve Jobs is revealed in all his glory and with all his shortcomings.

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Independent.ie

Above average
Reviewed by Donal Lynch on Nov 21 2011

Via this lavishly illustrated tome, Isaacson has meticulously slain the popular myths of Jobs. If only grieving Apple fans could post the whole thing on Facebook.

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DNA

Good
Reviewed by Sumit Chakraberty on Nov 06 2011

Walter Isaacson's biography published soon after his death tots up the zeroes and ones in Jobs' life and work.

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The New Yorker

Excellent
Reviewed by Malcolm Gladwell on Nov 14 2011

“There are parts of his life and personality that are extremely messy, and that’s the truth,” Powell tells Isaacson. “You shouldn’t whitewash it.” Isaacson, to his credit, does not.

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The New York Review of Books

Below average
Reviewed by Sue Halpern

Artists, he seemed to believe, got a pass on bad behavior. Isaacson seems to think so, too, proving that it is possible to write a hagiography even while exposing the worst in a person.

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Entertainment Weekly

Excellent
Reviewed by Tina Jordan on Oct 24 2011

What’s important is that Isaacson has taken the complete measure of the man.

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London Evening Standard

Excellent
Reviewed by Mark Prigg on Nov 03 2011

Overall, it's a fascinating insight (...) Isaacson is a man who clearly "gets" Jobs, and has provided a fitting legacy to a flawed genius.

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Spectrum Culture

Good
Reviewed by David Harris on Dec 02 2012

Steve Jobs works as a page-turner bio telling the story of not just an entrepreneur but how his devices became such ubiquitous parts of our society.

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Management Today

Excellent
Reviewed by Rory Cellan-Jones on Dec 01 2011

Walter Isaacson has written an enthralling history of the birth of our modern digital world and the company that may have done more than any other to shape it.

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The Verge

Good
Reviewed by Laura June on Oct 27 2011

...Steve Jobs will not be the final book on the man, but it will be the only one told largely in his words, and the only one in which he had the final say on its cover. All the other books will no doubt be written by bozos who blow it.

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Technology Tell

Excellent
Reviewed by Steve Silver on Dec 21 2011

The book is a balanced, uncompromising and very entertaining look at Jobs' life and career. . .

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nj.com

Good
Reviewed by Kevin Coughlin on Nov 13 2011

Isaacson has pulled off a neat trick, refusing to sugarcoat or simplify one of the most complex, brilliant and frustrating figures in American cultural lore.

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Cult of Mac

Good
Reviewed by Leander Kahney on Oct 26 2011

Reading in detail about the ways in which Jobs was crazy can be difficult, uncomfortable, even deeply sad, but once you read Isaacson’s biography, its hard to imagine how Steve could have dented our universe any other way.

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The Loyola Law School Los Angeles, Faculty blog.

Below average
Reviewed by Jeffery Atik on Oct 08 2012

There is something off-putting when a biographer lets his subject declare (and so establish) his own importance.

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Cosmos

Excellent
Reviewed by Wilson daSilva

. . .Isaacson has done a deft job of bringing a deep, warts-and-all insight into an intriguing powerhouse of ideas, and it will probably stand as the definitive portrait.

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The National Business Reviews

Excellent
Reviewed by Chris Keall on May 05 2012

Usually, I’d rather gouge my own eyes out than read an authorised biography of a business leader. . .Now, I wish I hadn’t waited so long.

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Write Meg

Good
Reviewed by Megan on Mar 19 2012

Isaacson has created a picture of Jobs that feels authentic.

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Technorati Technology

Good
Reviewed by Wesley Allen on Nov 03 2011

If you are interested in the history of the digital age, and the emergence of digital culture, Isaacson's book is a must read.

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Gory Bowes Taylor

Good
Reviewed by Lynda GilFillan

In a consumer-crazy world that worships Mammon, Jobs’s declaration is truly inspiring: ‘I’ve never done this for the money.’ For this alone, Isaacson’s biography is a must-read.

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Daring Fireball

Below average
Reviewed by John Gruber on Feb 14 2012

There is much that is wrong with Walter Isaacson’s biography of Jobs, but its treatment of software is the most profound of the book’s flaws.

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