Steve Jobs
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Steve Jobs

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  175,701 ratings  ·  10,916 reviews
From best-selling 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 me...more
Hardcover, 656 pages
Published October 24th 2011 by Simon & Schuster (first published January 1st 2011)
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Stephanie
Steve Jobs was a damn dirty hippie.

He didn't much like to shower or wear shoes. He believed his diet kept him from getting stinky, not true apparently. In fact he was quite odd and obsessive about his diets, he would go on kicks where he would eat nothing but carrots for long periods of time until he turned orange (maybe John Boehner is on this diet, no pretty sure it's Cheetos). This makes me wonder if these strange eating habits brought on his cancer. Who can say.

Steve Jobs was an asshat.

He w...more
Lisa
There are three things necessary for a great biography:

1. A compelling subject
2. An engaging narrative
3. Accuracy

Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs has all three.

Steve Jobs was a fascinating person whose powerful personality and extraordinary life make for a very compelling read. He revolutionized many different technological and entertainment industries by successfully blending technology and the liberal arts, giving consumers products they didn't even know they wanted. He was able to defy reality by...more
Ms Bubbles SockieP
This is a fantastically well-written and exhaustive biography of a brilliant, if flawed, man, with no holds barred. Jobs great achievement was to marry an uncompromisingly zen creativity to electronically-advanced products when all around built boxes. The art of form following function taken to its extreme, where even the innards are as beautiful as the case, has an authenticity that appeals to all (even those who won't pay for an Apple product).

They say that when you are dying you regret not wh...more
Lynne Spreen
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, that he changed and invented whole industries, would compensate. Maybe the two things went together, cruelty and brilliance.

But the lesson to be...more
karen
Nov 10, 2011 karen marked it as oh-dear
so, we are having the event for this book at our store tonight. the number of people calling up to ask if steve jobs will also be present to sign is staggering. in other words, "i care enough about steve jobs to want to read a 600+ page book about him, but i am somehow unaware that he is deceased."

is what i hope. the alternative is ghoulish and i do not want to entertain it.
3Jane Tessier-Ashpool
My background is as a post-1979 punk rocker. So naturally I view all dope-gorging smelly long hair Dylan-worshiping hippies with a certain amount of suspicion and disdain.

The author shows, on a page-by-page basis, what an insufferable asshole Steve Jobs was. I'm not exaggerating. But the book left me wondering: why? how did he become this way?

The book is fairly well researched, but except for a precious few anecdotes about his youth, very little is said about his upbringing. I'd really like to k...more
Otis Chandler
This is an amazing inside view into the life of one of the great businessmen of our era. A must read.

The thing that struck me most about Steve Jobs was that he was an incredible perfectionist. He was a craftsman, and wanted the computers he built to be beautiful and amazing and useful. He believed that computers were "at the intersection of technology and liberal arts" - a phrase he used a lot - because he realized computers weren't just for geeks. They are for everyone, and needed to be able t...more
Riku Sayuj
Feb 02, 2014 Riku Sayuj rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Riku by: Amit Haralalka
Shelves: biographies, r-r-rs

Never expected to find this much enjoyment reading a biography. Isaacson has truly done a wonderful job with this book.

For those who are too busy to read the entire book, please try to grab a quick read of the last two chapters of the book at a book store or airport or someplace - These chapters are a concise summary of the entire book as well as the thesis Isaacson builds up to throughout the book. Besides, it will probably make you buy and read the whole thing anyway.

To call this man a "Great...more
Peter
Nov 17, 2011 Peter added it
Executive summary of Isaacson's "Steve Jobs":

- Remove everything that is unnecessary.
- Be ruthless about building an A team.
- Make stuff you believe in.
- Collaborate often through vigorous discussion.
- Push yourself and others to do the impossible now.
- Make great experiences by simplifying.
- Own your work and protect it.
- Live at intersection of intellect and intuition.

But these are not spoilers. The drama of this biography is in the decisions Jobs' made, the way he followed through on these id...more
Barbara
I downloaded the e-book on my iPad (quite fitting) Sun. night and stayed up until the very wee hours reading (on a work night, no less). Isaacson's writing style is very engaging and, at least so far, he seems to be embarking on a no holds barred, honest portrayal of this very admired, feared, respected, despised, controversial titan of industry.
As a college senior in '85, watching the iconic "1984" commercial, reading all about SJ & Woz and how they wanted to "change the world", I made it...more
Katie
Oops! The publishers forgot to include a subtitle, so I've taken the liberty of helping them come up with one. May I suggest:

Steve Jobs: Unrelenting Narcissist, Suspected Sociopath and Giant Fucking Asshole

Isaacson writes a great biography: He tells a coherent, cohesive story, he interviews all the players and most important he doesn't feel the need to hoist his subject on a pedestal with his pen. When it comes to carrying a story, our author did all the right things.

His subject, however, left m...more
Jane
I'm still not entirely sure what to think. I keep flipflopping between annoyed/disgusted and inspired.

I applaud Isaacson for putting a masterful bio together without succumbing to the Reality Distortion Field and vomiting out a piece of Jobs-worship like some Apple/Steve-related books out there. I also really appreciate all these little anecdotes, some that I have seen before and others that are new and all the more enjoyable, that people that knew and interacted with Steve shared in one way or...more
Zac
In a way, I regard this book as a balanced biography. Even though Walter Isaacson is apparently unsatisfied with having gotten all of Steve Jobs's shaft into his mouth and spends a lot of time sucking on Jobs's balls, his recounting of Steve Jobs's behavior left me unavoidably with the impression that Steve Jobs was a world-class asshole. Jobs is presented as so much of a whining, pathetic bully that I find myself glad that he died of pancreatic cancer, and I also find myself regretting that he...more
William
I am a little surprised this book ended up being such a disappointment. Walter Isaacson just doesn't know that much about the tech industry and, despite the opportunity and access, didn't learn enough to make it interesting. The one saving grace was the participation of Steve Jobs, his friends, and family, and this alone rescues the book from a lower rating.

Granted, this biography is meant for a mass audience, not someone who is a regular listener of Apple podcasts (yes, like me). The early cha...more
Nawal Al-Qussyer
قرأته قبل شهرين، ولعلي أتذكر انطباعي التام عنه وأنا أكتب المراجعة متأخرة

هذا الكتاب هو كما يبدو، سيرة ذاتية للراحل ستيف جوبز الغني عن التعريف، طلب ستيف من والتر أن يكتب سيرته الذاتية، وكان صريحا فيها تماما وكان يقول له أكتب ماتريده وماقلته ولن أقوم بقراءة السيرة أصلا.
ذهلت كثيرا عند قراءتي لسيرته.لأسباب عديدة
كان كتاب طويلاومليء بالمواقف المهمة والأخرى الغير مهمة، والأخرى التي تفضح لك شخصية ستيف بدون أي محسنات

ذهللت كثيرا من الصراحة التامة ، وظهور ستيف جوبز كما هو، بدون تلميع للصورة وبدون أي تبجيل...more
Jeffrey Keeten
I was a little surprised when Steve Jobs died that I actually had an emotional reaction of loss. He was always such a warrior for technological evolution, conceiving products that we didn't know we needed until we held them in our hands. I didn't know I needed an iPod, now I can't travel anywhere without slipping 13,000 songs into my pocket. I now have a playlist for any situation, a wedding, a long drive, robbing a bank, meditation etc. What was so unique about Jobs was that he was a creative p...more
Tressa
I knew that I would enjoy this book after reading the first few pages, but it far exceeded my expectations. I love learning the history behind products that I use or am familiar with, and Walter Isaacson's book lays out the history of every product Steve Job's is responsible for.

Laurene Powell, Jobs' wife, told Isaacson that she didn't want her husband's life whitewashed, and he certainly didn't. Along with Steve the brilliant innovator who knew how to bring together an A-list team of loyal emp...more
Andy Matuschak
Isaacson's book reads just like a Time Magazine. I hate Time Magazine.

He prefers telling to showing in his prose, reminds us of his theses whenever they apply, and conveys emotion via bludgeoning, shallow diction. It's that last point that most bothers me, since it leaked into his disappointing performance as an interviewer as well: for instance, he notes dozens of times that someone wept after some event but does not follow up with questions of "why? would you have reacted that way now? how do...more
Chrissie
I liked this book very, very much. We all have heard about Steve Jobs, but he is in fact a person even more magnetic than all the wild tidbits you have heard before. Isaacson never white-washes the man. You get something very close to the truth. This man was inconsiderate, down-right mean and often obnoxious, and yet at the same time he had magnetism, a force that is inspiring. He went after his goals, and he never shied from stating an unpleasant truth. He and his company stood for beautiful pr...more
Jeannette
This book was a fun read for me. Read my review on my blog
Jeanette (Most of My Favorite Authors Are Dead)
Walter Isaacson often uses the word "prickly" in reference to Steve Jobs's personality and management style. Remove the "ly" and you'll be closer to the truth. 'Nuff said.
J
I saw Walter Isaacson on the Charlie Rose Show, and bought the book with reservations since I had previously read his biography of Einstein where I found the author's concern with minutiae annoying and his writing style lack-luster at times. This didn't happen so much with Steve Jobs' Biography.

I recall Isaacson stating rather early in the book that he might be accused of writing something apologetic and perhaps maybe even stand accused of being under the spell of one of the most influential pe...more
Jeff Yoak
I'm going to post my blog entry on this in its entirety, even though it covers thoughts not strictly related just to the biography, but the biography inspired it all.

I recently finished reading Steve Jobs, the well-written and extensive biography by Walter Issacson. Apple's products, and accordingly Steve Jobs, have made a big impact in my life. First and foremost, computers add a lot more to my life than they would have without the products Apple makes, but also they've influenced my thinking a...more
Kara
Fascinating bio of an American tech icon. I had known he was the notoriously difficult CEO of Apple and Pixar, but I knew little of his actual personal history. I enjoyed uncovering the Fifty Shades of Jobs - who knew he was a barefoot, bearded, unblinking vegan hippie at 17? Anecdotes about his refusal to shower and his inevitable BO being a professional problem were priceless (so contrary to my initial expectations). Yet as an obsessive perfectionist, motivator, visionary, product man...it's m...more
Michael
I started this book with two questions: Was Steve Jobs an asshole? And if so... did he need to be to accomplish what he did?

Having just finished it, I don't have a good answer to either question. In fact both seem foolishly simplistic given this rich, sweeping, detailed, and intimate depiction a truly remarkable man's life experience.

What I learned about Steve Jobs is that he was very good at some things, and very bad at others. Among the things he was very good at, his true genius lay in his ab...more
Linda
Since his death in October, those of us who use Apple products and/or have a strong interest in technology have read various obituaries, tributes in blogs, and reviews of the Isaacson book. Like other books by Isaacson I have read over the years, this book is beautifully written, very well documented, honest in its criticism and praise of Jobs, and really compelling. The end is of course very sad, no matter how you may have felt about Jobs as a human being. He was both a creative genius and a ve...more
Vaman
Walter Isaacson is without a doubt everyone's favorite cherubic imp if only for his mastery of plural form of cherub, cherubim. Felt, at times, that I was reading words from a kindly yet still sharp aging European fairy tale writer. Isaacson, with an impish glance askew, picks out characteristics in people the way your grandfather might: either enveloping them in a warm but fair embrace, bringing them within inches of cherubic face while still rapping them gently for relinquished responsibilitie...more
أشرف فقيه
لم أشعر بالحزن حين مات ستيف جوبز، لكني استشعرت الفقد وفداحة الخسارة حين وصلت لنهاية هذه السيرة التي تستعرض حياة أحد أهم الشخصيات التي صنعت ملامح حياتنا المعاصرة.
لقد كان جوبز شخصية فذة واستثنائية‘ في فهمه للحياة وفي فرضه لنمط من الإدارة والتصميم، في مجالات الحوسبة والاتصال والأفلام والموسيقى، تركت بصمة لا تمحى علينا جميعاً.
تم تأليف هذه السيرة بتكليف من جوبز نفسه الذي عرف أن السرطان لن يمهله فأراد أن يترك لأبنائه.. وللعالم أيضاً وصفاً لحياته الحافلة القصيرة.
أسلوب الكاتب رائع جداً وغير ممل بالرغم م...more
Connie
Are you a fan of APPLE? Do you hate APPLE? Did you admire Steve Jobs? Did you hate Steve Jobs? No matter your answers, you *really* should read this book. There have been things about APPLE I always disliked. This book made me turn many of these things into things I no longer dislike, but also into things I now understand and yes, even admire. There was many many things I learned in here that I had no clue about. There is no way I think you can read this book and not just totally be in awe of Jo...more
Michael
Entertaining and almost always fascinating, if not particularly deep or insightful. More the superficial portrait that is probably inescapable so soon after the subject's demise. More penetrating bios will, I suspect, have to wait, and will have a more selective focus.

Because it is clear other bios will have to be written: Jobs is a fascinating character, at once an admirable visionary and complete unapologetic brat asshole. Clearly the products he oversaw/drove the creation of are mostly the c...more
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Walter Isaacson lives in Washington, DC, where he is the president and CEO of the Aspen Institute. He is the author of acclaimed, best-selling biographies of Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, and Henry Kissinger.
More about Walter Isaacson...
Einstein: His Life and Universe Benjamin Franklin: An American Life The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made Kissinger Einstein: The Life of a Genius

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“One way to remember who you are is to remember who your heroes are.” 206 likes
“If you want to live your life in a creative way, as an artist, you have to not look back too much. You have to be willing to take whatever you’ve done and whoever you were and throw them away. The more the outside world tries to reinforce an image of you, the harder it is to continue to be an artist, which is why a lot of times, artists have to say, “Bye. I have to go. I’m going crazy and I’m getting out of here.” And they go and hibernate somewhere. Maybe later they re-emerge a little differently. (Steve Jobs)” 128 likes
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