Jay Connor's Reviews > Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
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Dec 01, 11

Read in December, 2011

“If you are not busy being born, you are busy dying.” Consistent with the bittersweet tone of this entire book, Walter Isaacson uses these Bob Dylan lyrics eulogistically to sum up an utterly creative man who revolutionized six industries – personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing and digital publishing – yet, died way too young.

This is the biography Isaacson was born to write. Though an adequate historian (“Franklin” and “Einstein”), it is Isaacson’s grounding in today’s society that make him such an effective Boswell for Jobs. It took an editor of Time and CNN to fully comprehend the impact, well beyond technology, that Steve Jobs has had on our times. A classic example of a premier historian so totally wrong for another man truly of his times is Edmund Morris’ abject failure as Ronald Reagan’s biographer. Perhaps an historian cannot bring adequate context to contemporary transformations.

Isaacson appropriately revives Gina Kolata’s 1980’s term of “magical genius” in reflecting on Steve Jobs. Jobs was not a great human being, husband or father. But it is hard to imagine a more creative force on the globe since the introduction of the Apple I in the mid-1970’s. We are blessed to have shared this earthly journey with him. Steve Jobs reminds us of our most unique human freedom, or as his idol, Walt Disney, said: “If you can dream it, you can do it.”
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