Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs, (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011)
This is the biography that Steve Jobs himself authorized and supported by granting Isaacson many interviews and allowing Isaacson to interview both friends and foes, former and current employees of Apple. And Isaacson was thorough. The book isn’t some sugar-coated all positive biography, but rather a well-researched and accurate picture of a very complex and often mystifying man, who demonstrated great genius, participated in the development of great products and built the world’s most valuable company.
I have been interested in Jobs for decades. I was an early owner of a MacIntosh computer and have continually owned Macs since not long after they came out. I met him when he was starting NeXT Computer. I have been predisposed to like him, but have long known that there were aspects of his personality that are not in the least bit appealing. He wasn’t always kind to those who worked for him, those who helped him, and even those who were members of his family.
Isaacson doesn’t pull any punches. He simply tries to tell the story. And I think he succeeded. This is an important biography. I am sure there will her many others in the decades to come. I’m sticking this one on my shelf. It is a book to which I will return again and again - not because Steve Jobs life has much to teach me about how to live my life, but because it helps me to understand the both the promise and challenge of genius.