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Steve Jobs | [Walter Isaacson]

Steve Jobs

Based on more than 40 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.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential - Much has been written about Apple’s late CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs, but Walter Isaacson’s definitive bio is the only one authorized by Jobs himself. Based on interviews with Jobs and the people closest to him – including his wife and kids – this is an honest, revealing look at one of the greatest innovators of our time (and revolutionaries in the way we listen to books). — Diana M.

Publisher's Summary

Featuring a new epilogue read by the author.

From the author of the best-selling biographies of Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein, this is the exclusive biography of Steve Jobs.

Based on more than 40 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 21st 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. 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.

©2011 Walter Isaacson (P)2011 Simon & Schuster

What Members Say

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  •  
    William Baton Rouge, LA, United States 02-21-12
    William Baton Rouge, LA, United States 02-21-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Inspiring, informative; grips like a soap opera!"
    If you could sum up Steve Jobs in three words, what would they be?

    Entrepreneur extraordinaire. Genius. Driven. And imperfect.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Steve Jobs?

    In the early days, Apple was in the process of inventing the mouse. Xerox had developed a device that could move up & down and left & right. Jobs insisted that it had to be able to move in any direction. Jobs learned that one of his engineers believed it would be impossible to mass produce such a device. He fired the guy the next day. If you didn't believe what you had been asked to do was possible, he didn't need you on the payroll. And he wasn't going to waste his time or yours, just letting you hang around.


    Have you listened to any of Dylan Baker’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    NA


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It was certainly moving. The descriptions of Jobs' relationships with his children -- especially his son, Reed -- were most moving for me, both in positive and negative directions.


    Any additional comments?

    This book was exceptionally well written and well read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tanisha Meriden, CT, United States 02-20-12
    Tanisha Meriden, CT, United States 02-20-12 Member Since 2014

    a lover of books and finer things

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    "Hate him or Love him, he was a force."
    Would you listen to Steve Jobs again? Why?

    Yes. The narration was wonderful and the story was so compelling that you wanted to hear the end of it. I love biographies and this was the only one I've heard so far that I would consider listening to again.


    What other book might you compare Steve Jobs to and why?

    Christopher Lawford's Symptoms of Withdrawal: A Memoir of Snapshots and Redemption. I would compare the too because of the brutal honesty and the storytelling. You can have a good story but if you haven't found a way to convey that story in words then it is worthless.


    What does Dylan Baker bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Sometimes words on the page just don't keep you going and it might take months for you to read a good book. Some narrators just don't know what tone to use when reading for an audience and you know it right away. Dylan Baker had me hooked and kept me intrigued and entertained all the way to the end.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Evan Naugatuck, CT, United States 02-20-12
    Evan Naugatuck, CT, United States 02-20-12
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    "Hi, I was a PC and I am Mac now."

    This book is just simply amazing. I read a book by Jay Elliot about Steve Job's leadership and his ups and down. That was a good book but this book completes Steve Jobs. Must read even if you are not a Mac fan.

    I used to argue with my co-workers about PC vs Mac wars 4-5 years ago. Now that I have an iPhone, iPod, iPad, I can't believe I lived 31 years of my life without these devices. Maybe cause there weren't invented back then but I can't imagine the future without these.

    Now, I'm an Apple fan boy. Now that I know how hard Steve had to work to give us what we want and need, It's that much sweeter to own an Apple product.

    Listen to the audio book. It's long but worth it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew J. Maples Amarillo, TX USA 02-20-12
    Matthew J. Maples Amarillo, TX USA 02-20-12 Member Since 2014
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    "What a Life!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would highly recommend this audiobook. The story of Steve Jobs is extremely engaging and it's a great resource to learn from.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Steve Jobs?

    I am interested in the dynamic and rapidly changing personality of Steve Jobs.


    Which character – as performed by Dylan Baker – was your favorite?

    I'm sure it would have been Steve Jobs.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Steve's death was a moving moment in the book.


    Any additional comments?

    I believe that Walter Isaacson has given us the rare ability to really see into the life of Steve Jobs. Isaacson was fair in his assessment without being overly critical or to much of an open fan. In fact, I was surprised by the emphasis that was placed on the negative qualities of Steve Jobs and how they worked together with some of his more positive qualities. For instance, he as was a successful leader and Jobs believed that much of his success as a leader/executive was due to his willingness to be cruel to people in order to get the very best out of his people and also to move the lower qualities players out of his team sooner. This is not my typical leadership style, nor is it my preferred style, but I will need to spend some time considering the lessons that Jobs has left for us to learn. Whether I agree with Jobs or not I must say that what he accomplished with Apple and Pixar is simply amazing! Apple is about to have the largest market share in the personal computer industry as they will soon surpass HP (if you consider tablets to be computers). This is just another testament to the brilliance of Steve Jobs. I am grateful for the products that he helped to produce and I am inspired by the companies that he built, but I am equally disappointed by the way he treated people. I guess that no one is perfect and that's a relief to me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jeen-marie United States 02-20-12
    jeen-marie United States 02-20-12
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    "Made me love my Apple products even more."
    If you could sum up Steve Jobs in three words, what would they be?

    Creative a-hole genius.


    Any additional comments?

    I gave this audio book overall 5 stars because even tho the book is over 25 hours long, I want to listen to it again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Simon BEVERLY HILLS, CA, United States 02-18-12
    Simon BEVERLY HILLS, CA, United States 02-18-12
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    "Wow"
    Would you listen to Steve Jobs again? Why?

    Of course! He is probably one of the craziest people I have ever heard of. He offers inspiration to every person out there in that he started from the bottom and came out on top.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Unlike most nonfiction biographies, his biography was not only interesting but the design of the book was superb just like his products.


    Which character – as performed by Dylan Baker – was your favorite?

    Steve Jobs - Duh!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony Bridgewater, NJ, United States 02-17-12
    Anthony Bridgewater, NJ, United States 02-17-12 Member Since 2013

    Just little ol' me

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    "Great look at Jobs' life, but strange narrator"

    Isaacson did a great and very thorough job of investigating the pluses and minuses of Steve Jobs. Jobs is an extremely intriguing person. He has so many negative qualities, but has had such a huge impact on technology and our society in general that I could had to finish the book despite me being absolutely appalled by his horrendous behavior. The book is absolutely needed to understand how the PC market developed and how Microsoft really needed Apple at times and helped Apple when it really needed it despite their heated competition.

    The narratortook me out of the story at times in the odd way he pronounced things and the strange way he read quotes and emphasized things. I thought the producer or recording engineer are as much to blame though. They really need to be sat down and given a good talking to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin 02-17-12
    Kevin 02-17-12
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    "Fantastic"
    Would you listen to Steve Jobs again? Why?

    Yes. Truly a fantastic journey into the person who is Steve Jobs. Everyone should read and learn about the pioneers in our society, and Steve Jobs is one of those people. I wish I had more insight when I was younger, and joined the efforts of someone like Jobs. Few of us set out to be insanely great at something, probably because we can't find the passion that drives the truly great revolutionaries such as Jobs.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MyDogBen Seattle 02-17-12
    MyDogBen Seattle 02-17-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "There will be other books written..."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I came to this book with such high expectations. Isaacson is out of his depth with his subject matter. I can only recommend it with serious reservations.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked best the unintentional glimpses of SJ that leaked through the cracks in Isaacson's narrative plan: glimpses of home life, Job's manic schedule. And regarding Steve Jobs vs Cancer, I predict a Broadway play, probably a comedy, before too long. This particular health crisis was tailor-made for examination before an audience. With laughter, and tears.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Dylan Baker's delivery is not suited to the material. Every time I returned to the book I thought, is he really the ideal narrator for this? Would Apple have approved this choice? His repeated mispronunciation of


    Any additional comments?

    Blogger Jon Gruber makes some excellent, detailed critiques of Isaacson's work at the website 'Daring Fireball.' Anyone interested in an alternate analysis of Steve Job's career should go read Gruber on the subject.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MTH 02-17-12
    MTH 02-17-12
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    "Story is awesome, writter+narrator is..eh."
    If you could sum up Steve Jobs in three words, what would they be?

    Interesting, inspiring, imaginative. all starts with i's


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Steve jobs, he's an ass, but his bitchyness gave us the technology we have today. I love his passion for perfection. even to the point where he refused to wear an ugly oxygen mask.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Performance of writer: It was not well revised, i just think it's missing something i can't put a finger on. good story though.

    performance of narrator: good at some parts, but dude, get the names right. he pronounced lion os x


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The adventure of a crazy man.


    Any additional comments?

    I love steve jobs, his story, his ideas. so this is a good book for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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