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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 Simon & Schuster (P)2011 Walter Isaacson

What members say

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  • David
  • Lyme, NH, United States
  • 11-19-11

Don't bother with the abridged version

I think this may be a good book. I can't tell. I chose the abridged version, and it is so terribly edited as to be awful. That is, it feels like whoever did the abridging went in with an axe and whacked away here and there, leaving all the cut edges exposed and bleeding. The result is a story that jumps from topic to topic, with some whole chapters cut down to a few sentences. If I were Steve Jobs, I'd say "this sucks".

Go for the full version; overall, the writing is good and the reader is good and the story seems interesting. It's just too bad the abridgement was so sloppy.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Good Book... wish I got the unabridged version

When I ordered this book, I thought "how many hours of Steve Jobs do I need"?
Turns out, I could have used more. Very enjoyable.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Even Abridged, this was PLENTY of Steve Jobs

Any additional comments?

This is not a book I would have normally selected. I read it for a book club at my job. I found it pretty tedious at times, and was immensely glad I had the abridged version. It was plenty of Steve Jobs. I know I would not have wanted to work for or even know the man. I think the abridged version very much skimped on his relationships with his wife and kids, and perhaps that would have been interesting. (If that is your area of interest, do not go with the abridged.) Mostly it was about his work and what an intolerable jerk he was there. The book seems to reinforce the belief that you have to be a jerk to be successful, which I find annoying. It had its interesting moments. I felt old when they discussed the infancy of PCs and I realized I was around then.
My favorite part was one meeting he had after a failed product release. He gathers the people on the project around and asked what the product was supposed to do. So they tell him and he shouts, “So why the f*** doesn’t it do that?” I’ve been at sunset reviews at work where it would have been very satisfying to ask that. One of the few times we touch on Jobs' personal life is in the story of his biological father and how Jobs had unknowingly already met the man. I found that very interesting. But let’s be real. Steve Jobs was a jerk and that gets old after a while.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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LOVED THIS BOOK!!!!

Wow! What an amazing book! Steve Jobs is such an inspiration! He makes me want to do the best at everything I do. What a great man!!!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great insight into a complicated personality.

Binary. This is the word Isaacson uses to describe Steve Jobs. I get it now. After listening to so many stories about his life and interviews with those who knew him, I feel like I can better understand the complicated personality of Steve Jobs. I learned more about him as an entrepreneur, a father, a friend, and a player in humanity.

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Riveting

Any additional comments?

The story is great, the performance is amazing. Overall, one of my favorite Audibles thus far.

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Remarkable man

Really well written and balanced delivery of a remarkable man's contribution to this world! As with most great achievers its sad to see how they failed to balance their family life, try as they may.

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Loved It

I really felt like I should have done the full 24+ hour version, but it just felt overwhelming. This was just right. Loved learning about Steve, quite riveting actually!

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An extraordinary visionary

Where does Steve Jobs rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Excellant

What did you like best about this story?

Steve's product development process and a better understanding of the changes Apple went through.

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

Emotion

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

The pain of being a genius!

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    5 out of 5 stars

Stay Hungry Stay Foolish

You can hate him or you can love him, but you can ignore him. Such was the personality of the man and is perfectly depicted in this book