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Publisher's Summary

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 members and key colleagues from Apple and its competitors, Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography is the definitive portrait of the greatest innovator of his generation.

With an introduction read by the author.

©2011 Walter Isaacson (P)2011 Simon & Schuster Inc

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • john
  • Battery Point, Australia
  • 11-24-11

More man, less tech, might have made a better book

At the end of this book Isaacson gives us some new information, especially relating to Job's family. This was great and makes the book worth the price.

But be clear that stuff up until 1985 is far better covered in the books Isaacson has taken the stories from (sometimes distorting them in the process).

Check out:
Revolution in the Valley
Infinite Loop
Return to the Little Kingdom
for the source material of these stories.

Isaacson seems to lack the knowledge of the technical aspects and the curiosity to ask people who do know to tell the wheat from the chaff in these early stories. He will present stuff that doesn't matter and trim away stuff that does. If the only source you have for these stories is Isaacson's book you will have a distorted, and sometimes false, impression of what happened.

Now I suspect Isaacson would say he was interested in the man and the life lived and not so much these technical details. That's, in fact what I expected this book to be about with most of this tech stuff skimmed over. But Isaacson chooses to put in a substantial amount of details where he clearly doesn't know what they mean in themselves and fails to examine usefully what they tell us about the life being examined.

I don't want to give the impression this is a bad book. It is not. It is fine. But it is flawed in several ways because Isaacson seems to be disinterested in the tech and disinterested in examining what the tech means.

This could have been a better book if it was more about the man and floated past some of the tech bits that are inexact retellings of stories that Andy Hertzfeld and others have told better and, in my opinion, used better to paint what the man was like in his 20s.

I think Isaacson did not make the best use if the fact the he was given the power of 'exclusive'. As others have said, just as Steve chose the wrong guy for Apple when he chose Scully he chose the wrong guy for this book when he chose Isaacson. So many other people who had the writing skills aligned with a passionate interest in the subject could have done more with this unique opportunity. Isaacson's approach is solid, professional but pedestrian and uninspired given the amazing power he was given.

Anyway, get the book, it's well done an easily worth the money, However, do be careful about quoting too much of the details to those who are better informed on the subject because the list of corrections of technical fact and/or context you may get will be tedious for all concerned.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great story, fine reader.

Firstly, I don't really understand the complaints about the reader. I thought he was fine.

This is a great book, very timely and obviously one of Steve Jobs last works with him commissioning it so that his story would be told, warts and all. I couldn't put it down.

It so sad to think that we hoped Steve Jobs would show up for the announcement of the iPhone 4S when he was in fact so close to death. The book details the back story behind the releases of the iPhone and iPad and you get the impression that Jobs put all of his strength into them once he knew that his time was limited. The impending tragedy of his early death in some way contributed to some of his greatest achievements.

Only being a recent Mac convert, much of the early history was new to me. I probably disliked Steve Jobs and Bill Gates equally throughout the 90s but my impressions of them changed throughout the book. I really have a much greater respect for Bill Gates as a result of the character that is revealed in the book. I feel I have understood what Steve Jobs was about and what he was trying to achieve. Steve Wozniak comes across as the wonderful Tom Bombadill character that we know and love.

It' s hard to summarize what I feel about Steve Jobs. So much to admire, but such a flawed character. Very thought provoking story.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Jp
  • rochedale, brisbane, Australia
  • 11-24-11

Fantastic listening, finally a book that actually

I found this audio book to be one of the best books i have heard. It was refreshing to actually hear the real stories behind the man. There is no doubt that Walter Isaacson has truly got a very detailed behind the scene account of some of the dealings not only with Jobs, but with Apple, Pixar, Next, Mac plus much more. Fantastic book

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jacobus
  • Johannesburg, South Africa
  • 01-26-12

Brat, Business man, Visionary?

Walter Isaacson has written an honest and thought provoking biography of Steve Jobs. He has been able to show how Steve Jobs' personality has evolved, although the trademarks of brat, business man and visionary were always lurking in the background. I think this biography do more than pay homage to Jobs, it also can serve as a history - be it from a specific point of view - of Silicon Valley and more so the Apple company.

Dylan Baker reading didn't impressed me so much. It was fair, yet not as engaging as I would've expect. At times I had to rewind to relisten as I opted out, and it was definitely not because of the content.

However, this biography comes highly recommended as Steve Jobs' story is one that deserves to be listened to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jonathan
  • LONDON, United Kingdom
  • 12-03-11

Who was Steve jobs?

Would you listen to Steve Jobs again? Why?

I would listen to this book again after a short time has passed, I worked for apple, and found it explained some of the thing I did not understand about the way the did something's, this helped me see the why in there actions. Also the book is the first real insight we get into Steve jobs, and as such it's a large book to be able to ingest all at once. There is much to discover in this books and for that I would read it again.

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

There was not one moment, as I am well versed in the history of apple, but I do rambler the parts where he traveled to India and sort his guru, and how he followed the zen budaist way. This was the most memorable moment as I too was born in India, understand the sights and smell he must of seen, and my parents and to some exstent also my self believe in buda. So it was nice to see a massive tech giant deal with lifes conflicting decision and what would drive him to make great products.

Which scene was your favorite?

As stated above the part heading to India, but there many other nice moment that brought a smile to my face, like working for Atari, or building the iPhone, the next cube, but there was some moments that will frustrate you also, like the canca, and what he did around his kids, how he treated people, and so on, but in the end it's all one man's life and there is much that can be learn from it.

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

It is in possible to listen to in in one sitting, but I spend the corse of two week traveling back fourth from work, listening to the story unfold.

Any additional comments?

Great book to understand the man Steve Jobs, but not the book to understand apple, or how the company will and did create the products they have. It's not a book about a poor kid becomes good, it's a real life experience on some one who was greate and a complete arsshole at times. In short read and enjoy, but don't use it as some sort of study bible.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Just a loooong newspaper story

Walter Isaacson commits the Cardinal literary sin of telling us what Seve Jobs did with his life rather than showing us what he did. Instead of weaving a series of narratives -- rather than relating the stories that made up the life and times of Steve Jobs -- Isaacson throws a lot of quotes at us from Jobs and others. He fills in the spaces between these quotes with a few odd details, very few of which the reader/listener can really latch onto and use to build a moving narrative in the mind's eye.

And that's a shame, considering Isaacson was writing about an evil genius who touched hundreds of millions of people, disrupted numerous industries and left behind a legacy that is already being compared to Leonardo Da Vinci.

Fact is, there is a much, much better biography of Seve Jobs, and it is even available on audible: Alan Deutchman's "The Second Coming of Seve Jobs," published in 2001. Deutchman relates all the same tales, except he actually shows us the life of this man through the power of narrative. And except that Deutchman actually includes details that are rich in evocative power.

Do yourself a favor: Download Deutchman's book; not this clunker.


11 of 17 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Marvin
  • Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  • 10-25-11

iInspired

Very inspiring.. i love Steve's childhood with all the "pranks", and the Tom-&-Hack team of Oaf Tobark and Berkeley Blue with their Blue-Box adventure...calling the Vatican, i wish i was there with them! Very inspiring business/life's philosophy.... a page turner! Steve Jobs, simply magical! iInspired!

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Sai
  • Singapore
  • 11-16-11

Excellent audio book

Great audio book. This is one of the few books which would be much enjoyable listening than reading.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Very Inspiring

His life story may not be different to some of us but he has contributed significant accomplishments to the digital world. He has proven to the world that any person can make a difference regardless of where he or she came from.

6 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A truthful insight into Steve Jobs Life

The book not only speaks of the positives but negative too about Steve Job. This made me believe that it book is unadulterated biography of Steve. It has a lot of inspiration and a must read for people with some passion towards technology

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Adam
  • 11-01-11

Fantastic

The best audiobook (and book) I've ever heard (or read). Insightful and well written Jobs led a very colourful life and for those interested in business you'll learn more by listening to this book than you will from the equivalent time in lectures at business school (though I'd probably ignore anything to do with human resource management from the school of Jobs!)

22 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-28-11

A fascinating insight into a flawed genius

I'm not a fan of all of the approaches that Apple take to their products, but I do greatly appreciate and respect what they do well, and there's an awful lot they do exceptionally well.

With that proviso I found this book excellent and informative, I learnt things that I wasn't aware with regard to the links between Jobs / Wozniak and the early days of computing in the home, that I grew up with as a child. I also gained a great insight into the incredible attention to detail that has been part of everything Jobs has been involved in.

Jobs' utter dedication to perfection and driving those around him to achieve great things is brilliant, but is balanced by a character that, during his work life at least, has almost no empathy for others around him.

It's very much a warts 'n' all book in that sense, but the passion that Jobs and those that he surrounded himself with brought to their product design is inspiring to read, and leaves the reader wondering whether Apple would be what it is today if he'd been a little more sympathetic. I'm also left wondering whether the Apple he leaves behind will continue to create the new markets that now exist simply because of products Apple created, or improved, way beyond what others had done before.

The other sections of teh book are equally engaging, especially the sections about his time with Pixar where Jobs' more human side seems to come through and the genius of those around him is given more visibility.

I'm left with a view of a (literally) fatally flawed genius, whose passion drove some amazingly skilled people to do great things, but whose personality I dislike as much as I appreciate the products he helped to create.

36 of 37 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Geoff
  • 11-18-11

Fantastic!

I didn't think I could manage 25hrs of an audio book, but I was enthralled with it. It confirms that Steve Jobs was not the kind of person many people would want to work for but was a genius who managed to put together Apple twice and Pixar. He was a visionary and he has changed the way many of us now work and play.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • MariuszJanas
  • 10-31-11

Great biography

Very well wtitten biography. I am not an apple fan or consumer, but I always admired Steve Jobs. Even though I dont think he was a good person, he revolutionised the world of technology.
I was afraid that this might be a one-sided story, but it seems to give an objective image of Steve's life. The story is based on interviews with Jobs and a lot of other people who knew him.

Highly recomended

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sarah
  • 12-11-11

Interesting, informative and inspiring

Must admit I've worked in IT for years, and only recently bought an iPhone and then a iPad so I was curious about Jobs - the man who became a bit of an IT legend. While the book won't fulfil everyone (esp. if you already know a lot about Jobs and his career), for me, it was an interesting insight into a truly inspiring character. I liked it. Not an earth shattering book - but the closest to the true person I'd expect.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kirstine
  • 10-16-12

A flawed genius

I have had Apple computers, etc, since 1988 and think they are wonderful so was intrigued to hear about the life of the man behind so many ground-breaking inventions that have changed to way we interact with computers, listen to words and music and communicate. It's a fascinating biography and lends credence to the belief that geniuses are difficult to live and work with. Steve Jobs was a strange mix of hippie non-conformist who cared little for the trappings of wealth and yet strove to make billions. A perfectionist over design and a visionary over creating things that we didn't think we wanted that we end up feeling unable to live without. His untimely death was a great loss to the world of new ideas. A great listen especially if you love Apple devices.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • X man
  • 11-04-11

Amazing Life

No words to describe how much I enjoyed this. An ultimate classic for 'rebels' and 'odds'.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Steven
  • 11-23-11

The best out there - essential reading.

First the bad.. Essentially flawed - jumps around in time sometimes... Not as technical as I would have liked in important places. Accuracy of some things can be disputed. Feels written in a rush in places and could have done with more editing and rearranging.
Now the good. This totally overcomes the bad. This is a gripping Bio and well worth the hours of time to listen to. It is entertaining and really makes you think. It holds nothing back. In years to come there will be other more balanced BIO's perhaps with a more technical lean to them. Until then, this is the book to read.
I still give it 5 stars for effort.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • mark
  • 08-08-16

surprising

surprising not being a apple fan you have to give the man credit he knew his stuff may even try an ipad

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • James K
  • 10-12-12

Author pulls no punches

Really interesting look at jobs life and his achievements. The author pulls no punches when it comes to jobs reputation. A really interesting and enjoyable read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Dory
  • 06-10-17

great book

got hooked up to it.
gives you the insights you never knew about one of the world greatest company.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jose
  • 05-23-17

A must listen for an aspiring Entrepreneur

I found this biography enthralling from beginning to end. It made me realise why as I've grown and matured have gravitated to Apple products. Jobs has left a long lasting legacy on humanity and in my view this book does justice to his achievements and purpose. One of my biggest takes from this book is that it was Jobs purpose and desire to create great products that drove Apple to become the most valuable tech company in the world - not the other way around. Food for thought for those of us aspiring to bring a solution to market.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dale Brown
  • 01-03-17

Facinating History

I lived through these times so the book filled in all the pieces for me. Job's was an icon of the 20th and 21st century. Great, great man in the mould of Di Vincy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 07-23-18

Loved it!

Brilliant book, well written and very insightful. I didn't want it to end, thank you

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Roshan R.
  • 07-22-18

Great story

I enjoyed the history and insights of this book. But it seems that the author would add his own opinions and commentary, who cares about that . He really want to make Steve jobs into a complete dickhead . I am sure he was . But the story is amazing the truth he uncovered is brilliant .

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Brenton
  • 07-10-18

A must read

Honest and worthwile book that teaches you the importance of product over profit, and the importance of getting things right.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-28-18

Best biography

This book has really change the way I view apple as a company. Knowing how Steve built it from a startup and how his personality play a big role in the development opened my mind to new perspectives. His life was also full of excitement and drama which makes the biography fun to listen to.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nick
  • 04-27-18

Fascinating!

I listened to this book in about a week as it was so interesting! I learned a lot about Steve Jobs that I never knew and I also learned a lot about business. Highly recommend to anyone interested in art, design, technology or business!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Bappy
  • 04-20-18

One of the most and thrilling biographies I’ve ever read!

This book is a great production. It gives a great window into Steve Jobs’ is life. I would almost call this a textbook for every entrepreneurs especially in the tech industry.

I was motivated more than ever to create great products myself, And aim for lasting legacies.

I feel fortunate to be able to see into Steve Jobs’ Life and see how he made great Technologies and beautiful design possible.

And of course I’m using an Apple phone to write this review! I will I really recommend anybody with slight interest in Technology business, to read this.

Bappy Golder

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nathan
  • 03-05-18

Amazing Story!

This was an amazing book! It is really well written; I never found myself getting bored or wanting to read something else. Steve Jobs was an incredible innovator and business creator.

This book went perfectly over his lifetime documenting the important topics. Definitely a must read for entrepreneurs and anyone interested in business, companies, start ups, and much more. Very inspirational!

Steve Jobs was almost single handedly responsible for most of the amazing things that Apple have created. He loves design and all he wanted to do was create great products.

I wonder what Steve would say if he saw the state of Apple today? Probably something like "this is all shit".