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The biography of a man who changed the way the world thought about computers, changed them from industrial devices to an indispensable part of our lives, Walter Isaacson's account of Jobs's life is hallucinatory in parts, and illuminating in others.

Having been a Steve Jobs fanboy (but not Apple's, since I'm Indian and cheap), large parts of the biography appear heard about to me. Isaacson draws upon large volumes of material from Jobs's legendary MacWorld presentations, and stories from inside Apple have been on the website for years. A reading of the book actually turned into a multimedia experience for me, turning back to Youtube to watch videos of Jobs, saying this or that mentioned in the book.

There are two other parts of the books Isaacson succeeds in, and phenomenally. Jobs the family man, a person you end up hating for his abandoning and saturnine nature, and Jobs the maniac- who is easy to idolise and follow. In the beginning of the book, you're watching a movie in your mind in Eastman Color, as a young man comes of age in a time that saw creativity flower in the western world. By the middle, you are the fly on the wall, witnessing a personality coming together, even as it abandons the but-natural good habits one is 'supposed to have'. It leads to a shattering of your beliefs about Steve Jobs and his Shaman like abilities. You get to know the pains he must bear, the brilliance of people like Jony Ives and the team at Pixar. They become the real heroes, while Steve shepherds them along, making the right choices (in retrospect).

This is where the books blooms into a thousand rainbows. While reducing Steve to a human being, Isaacson, with his dispassionate reporting, introduces facets and nuances that get your goat. How does one co-relate a man with an eating disorder for life create not one but two unimaginably successful companies? Isaacson puts it in a spread for you.

Most reviews of the book talk about what Steve said about him or her, or this or that. What these reviews acutely miss is the layer by layer unraveling. This is where the beauty of the book is. And that is why you must read it. Not because its about Steve Jobs, and everything Apple has to be good. It is a phenomenal account of a Legend's life. That's why.

And one more thing. The book reveals Steve's history with his real sister, and his abandoned daughter. One of these has been novelised. But both must be immortalised on screen.

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Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography

(Hardcover) by Walter Isaacson
 912 Ratings  |  200 Reviews
Publisher: Little Brown (2011)
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Book Summary of Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography

'Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography' was one of the most eagerly awaited books of the year 2011. The book is a journey into the life of a legend who revolutionized the way people saw technology. Walter Issacson brings to life, the innovator, the dreamer and the devil within Steve Jobs. An absolutely must read!

During the summer of 2004, Walter Isaacson got a phone call from Steve Jobs. It so turned out that Jobs wanted Isaacson to write a biography of him. This amazing book takes you on a rollercoaster ride into the ferociously intense personality of a passionate and creative entrepreneur whose powerful drive and vision revolutionized six industries: music, personal computers, phones, animated movies, digital publishing and tablet computing.

Steve Jobs also re-imagined and tried to revamp retail stores, but it did not turn out to be as revolutionary. Instead, he paved the way for an entirely new market for app based digital content. This is a book that's mainly about innovation. Steve Jobs stands tall as the sole icon of imagination, sustained innovation and inventiveness. His vision was very clear; if you want to create value in the industry, connect technology with creativity. A company called Apple was built on this vision, which changed the entire face of technology with its imagination blended with remarkable feats of engineering.

Steve Jobs asked for no right to read it before it was published and had no control over what was being written before it was published. He also encouraged people to speak honestly. In the book Jobs sometimes speaks brutally and candidly about the people he worked along with and also his competitors.

His friends, colleagues and foes offer an unparalleled view of the perfectionism, passion, artistry, obsessions, compulsions and devilry that shaped his approach to the innovative products and business that resulted.

Often driven by his demons, Jobs could make those around him lurch in despair and fury. His products and personality were interrelated and his life was cautionary and instructive at the same time. A must read!

About The Author
Walter Issacson is a biographer and a writer. He is also the director of Aspen Institute and has been the Managing Editor of TIME. Issacson has previously written the biographies of Henry Kissinger and Albert Einstein.

Other Popular Walter Issacson Books
Kissinger: A Biography (1992)
Benjamin Franklin: An American Life (2003)
Einstein: His Life and Universe (2007)
American Sketches (2009)

Walter Issacson is a graduate in literature from Harvard and a Rhodes Scholar from the University of Oxford. He began his career in journalism at The Sunday Times in London.

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