Wednesday, Dec. 07, 2011

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Jobs was a famous control freak, but he gave Isaacson full access and free reign to tell his life story. In this Jobs was — as he so often was — right: Isaacson, the author of biographies of Einstein and Benjamin Franklin (and a former TIME managing editor), has created an intricate portrait of a strange, brilliant, angry man. Nine years after Jobs founded Apple, he was driven out of the company, and Isaacson makes it clear that he gave his colleagues no choice: his obsession with control, his tirades and crying jags, his inflexibility in the face of a changing market and his reluctance to bathe all made him a toxic presence. But he returned in triumph in 1996 a changed man, with enough control over his demons to save Apple and build it into the world's most valuable company. Jobs comes off as both fascinating and totally intolerable, but he shaped a great deal of the world we live in, and we owe it to ourselves to get to know him better. This book is by far the best place to start.