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Media Watch: Isaacson's Steve Jobs Biography, Reviews, 60 Minutes Profile

by Anne Thompson
October 24, 2011 8:18 AM
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Thompson on Hollywood

Clearly, we can't learn enough about the late Steve Jobs, so his official biographer Walter Isaacson's new book Steve Jobs--over 600 pages--which is published today, two and half weeks after his death, should help to feed our hunger for more details about the fascinating co-founder of Apple. Here's an excerpt about Jobs and Gates.

Isaacson, who has written best-selling biographies on Ben Franklin and Albert Einstein, conducted 40 interviews right up until Jobs' death from pancreatic cancer. The book reveals that Jobs regretted waiting nine months to deal surgically with his cancer; that he admired Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg more than Microsoft's Bill Gates, who he did meet with before he died, and while Jobs considered partnering with Android, he eventually rejected that notion.

A smattering of reviews is below, along with 60 Minutes' Sunday profile. Here's Apple's Jobs celebration. And in the wake of Jobs' death, the Apple, Facebook, Google and Amazon Tech War is going to get really intense, writes Fast Company.

Isaacson tells Good Morning America that Jobs' "genius was the ability to connect poetry to technology." At the end of the book, he determines: “Was he smart? No, not exceptionally. Instead, he was a genius.”

The Wall Street Journal shares early reviews and says word on the book is that Jobs shares details on his rivalry with Bill Gates, potential Apple projects and his own death. At the time of Isaacson's last interview, Jobs had just stepped down from his Apple CEO post and indicated that he was going to die soon.

The Washington Post says of the book:

"Isaacson’s biography can be read in several ways. It is on the one hand a history of the most exciting time in the age of computers, when the machines first became personal and later, fashionable accessories. It is also a textbook study of the rise and fall and rise of Apple and the brutal clashes that destroyed friendships and careers. And it is a gadget lover’s dream, with fabulous, inside accounts of how the Macintosh, iPod, iPhone and iPad came into being."

The New York Times, on the not-always-flattering but admiring biography:

“'His Zen awareness was not accompanied by an excess of calm, peace of mind or interpersonal mellowness,' Mr. Isaacson says. 'He could stun an unsuspecting victim with an emotional towel-snap, perfectly aimed,' he also writes. But Mr. Jobs valued simplicity, utility and beauty in ways that would shape his creative imagination. And the book maintains that those goals would not have been achievable in the great parade of Apple creations without that mean streak."

Here's TOH! guest blogger Harry Clein on The Story of His Adoption, Search for His Biological Parents, Sister Mona Simpson and the story of how Jobs met his biological father.

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More: Studios, Web/Tech, Stuck In Love, Books, TV, Obit, Apple

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