Book Recommendation – Steve Jobs

Mark Tuminello’s latest blog post –

Mark Tuminello book reviewI’ve been a fan of Walter Isaacson for number of years.  His biographies of Benjamin Franklin and Henry Kissinger are outstanding pieces of literature.  Even though I have his book Albert Einstein on my to-read shelf, I decided to move ahead with his most recent book, Steve Jobs.  I’d read amazing reviews and even gotten a few personal recommendations from people who know me well.

One of Isaacson’s strengths is choosing exciting material, and the life of Steve Jobs is no different.  Getting an inside look into the birth of one of the most successful companies in history, through every challenge and setback, was a thrill.  I’m not a tech nerd or anything like that, but following his life alongside the launches of iTunes, iPods, and Pixar made it very easy to track the narrative.  The many celebrity cameos in his life were also fun, including outstanding recounts of conversations between Jobs and Bill Clinton, Rupert Murdoch, Bob Dylan, and Bill Gates.

Isaacson spent years working with Jobs on the book, and that’s something that really makes the book stand out in Isaacson’s catalogue.  By the end, he himself is almost a character.  How else could he describe extended conversations between Jobs and himself during his final days?  And a few pages are dedicated to Jobs’ particular wishes for the book, and later we learn how those wishes change.  While unique for Isaacson, it is this personal experience that made this book so tremendous.  He is able to compare facts and events as Jobs remembers, and then get opposing perspectives from former coworkers and family.

The story of Steve Jobs has been told many times, and I was loosely familiar with his professional life.  What was a shock were the events leading to his death.  Instead of seeking modern treatment, of which he would have been afforded the finest we have to offer, Jobs sought homeopathic and new age treatments.  I don’t have firm opinions, ultimately, on these kinds of treatments, but I know that there’s no sense in taking a chance with cancer.  Learning from a doctor that he felt Jobs could have been saved with appropriate and timely treatment comes like a punch to the gut.

I recommend this book for anyone interested in biographies.  The theme legacy is prominent, and I’m happy to have read it as we wait to see what the legacy of Steve Jobs will become.

from Mark Tuminello

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