In what we can only hope will be an eye-opening and unprecedented glimpse into the mind of Steve Jobs and the stories behind his storied life as a successful innovator, Simon & Schuster announced this weekend that Walter Isaacson’s authorized biography on the Apple CEO will hit stores sometime in early 2012.
iSteve: The Book of Jobs
News that Jobs had agreed to participate in an authorized biography first surfaced in early 2010, though work on the book actually began in 2009. The book will chronicle Jobs’ entire life, from his time growing up in Silicon Valley all the way up to the present day. As part of the process, Isaacson interviewed “Jobs, members of his family, colleagues at Apple and competitors.” There’s no word yet as to what other tech insiders and Apple employees Isaacson tapped to help tell the tale of Jobs, but this is bound to be the most comprehensive look into the mind and life of Jobs to date.
While there have been innumerable books written about Jobs before, there hasn’t been an authorized biography on Apple’s co-founder since the early 80’s. Since then, Jobs has often greeted subsequent attempts to document his life with outright hostility and anger, often because they detailed moments and stories that perhaps put Jobs in an unflattering light, or perhaps, might not have even been true. Famously, Jobs banned all Wiley & Sons publications from Apple retail stores following the release of an unauthorized Jobs biography titled iCon: Steve Jobs. The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business.
In a statement about the highly anticipated book, Simon & Schuster publisher Jonathan Karp said, “This is the perfect match of subject and author, and it is certain to be a landmark book about one of the world’s greatest innovators. Just as he did with Einstein and Benjamin Franklin, Walter Isaacson is telling a unique story of revolutionary genius.”
Isaacson, who formerly worked as a managing editor at Time Magazine, already has some highly praised best-selling biographies to his credit, including “Einstein: His Life and Universe” and “Benjamin Franklin: An American Life.” Previously, Isaacson also published a collection of essays exploring the seeds of great leadership in a book titled, “American Sketches: Great Leaders, Creative Thinkers, and Heroes of a Hurricane.”
Jobs has a keen and remarkably nuanced understanding of the technological landscape. With a career spanning nearly four decades, Jobs’ biography may very well provide readers with a unique, and perhaps unprecedented, perspective on many of the major technological shifts over the past 35 years. From the original Apple I to the commercialization of the GUI to the iPhone, Jobs has been intimately connected to many of the most important and significant innovations in the PC era. We can’t wait.