Steve Jobs biography pushed up to November 21 release and nothing is off limits

Mon, Aug 15, 2011


With a fresh new title (so long “The Book of Jobs”) it now appears that Walter Isaacson’s highly anticipated biography of Apple CEO Steve Jobs is also getting an earlier release date. Originally scheduled to hit bookstores on March 12th, a new posting on Barnes & Noble’s website indicates that the title will be available on November 21.

Further, the listing includes a new book description that sheds a little bit more light on what readers can expect to see from the typically private Jobs.

The book will be based on more than 40 interviews conducted with Jobs over a two year period coupled with over 100 interviews conducted with family members, co-workers, former colleagues, competitors and and adversaries.

This book chronicles the rollercoaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.

It is also a book about innovation. At a time when America is seeking ways to sustain its innovative edge, and when societies around the world are trying to build digital-age economies, Jobs stands as the ultimate icon of inventiveness and applied imagination. He knew that the best way to create value in the 21st century was to connect creativity with technology, so he built a company where leaps of the imagination were combined with remarkable feats of engineering.

Interestingly, the blurb notes that Jobs – notorious for exerting extreme levels of control – has no control over what ends up in the book and doesn’t even have the right to read it before it ships. Tantalizingly, Jobs indicated to Isaacson that nothing is off limits and even encouraged “foes, former girlfriends, and colleagues he had once fired or infuriated” to speak candidly.

“I’ve done a lot of things I’m not proud of, such as getting my girlfriend pregnant when I was 23 and the way I handled that,” Jobs is recorded as saying. “But I don’t have any skeletons in my closet that can’t be allowed out.”

Jobs speaks candidly, sometimes brutally so, about the people he worked with and competed against. Likewise, his friends, foes, and colleagues provide an unvarnished view of the passions, perfectionism, obsessions, artistry, devilry, and compulsion for control that shaped his approach to business and the innovative products that resulted.

He was not a model boss or human being, tidily packaged for emulation. Driven by demons, he could drive those around him to fury and despair. But his personality and products were interrelated, just as Apple’s hardware and software tended to be, as if part of an integrated system. His tale is thus both instructive and cautionary, filled with lessons about innovation, character, leadership, and values.

And if the Barnes and Noble website is to be trusted, this is what the book cover will look like.

The book promises to be a page turn of the highest magnitude. Covering Jobs’ entire life, from his youthful days in Palo Alto all the way up to the present day, this will be the first and only all-encompassing and insightful look into the life and mind of one of the greatest visionaries of our time. And hell, who are we kidding, who can’t wait to read some typical Jobsian barbs directed at  the likes of past and current adversaries such as Eric Schmidt Bill Gates.

As for Isaacson, he’s been responsible for some of the great biographies of the past few decades such as his books on Einstein and Benjamin Franklin.

We’ve previously written,

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.

HT: 9to5 Mac


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