Will Einstein Biographer Uncover the Real Steve Jobs?

Walter Isaacson bags an elusive, coveted subject

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After thwarting the efforts of biographers in the past, Apple's exalted CEO is finally giving in. Steve Jobs will collaborate on an authorized biography written by Walter Isaacson, reports The New York Times. Isaacson, the former managing editor of Time magazine, has written masterfully about Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, and Henry Kissinger. Already, Apple fanboys and technologists are salivating over the collaboration. Some, however, are surprised that Jobs agreed to a biography in the first place, while others worry Isaacson may succumb to Jobs's charisma.

  • Isaacson Has the Right Mind for This, writes Joe Fay at The Register: "It would seem appropriate that someone who has delved into the minds of the world's greatest physicist, and a scientist/founding father of the US would be a suitable person for profiling the genius behind the iPad." Murad Ahmed at London's The Times agrees. "Mr Issacson is a brilliant journalist, who has taken an interest in all things digital in the past." In a backhanded compliment, Ahmed says Isaacson's tech-inspired writing is "interesting" albeit "misguided."
  • This Is a Big Break with the Past, observes Emma Woollacott at TG Daily: "Jobs hasn't much liked what's been written about him in the past - Bloomberg's 2008 obituary (oops) went down particularly badly. Last year, he tried to block a long profile in the Sunday Times newspaper. And in 2005, he got so cross about an unauthorised biography that he ordered that all books produced by its publisher, John Wiley & Sons, be pulled from Apple Store shelves."
  • This Is Sorely Needed, writes Dean Takahashi at VentureBeat: "There are many unflattering stories that have surfaced over the years about Jobs, as well as admiration. But in every book, I always wished that the writer had more access to Jobs himself. The challenge in writing about book about Jobs is to stay far enough away from the reality distortion field to get an objective view of the man and his life."
  • Calm Down People, urges Nick Farrell at TechEye: "Already the tame Apple press has found out about the great work and said that it will reflect the genius of the man who gave the world so many brilliant gadgets... The book, which is in the early planning stages, would cover the entire life of Jobs, from his birth in a stable in Silicon Valley, it will also cover his miracles such as the feeding of 50,000 fanbois and the creation of the iPod and iPhone."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.