I had always been an Apple fan (some would say fanboy), and I had admired Steve Jobs for what he had accomplished, but he had always been somewhat shrouded in mystery. He was very private, and did not share much about himself with the world other than what we saw on stage at Apple events. After reading Walter Isaacson's biography Steve Jobs, I think I have a much better understanding of who he was, why he did some of the things he did, and why Apple is the way it is today. He was an over-emotional, sometimes hurtful control freak, but I’m confident that Apple would be out of business right now if it weren’t for his ideas, high standards, and insistence on pushing the industry forward. Definitely a must-read.
From the Wikipedia entry for the book:
Steve Jobs is the authorized biography of Steve Jobs. The biography was written at the request of Jobs by acclaimed biographer Walter Isaacson, a former executive at CNN and Time who has written best-selling biographies about Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein.
Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—in addition to interviews with more than one hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Isaacson was given “exclusive and unprecedented” access to Jobs’s life. Jobs is said to have encouraged the people interviewed to speak honestly. Although Jobs cooperated with the book, he asked for no control over its content other than the book’s cover, and waived the right to read it before it was published.
Originally planned for release on March 6, 2012, its release date was moved forward to November 21, 2011 due to Jobs’s deteriorating health, and again following Jobs’s death on October 5, 2011. The book was finally released on October 24, 2011 by Simon & Schuster in the United States.