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Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs

Introduction by: Walter Isaacson / Read by: Dylan Baker
  • reading group guide
  • bestseller
  • freshman reading
Walter Isaacson’s biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, drawn from three years of exclusive and unprecedented interviews Isaacson has conducted with Jobs.

Isaacson, the bestselling author of Benjamin Franklin: An American Life and Einstein: His Life and Universe, began work on the book in 2009 and has conducted extensive interviews with Mr. Jobs and family members, key colleagues from Apple, as well as competitors.
  • Simon & Schuster Audio | 
  • 20 disks | 
  • ISBN 9781442346277 | 
  • October 2011
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Reading Group Guide

Introduction

In a clear, elegant biographical voice, Walter Isaacson provides an unflinching portrait of the most important technological and innovative personality of the modern era: Apple’s founder and chief thinker, Steve Jobs. Through a series of unprecedented interviews with Jobs—as well as interviews with more than 100 friends, family members, colleagues, adversaries, admirers, and imitators—Isaacson documents the transformation of an ambitious Silicon Valley whiz kid into one of the most feared and respected business leaders of his generation and quite possibly of all time; arriving at some hard truths about a man who defined the intersection of art and technology for the digital age and the future to come.

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1. Discuss Jobs’ harsh binary system of appraisal. Why do you think it worked so well in tangent with his style of leadership? Do you think there is merit in living to such high standards? Is it unrealistic or ultimately impractical?

2. Which do you think is more beneficial for the future of technology: end-to-end hardware and software integration or open and customizable systems? Do you agree with Jobs that good products can only come from closed, centralized environments? Why or why not?

3. Chapter 11 is titled “The Reality Distortion Field: Playing by His Own Set of Rules.” Discuss this term and how it is used to both compliment and critic see more

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About the Author

Walter Isaacson
Photograph by Patrice Gilbert

Walter Isaacson

Walter Isaacson, the CEO of the Aspen Institute, has been chairman of CNN and the managing editor of Time magazine. He is the author of Steve Jobs; Einstein: His Life and Universe; Benjamin Franklin: An American Life; and Kissinger: A Biography, and the coauthor of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made. He lives in Washington, DC.

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