Steve Jobs, Forever Young
Friday, October 28, 2011
Every time a new Apple product is rumored, a fraction of the country goes into a frenzy. Every bit of new information is pored over by millions of Apple cultists. A new release is earning that kind of excitement right now, but it’s an old-fashioned book — a handsome, hardcover biography of Steve Jobs.
The Apple CEO was known to be secretive, but when he knew he was very ill, he gave the writer Walter Isaacson total access. Isaacson spent more than 40 hours interviewing Jobs, and talked with hundreds of people from all aspects of Jobs' life. The picture ain't always pretty. Jobs' sometimes insufferable perfectionism is at odds with the near-worship with which Apple fans regard him; he never stops belittling, yelling, taunting, vowing to avenge wrongs. But Jobs' passions also swing in the other direction. He heaped lavish praise on artists he valued, and would tear up over great ad copy.
Kurt Andersen sees Jobs as the ultimate baby boomer in his brashness, his desire for great success but also to remain a rebel — forever young. Jobs helped to write the copy for the company’s “Think Different” ad campaign: "Here's to the crazy ones, the rebels, the misfits. ... The people who are crazy enough to think they can change world are the ones that do." Isaacson says, "It is not just a manifesto for the Macintosh but for the baby boomers and, frankly, for him."
Bonus Track: Kurt's extended conversation with Walter Isaacson
Video: "Think Different"