Sunday, April 22, 2012

Steve Jobs --by Walter Isaacson

Nonfiction, Biography
630 pages
Footnotes/End notes: Yes (not numbered)
Illustrations: Yes, photos and chapter heads
Suitable for eReaders: Yes (recommended)

Walter Isaacson has written several biographies, though this is the first Rainy Day has read. It will not be the last.

Everyone knows who Steve Jobs was, and his name will probably still be around 100 years from now. Although he was a person Rainy Day probably would never have called friend, nor he her, Rainy Day is pretty sure he would have been fascinating to know.

The news has had some stories recently about Apple manufacturing in China; at the bottom of page 546, Rainy Day came across this quote from Steve Jobs as he talked to President Obama:

"Jobs went on to urge that a way be found to train more American engineers. Apple had 700,000 factory workers employed in China, he said, and that was because it needed 30,000 engineers on-site to support those workers. "You can't find that many in America to hire," he said. These factory engineers did not have to be PhDs or geniuses; they simply needed to have basic engineering skills for manufacturing. Tech schools, community colleges, or trade schools could train them. "If you could educate these engineers," he said, "we could move more manufacturing plants here." The argument made a strong impression on the president...."We've got to find ways (said President Obama) to train those 30,000 manufacturing engineers that Jobs told us about"."  (emphasis is Rainy Day's)

This book contained a great deal of information, not just about Jobs, but also about Apple and their products and Pixar. Rainy Day admits, she liked the part about Pixar the best – her favorite brother works there. But, she also owns a couple of Macs, and it was interesting to read how they came to be, as well as the iPod, iPad, iCloud, ietc.

There are 571 pages of text, the remaining pages are notes, resources, and index. There are some great photos, both glossy in a section, and many at the beginning of each chapter. Rainy Day's copy is a hardback, which made it very heavy to hold. Rainy Day suggests, unless the photos are super important and or you have a notepad, you get the electronic version for your eReader. The notes in the back are not called out in the text, and are resources.

Mr. Isaacson did a marvelous job, and as much as a Control Freak as Jobs was, he gave the author free reign to write the book as he, Mr. Isaacson, saw fit. He shows both sides of Jobs – the angelic, and the demonic. Steve Jobs is a very well written book about a most fascinating man who quite literally changed our world.

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