Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different by Karen Blumenthal

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Blumenthal presents this biography of the man who is perhaps the most recognizable face in technology in the 21st century, Steve Jobs. A college dropout who notoriously did not play well with others, Jobs nonetheless founded and grew his company, Apple, from a startup based in his parents’ garage to the multi-billion dollar company it is today. Readers, who are most likely familiar with Apple’s products, will appreciate the inside look at the company’s founder, noting his success against countless obstacles.

Ugh. It’s difficult for me to review this title without reviewing the subject, Steve Jobs. Blumenthal does a decent job of presenting his life. It’s easy to read, doesn’t feel like a textbook, and has a lot of pictures to go with the text. But Jobs himself is just AWFUL. He steals ideas, throws temper tantrums, refuses to acknowledge paternity of his daughter, and is, ultimately, one of the biggest hypocrites I’ve read about. For example, Jobs was famously “unattached” to material items — but his main goal for Apple was that products “looked good”. Also, his kids couldn’t watch T.V. — but I guess they could have an iPod? Come on. In addition to these personality flaws, the author pointed out the tech side of Apple, which was very interesting to read and not too difficult to understand. In fact, after reading the book, I get the idea that the only reason Apple is perceived as a better product is because the company spends so much money on advertisements that make fun of other products. Apple is not technologically superior. Steve Jobs made such a fuss about making technology “for the individual” when really he is pushing a product that’s not better than any others on the inside (i.e. Microsoft) — it just looks better. To that end, he made all his money fooling people. As you can see, I have a pretty strong opinion about this book. You may love Apple and love Jobs, that’s great! Love or hate, this book will probably make you see Apple in a whole new light!

Rating: 3/5

*YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults, Finalist, 2013

For full analysis (including flags and SPOILERS) click here.

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