The bestselling biography "Steve Jobs" is coming out in paperback in September. Publisher Simon & Schuster is not only republishing the book, it is sending Jobs back in time. Instead of the contemporary photograph of Jobs emblazoned across the cover of the hardcover, the paperback will feature a much-younger Jobs, in almost exactly the same pose. The photo was taken in 1984 by Norman Seeff.
Floppy-haired, clean-shaven, staring intently at the camera -- is this a more apt cover for the story of Steve Jobs' life than the elder statesman?
Walter Isaacson's book was intended for 2012 publication, but was moved up to the fall of 2011 when it became clear that Jobs was extremely ill with cancer. Job died on Oct. 5, 2011; the book was published Oct. 24. Despite being on sale for scarcely more than two months, it became Amazon's top-selling print book of the year.
That Jobs led Apple to create some of the computer age's favorite devices contributed to the book's popularity, but his life story was also fascinating. From Richard Rayner's Times review:
"He was a control freak and a credit hog who burst into tears when he didn't get what he wanted. He sometimes demeaned his girlfriends and his employees yet such was his charisma that they went on loving him. He lived in a Palo Alto house whose modest scale astounded his rival Bill Gates. He said that he came of age at a magical time, in the early 1970s, when his consciousness was raised by Zen, Bob Dylan, and the drug LSD.
"J.P. Morgan or John Rockefeller, in other words, Steve Jobs wasn't. Yet he died with a personal fortune of more than $8 billion (according to Forbes), having been a single-minded pioneer of the PC age, having created and built arguably the world's most famous company, Apple, and having, in some way or another, touched all our lives. He was a visionary as ruthless and driven as any of the great first-generation American capitalists and his story already strikes us as a modern-day fable with a multitude of strange and enchanted details."
The paperback of "Steve Jobs" by Walter Isaacson, coming Sept. 10, will include a new afterword.