Book Review- Steve Jobs: The man who thought different by Karen Blumenthal

An apple with a bite taken out of it.   A tall man on stage wearing a black mock turtleneck with matching jeans.  These iconic images from the last half of the twentieth century embody the public faces of one of the most successful businesses in the history of the world.  But how many of us actually know of what went on behind the scenes; how did the home computer industry start and how much of it was due to the drive and vision of Steve Jobs.

This book is just as much  a biography of Apple,Inc. as it is a biography of Steve Jobs.   Karen Blumenthal digs into the backgrounds of both to try to explain the phenomena of the technological revolution.  Jobs was a complicated man and Blumenthal shows all his sides, complete with warts.  If you idolized Steve Jobs some of the revelations in this book might make you feel uncomfortable.  Likewise, if you thought he was over-rated you will be surprised by what you learn.  Suffice it to say that he was more than a face on a stage; he was a human being, complete with foibles, who was able to change the way the world thinks.

This book is geared towards teen readers, digital natives who have grown up never having known a time without computers or connectivity. Because most of her readers weren’t even born before 1995, Blumenthal uses historical inserts throughout the book to further explain life & culture before the dawn of the home computer.

There were many facts I found surprising while reading this book.  The history of Apple’s beginnings were new to me as were Steve Jobs personal life.  I found this to be an interesting story and would recommend it to just about everyone.  There are possibly two things worth mentioning: one, Blumenthal cleaned up any quotes that might have been considered offensive and two, Steve Jobs had an out of wedlock daughter.

Age Range: 15 years old on up.

Steve Jobs: The man who thought different by Karen Blumenthal. Feiwel & Friends, 2012. NY. 304pp.

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