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The Second Coming of Steve Jobs Hardcover – October 10, 2000

3.8 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

For the legions who revere Apple Computer's high-profile cofounder as a godlike figure, the aptly titled Second Coming of Steve Jobs will prove an intriguing picture of a seminal time in their deity's roller-coaster life. It should emphatically vindicate their deeply held faith in the man and his ideas. But even for those with a lesser opinion, Alan Deutschman offers an interesting and enlightening look at the crucial period from Jobs's unceremonious Apple exit through his triumphant return. Deutschman, a contributing editor at Vanity Fair magazine and longtime Silicon Valley correspondent, interviewed nearly 100 colleagues and friends to draw this portrait of a bewilderingly complex and notoriously private man--albeit one whose talents, personality traits, and idiosyncrasies have long been on public display. "He succeeded in becoming the Jackie Kennedy Onassis of business and technology," Deutschman writes, "a figure who was ubiquitous as a symbol of his times but little known as a human being." To change that, he looks into Jobs's ill-fated first post-Apple endeavor at the Next computer company, his return to undeniable respectability with Pixar and the two Toy Story movies, and finally, his ultimate absolution with a very successful reclamation of the Apple crown. It's a revealing account of a singular individual during a remarkable time. --Howard Rothman

From Publishers Weekly

A revealing, balanced portrait of Apple Computers CEO and founder Steven Jobs, this fast-paced business biography is based on interviews with nearly 100 of his associates and friends. One glaring absence, however, is Jobs himself, who apparently declined to be interviewed by Deutschman, a Vanity Fair contributing editor and staff writer at GQ. Still, Deutschman provides a juicy, privileged look inside the Apple core. He reports that Jobs's recent resuscitation of Apple, to which the visionary entrepreneur returned in 1996 after being ousted by John Sculley a decade earlier, was accomplished through a "reign of terror" that shook up thousands of complacent employees. Like other commentators, Deutschman portrays Jobs as both engaging and troubling, a natural charmer who is also an abusive, egomaniacal boss fond of meting out public humiliations. But Deutschman goes further, replacing the image of the pop-culture icon with a complex, contradictory figureAan insecure elitist who yearns for the patronage of the masses, a narcissistic vegetarian billionaire who thrives on scarcity and adversity. Among the book's revelations are details of Jobs's bulimia-like eating disorders in the 1970s; his reconnection in the '80s with his long-lost biological sister, novelist Mona Simpson (Jobs was given up for adoption at birth); and his explosive negotiations with Disney honchos Michael Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg, who produced the hits A Bug's Life and Toy Story with Pixar, Jobs's animation film studio. Though this gossipy bio has a slick magazine feel, Deutschman gets closer to Jobs's inner self than any previous attempt. Agent, Suzanne Gluck, ICM. (Sept.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway; 1 edition (October 10, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076790432X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767904322
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,884,992 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
My 86-year-old mother doesn't have an ATM card but she can use her VCR. She follows the stock market and asks me about Netscape and Yahoo, Intel and 3Com. The family agrees she's sharper than all of us together. So I'm sending her The Second Coming of Steve Jobs for two reasons. One it's the best read I've had in a while. Secondly it's a biography of an interesting man.
Deutschman is a terrific writer who zooms through a lot of esoteric Silicon Valley information in plain English. If you like to read biographies of Marie of Roumania, Edward Prince of Wales, Graham Greene, Madonna or any other public figure, you're going to like this book. It's a great story full of drama. Sure it tells some new anecdotes for computer devotees, professionals and groupies. Sure Jobs is the rock star of technology. But above all he seems to be a formidable charasmatic personality who contributed substantially to shaping our behavior at the end of the twentieth century. Time will tell if that's just a beginning, or if he's reached his peak.
Meanwhile his life is over-endowed with great stories and this book spins the tale. The man goes from working class to millionaire in three or four years; he goes from hippie zen boy to romantic dashing lover to family man in fifteen years (how many other forty-five year old men have reached that point?); he has already managed the invention of major hardware, software and manufacturing businesses; and he's developed an entire culture and way of life.
For me, three quarters through the book in one read on a rainy Monday, Deutschman offered two memorable observations. One refers to the fact that if Jobs had done a deal with IBM for the Next OS, we'd all be in a different place today. The other is that Jobs' personality is closest to a televangelist.
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By A Customer on October 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Steve Jobs co-founded one of the largest computer companies in the world and has survived verbal attacks, hero worship, skepticism, triumph, failure, a less than pleasant parting from his company and a courageous return to it. This is the life of Steve Jobs and this book does a wonderful job of chronicling it. Love him, hate him or be somewhere in between, Jobs is a fascinating man who has led, and continues to lead a turbulent and spectacular life. Through the numerous interviews the author has presented to us how Jobs' peers view him. This is a rare glimpse into the private life of one of America's best known executives, a man who, some say, began a technology revolution.
This book might increase or decrease your respect for Steve Jobs, but no matter what, it is sure to entertain.
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Format: Hardcover
I am unabashedly one of the (until recently) Macintosh Faithful, having at one time printed my own business cards with "Mac Evangilist" as my title. I would approach customers in the Macitosh section of CompUSA or Computer City and see if they had questions (only while i was there already, mind you!). I have waxed lovingly on the virtues of Macintosh to all my friends and family, and longed for a NextStation, if only as a hobby machine.
Needless to say, I am a died-in-the-wool Steve Jobs fan. In all fairness, the amount of information out there about the MAN is thin and disreputiable. His charm, 'reality distortion field' and his public dressing-down of employees are the stuff of legend, but little concrete has been found about the MAN.
A few years ago I read another biography, called (i think) "Steve Jobs and the NeXT Best Thing". It was a one-sided, blistering account of every failure Jobs made with his founding of Next, and seemingly NO good choices were made.
Picking up this book, The Second Coming, I was expecting more of the same. What I found was a fair, inciteful, and only slightly more vague than it could have been. The writer does seem to set the reader up as to many of Steve's strong points, and then makes a point to tear down Steve and portray him as almost an unfeeling monster. The narrative is a gentle roller-coaster ride between these two extremes, giving the impression that Steve is either a child, or possibly suffering from multiple personality disorder.
One thing to note is that Steve Jobs does not approve of this book, and as I understand sued to stop publication. Needless to say, HIS point of view and interviews with him are not part of the makeup of the book.
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By A Customer on December 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
Steve Jobs is a powerful man with a tight grip on his image. The fact that this book was even written is a testament to Deutschman's dedication. I heard that Jobs even leaned on the press to avoid publicizing the book.
After the reading the book, I don't even know why he was pushing so hard. Yes, there's some dirt about his love life, but most of the story is generally good news about a hard working guy with a knack for finding great designs. The chapters about Pixar are a great addition to the history of that company and an important reminder that Jobs helped build two world-class companies.
I read it with pleasure.
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Format: Hardcover
"The Second Coming of Steve Jobs" is that most unusual thing -- a business biography that you can't put down. It's a potboiler -- but a fair and accurate one. The book examines Jobs' famed charisma, his egomania, his perfectionism, and drive to succeed. Also his assorted relationships with various women and tastes in furniture. Full disclosure: I'm a reporter who's interviewed Jobs a couple of times, and I'm in the book. I can tell you that those portions are both extremely flattering and 100 percent accurate.
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