A few years ago, there was a really great made for TV movie titled “The Pirates of Silicon Valley” starring Noah Wylie as Steve Jobs and Anthony Michael Hall as Bill Gates. The movie was based on the book Fire in the Valley: The Making of The Personal Computer by Paul Freiberger and Michael Swaine. Very good book, by the way.
Anyway, I bring this up as there were rumors when both the book and the movie came out that Mr. Jobs was not very happy with his portrayal in either. Although Woz states that the movie portrayal was honest, the rumor was that Steve did not like being presented as a Type A tyrant whose drive to be the alpha male in the computer world could be seen as somewhat sociopathic at times.
So, after years of prodding, Steve will have the chance to put to rest those rumors. According to the Associated Press, Simon & Schuster announced Sunday that Walter Isaacson’s "iSteve: The Book of Jobs" will be published in early 2012. Just in time for the apocalypse. Isaacson has been working on the long-rumored biography since 2009 and has interviewed Jobs, members of his family, colleagues at Apple and competitors.
Now I think we all know by now what the difference is between an “authorized” biography and one that is not. It means authoritative access to those people around the biographical person of interest as well as the center of attraction. It means getting to the bottom of matters, to find out exactly what it is that drives a person to do the things that person has done. It means finding the truth.
I’m sorry; actually it doesn’t mean anything like that. Lately, it means airbrushing a person until it looks nothing like them. In his defense, few biographers are better connected than Isaacson, a former top executive at CNN and Time magazine who has written best-sellers about Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein. But we’ve seen a few unauthorized biographies on Jobs to realize that if this comes out as a gee-whiz, boy genius True Hollywood Story, that the unauthorized bios are probably true.
Where’s Kitty Kelly when you need her?