Looking for something interesting to read this Thanksgiving? Why not browse this selection of the best Apple history books you can read right now -- if you never, ever read any other books about the company, you should read these:
I've left out titles that aren't available online. (I always recommend Michael Malone's Infinite Loop as the best out of print title around). This collection is the best starting point for any who wants to understand Apple. There's lots more information on Folklore.org.
The official biography of the life of Jobs has been read by almost everyone who is serious about technology or Apple since publication. It provides a host of exclusive insights into the man, and while it falls short of being the frank account I'd hoped for, it remains essential reading if you want to understand Steve Jobs. (Also recommended, Steve Jobs: The Journey Is the Reward).
Owen Linzmayer, (Amazon only)
Apple Confidential 2.0,
This book is what book author's turn to when researching Apple's early years. It delivers supreme insight into those times with insider accounts, deep insights and other gems inside this meticulously written chronological narrative. This is the source.
Andy Hertzfeld, (Amazon only)
Revolution in The Valley,
The history of Apple is nothing without the history of the Mac. This is THE book to read if you want to understand the political intrigue and corporate infighting behind development of the platform. Well-written and packed with rare images it's your chance to understand the people and the product.
You've learned about Steve Jobs and the early years of the company, but what is Apple today? Inside Apple: How America's Most Admired - and Secretive - Company Really Works tells you about the secret systems and strategies the company uses to weave its product magic. Interviews with former Apple luminaries give valuable insights into the firm.
You can't ignore the contribution of designer, Jony Ive, to the evolution of Apple today. Kahney's book looks at the many contributions of Apple's UK-born designer and explores his past, drawing on interviews and the author's deep knowledge of the company. This is a good attempt at capturing the essence of a man arguably as private as Steve Jobs.
Written by the creative director behind Apple's ads, this title aims to be a self-help guide for business folk attempting to match the company's success. Don't be put off by this, because it's packed with never before seen interviews and unique insights into the philosophy behind the company's work. Read this and you'll understand why simplicity is complicated.
The Second Coming of Steve Jobs,
This has to be the best account of Steve Jobs' eviction from Apple, his time at Pixar and NeXT and his eventual return to the company he loved. This isn't obsequious fan fiction, either, it's a warts and all account of this part of the Apple co-founder's history. Diehard Apple fans may not like some of what they read here, but to understand this time in the company's history, there's nothing like this book.
This is a great read. Supported by a very light author's commentary it consists of quotes from people who've worked at or with Apple across the years. You'll get great insights into how it works and the book even includes a section on the soon-to-appear Mac Pro. (Also recommended: Fortune's hardback only collection of archived articles exploring the company.)
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