Walter Isaacson has a short essay at Time.com about the genesis of his Steve Jobs biography. Key portions are at this open link at Poynter. Jobs called Isaacson in the summer of 2004 to arrange a meeting in Aspen: “It turned out that he wanted me to write a biography of him…. Because I assumed that he was still in the middle of an oscillating career that had many more ups and downs left, I demurred. Not now, I said. Maybe in a decade or two, when you retire. But I later realized that he had called me just before he was going to be operated on for cancer for the first time.”
On their final meeting a few weeks ago: “In order to mask my emotion, I asked the one question that was still puzzling me: Why had he been so eager, during close to 50 interviews and conversations over the course of two years, to open up so much for a book when he was usually so private? ‘I wanted my kids to know me,’ he said. ‘I wasn’t always there for them, and I wanted them to know why and to understand what I did.'”
Barnes & Noble vp of marketing Patricia Bostelman echoes the thoughts of many booksellers to the NYT: “We think it’s the biggest adult nonfiction book of the year.” Isaacson is expected to appear on 60 Minutes and Fortune has a second serial lined up.