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英语新闻:《成为乔布斯》:记者与天才

2015-04-08    来源:财富中文网    【      美国外教 在线口语培训
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英语新闻:《成为乔布斯》:记者与天才 

英语新闻:

Every new book about Steve Jobs will forever be measured against Walter Isaacson’s biography, which defined, for millions of readers, the man who built (and rebuilt) Apple.

But the people closest to Jobs — the people who knew him best — say Isaacson missed the mark. “I thought the Isaacson book did him a tremendous disservice,” says Tim Cook, speaking out three years later. “It was just a rehash of a bunch of stuff that had already been written, and focused on small parts of his personality.”

Isaacson’s not really to blame. He’s a skilled journalist, and he mastered an enormous amount of material in a very short time. But he didn’t get to spend much quality time with his subject until the last year and a half of Jobs’ life. Besides, he was hired to tell the story of what Steve Jobs did, not who Steve Jobs was.

There are only a handful of journalists who knew Jobs well enough to tell that story. There’s Steve Levy, formerly of Newsweek. There’s John Markoff of the New York Times. And there’s Brent Schlender of the Wall Street and Fortune, who may have known Jobs best of all.


Becoming Steve Jobs was co-written with Rick Tetzeli, a long-time Fortune colleague, but it is told in the first person — Schlender’s first person — because it is, at heart, Schlender’s story, the story of a journalist’s 25-year relationship with a source.

The book comes richly pre-publicized. Fast Company, where Tetzeli is executive editor, has been dishing out the newsiest chunks like ice cream, one scoop at a time.

But it’s through Schlender’s stories, freshly told, often from taped interviews, that we get to know Steve Jobs as Schlender knew him. And it’s through these stories that each reader will assemble his or her own answer to the book’s central question:

How did a young man so reckless and arrogant become the most effective visionary business leader of our time?”

Jobs cultivated Schlender, gave him long interviews, called him to gossip and complain. Schlender visited Jobs at home; Jobs visited Schlender in the hospital, where they ended up together more often than either would have wished.

Their first meeting — in 1986, when Jobs was drumming up publicity for NeXT — didn’t yield the Wall Street Journal feature story Jobs was hoping for, but it did convince him that Schlender was okay, not a bozo.

“Not writing a feature was the first salvo in the twenty-five-year-long negotiation that marked our relationship,” writes Schlender in the prologue that kickstarts the book. “There was never a minute where the basic terms of our relationship weren’t clear: I was the reporter, he was the source and subject.”

And yet Schlender leaves Jobs’ invitation-only memorial service in October 2011 overcome with emotion for having lit into his source in their last phone call. Jobs had invited Schlender to pay a visit. But Schlender was in a dark mood. Not realizing how close Jobs was to death, he used the opportunity to air his grievances about their relationship. “After a few minutes, once I’d had my say, there was a silence on the line. And then he said he was really sorry.”

Schlender made a halfhearted attempt to schedule a visit but quickly gave up, to his everlasting regret.

Highly recommended.

tremendous: adj.极大的,巨大的; 可怕的,惊人的; 极好的 

disservice: n.伤害,虐待,不亲切的行为

rehash: n.用旧材料改编成的作品; 一味的重复

reckless: adj.鲁莽的,不顾危险的; 粗心大意的

visionary: adj.空想的,幻想的; 预言性的

drum up: v.招徕,鼓吹 

prologue: n.序言,开场白

grievance: n.不满; 苦衷; 委屈

(财富中文网)


每本关于史蒂夫•乔布斯的新书都会被拿来同沃尔特•艾萨克森的《史蒂夫•乔布斯传》相比,后者为数百万读者描绘了那位创立(并重建)苹果公司的男人。

但那些与乔布斯走得最近、最了解他的人,认为艾萨克森的叙述有失准确。苹果现任首席执行官蒂姆•库克在三年后直言不讳地表示:“我认为艾萨克森的作品完全是在帮倒忙。该书只是重新整理了已有的一系列材料,关注的仅仅是乔布斯个性中很小一部分。”

我们也不能为此责备艾萨克森。他是位技巧娴熟的记者,在很短的时间内就获取了大量材料。但直到乔布斯生前的最后一年半,他才有了足够的时间来专门准备这一主题。此外,他的职责是讲述乔布斯做了什么事,而非介绍乔布斯是个什么人。

对乔布斯足够了解,以至于能够讲述那个故事的记者可谓屈指可数。曾就职于《新闻周刊》的史蒂夫•列维是其中之一,《纽约时报》的约翰•马尔科夫也算一个。此外,还有《华尔街日报》和《财富》杂志记者布伦特•施伦德,他可能是最了解乔布斯的人了。

《成为乔布斯》是他与长期供职于《财富》的同事里克•特策利合著的作品,但本书却是以第一视角——施伦德的第一视角撰写的,因为这本质上是施伦德的故事,讲述了一名记者与乔布斯结识25年来的所见所闻。

本书做了大量售前宣传工作。特策利担任执行主编的《快公司》一直在连载最新章节,就像一次挖一勺冰淇淋一样。

施伦德的故事往往来自录音采访,正是通过这些故事,我们会像他了解乔布斯一样,逐步认识乔布斯。也正是通过这些故事,每位读者都能以自己的视角找到本书核心问题的答案:

一位如此鲁莽自大的年轻人,如何能成为当代最具远见卓识的商业领袖?

乔布斯与施伦德建立了友谊,接受他长时间的采访,打电话跟他闲聊,抱怨。施伦德会去乔布斯家里看他,乔布斯也会去医院看施伦德,而他们最后在医院会面的频率之高,是之前谁也没料到的。

两人相识于1986年,当时乔布斯正在奋力宣传他的新公司NeXT。施伦德在《华尔街日报》刊发了一篇并未乔布斯所愿的专题报道,但他认为这位记者不错,不是个笨蛋。

施伦德在全书的开头写道:“不发表特写文章,是我们这段长达25年的友谊中确立的第一准则。在我们的关系中,有一条基本原则始终无比明确:我是记者,他是信息提供者和报道对象。”

2011年10月,想到自己在与乔布斯最后一通电话中抨击了他,施伦德怀着难过的心情离开了仅限受邀者参加的乔布斯追思会。当时乔布斯请施伦德去看看他,但施伦德情绪不佳。他没有意识到死神已经临近了乔布斯,还利用这一机会大发牢骚,抱怨他们的关系。“几分钟后,我说完了,话筒里一时无声。然后他说,他真的十分抱歉。”

施伦德曾经试着找个时间去探望乔布斯,然后很快就取消了这个计划。这件事让他终身遗憾。

强烈推荐本书。



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