A new book about the pursuit of perfection by three men with a vision, a unique talent and a need for complete control.  Charlie Chaplin, Gene Kelly and Steve Jobs fit this profile.

While this book is not a pure biographical account of their lives, in order to have context and background for the topics I'll cover, a brief biography of each will be provided.  It is almost impossible to discuss who they were at the pinnacle of their lives without discussing those “birth to death” events, places and people in their lives.  Some were easily identifiable as significant influences and some were happenstance, but each played a role in their lives regardless. 

There were two possible formats for this book.  One would involve discussing pertinent topics for each person separately from beginning to end starting with Chaplin, then Kelly and finally Jobs.  This would be, in effect, three books within a book.  A final chapter would compare and contrast each person in certain areas.  The other format would be topic driven chapters with discussions of each person within each chapter; how they were similar and different based on those topics.  In the end, I chose the latter format because there were so many commonalities, as you will see, between the three men and how they coped with life, politics, religion, people and events. 

I actually worked backwards with my research.  I read a dozen books on Steve Jobs and Apple as well as numerous books on the birth of the computer; the men, the machines and the culture of those times.  I read numerous essays and viewed documentaries on the early computer craze as well as every interview Steve Jobs ever gave or I could get my hands on.  The standouts were his commencement address at Stamford, his “All Things Digital” interviews with Walt Mossberg, the renowned Wall Street Journal technology journalist, and his keynote speeches to the annual developer conferences. Steve Jobs never made a movie or starred on television as Chaplin and Kelly did, so interviews in print and on television were invaluable in getting to know him.  Steve Jobs died just as I was getting started on my research and Walter Isaacson’s authorized biography of Jobs was the last and most fitting book to read.

Please enjoy my picture gallery below.

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