Jeff Bezos' High School Buddy Slams The New Book About The Amazon Chief But Recommends You Read It Anyway

Bezos4ReutersAmazon CEO Jeff Bezos

There’s a new a new book out that documents the rise of Amazon and its founder Jeff Bezos,

The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon,” written by journalist Brad Stone, a senior writer for Bloomberg Businessweek.
This wasn’t an unauthorised biography. Although Bezos is notoriously secretive, Stone was given “unprecedented access to current and former Amazon employees and Bezos family members,” according to the book’s writeup on Amazon.

The book has gotten some decent reviews including a thumbs up from Walter Isaacson, author of the “Steve Jobs” biography.

Maybe one of its biggest endorsements is from one of Bezos’ high school buddies, which came as (what else?) a review on Amazon first spotted by Forbes’ Jeff Bercovici. The review is from 14-year Amazon exec Jonathan Leblang who gave the book four out of five stars.

Leblang attended Miami Palmetto Senior High School with Bezos and joined Amazon in 2000. He says he has “first-hand knowledge of many of the episodes in the book (high school, original web site, 9/11, earthquake, A9, Manber/Holden, Kindle, Netflix).”

While Leblang says that people should read it, he also slammed the book, calling it “sensationalistic” particularly in how it depicted Bezos’ family.

Bezos was adopted by his stepfather and Stone says that his biological father didn’t even know Bezos existed until a few months ago.

“I found the discussion about his biological father to be sensationalistic — and unnecessarily intrusive to Jeff’s family (both his real family and his biological father’s family),” Lebland criticised.

Lebland finished the book thinking that Stone got about 20 per cent of the details wrong.

But that’s far better than what Lebland thought of an unauthorised Bezos biography he previously reviewed, called “One Click: Jeff Bezos and the Rise of Amazon.com.” That only got two stars from Lebland who said, “Starting with inaccurate dates and information about his high-school years, the book is riddled with mistakes.”

Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.

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