“Veteran journalist Steve Knopper balances the musical and the personal, packing the 400 pages of The Genius of Michael Jackson with fascinating anecdotes, covering every stage of the singer’s career in vivid detail….The section on Jackson’s childhood is especially gripping….an authoritative account of a world-changing force of nature.”
– Rolling Stone
"Steve Knopper has done something very difficult: He's written a fair-minded, musically comprehensive biography of the weirdest superstar in pop history. This is the clearest, most objective portrait of Jackson I've read."
– Chuck Klosterman
"A rich and thorough examination of one of music's most riveting, mystifying, incandescent figures. Steve Knopper brings insight and clarity to the chaos of Michael Jackson's tragic final years, but—maybe more importantly—fleshes out the powerful and brilliant performances that transfixed the world."
– Alan Light, author of "Let's Go Crazy: Prince and the Making of Purple Rain"
"Tracing Jackson's life and career, from his upbringing in Gary, Indiana, to the Jackson 5, solo fame, and through his death, [Steve Knopper] reveals a complicated, workaholic, tortured, sensitive soul, a peerless performer... Knopper writes with verve not only about the music business, but also about music and performance."
– Kirkus Reviews
– Booklist starred review
"The first narrative biography to deconstruct Jackson's inimitable dance steps, live performances, songwriting method and studio sessions in fine detail."
"A fascinating account of the tortured artist’s tumultuous life that will be an invaluable resource to music historians and fans alike."
– Publishers Weekly
"Knopper rewards readers with surprising, apt, and copious details...Knopper handles his prodigious subject with a reporter’s imperative of impartiality but a music fan’s spirit of appreciation."
– Boulder Daily Camera
"Reminds us why Michael Jackson was, indeed, a 'genius' entertainer."
"A book on Jackson that treats him fairly and shows his life wasn't black and white."
"More than rehash the well-known arc of the dysfunctional Jackson clan, Knopper targets the details that turned a child star into the King of Pop."
– 5280: The Denver Magazine
"Superb... [a] fascinating, fair-minded account of Jackson's dazzling rise to the pinnacle of pop music and his ignominious fall. We learn the backstory of the moonwalk, the military jackets, white socks, glove, plastic surgery, skin whitening and more, all of it scrupulously documented with multiple sources."
– Associated Press
"The definitive Jackson biography."
– The Denver Post
“Steve Knopper is on a rescue mission: To restore Michael Jackson’s legacy as a significant artist….Through reminiscences and observations Knopper gathers from more than 400 interviews, MJ deftly recounts the familiar aspects of the story…Knopper shows similar critical and reportorial savvy in assessing Jackson’s creative peaks and valleys….Among the book’s many answers that can’t be questioned is the resonating impact of Jackson’s boundary-shattering talent.”
– USA Today
“[A] lively and definitive biography. MJ stands above a crowded field….[Knopper] distills hundreds of original interviews to illuminate Jackson’s complexities. He also offers new understandings of his diligent creative process.”
– Chicago Tribune
"[Knopper] takes a journalist's approach to the story, chronicling M. J.’s journey from a working-class family, in Gary, Indiana, to unequalled fame and riches."