Amazon CEO and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos started his online retail company selling books and continues to have a passion for bookselling as well as almost anything consumable that can be bought online. Amazon's latest publishing venture moves into short -- i.e., readable -- biographies of "canonical figures" by "celebrated authors."
The first subjects of what Amazon is calling the "Icon" series include Jesus, Josef Stalin, Lucian Freud, J.D. Salinger, Edgar Allan Poe, Vincent Van Gogh, Ernest Hemingway, David Lynch, Alfred Hitchcock, and Hannah Arendt.
The Icon series may not have anything to do with Bezos signaling that he is serious about journalism and educating the masses, and not just e-commerce, to those who are skeptical of his $250 million Washington Post buy.
Bezos isn't known to be generous with information about himself. He wouldn't be interviewed for a Washington Post profile of him following the announcement that he would acquire the newspaper.
If filmmaker Lynch is a great subject for the Icon series, surely Bezos' work over the last 20 years is worthy. Of course, using his own publishing imprint for a biography of his iconic self would not be totally well received. Fortunately, we have Brad Stone's "The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon" coming out in mid-October to shed some light on the new media mogul.
The Icon series kicks off with "Jesus: The Human Face of God" by Jay Parini in December.