in hindsight I think I should have read the abridged version. This book is so detailed that I found it tedious to finish. great information, but too long for my taste. in addition I should have read it at 1.25x speed much of the time. There may be a few areas where you want to slow down to catch the thought experiments, but overall I think the author is just fairly slow.
For some people, miracles serve as evidence of God's existence. For Einstein, it was the absence of miracles that reflected divine providence. "The fact that the cosmos is comprehensible, that it follows laws, is worthy of awe. This is the defining quality of a God who reveals himself in the harmony of all that exists." -Albert Einstein
Einstein's genius was in his perpetual curiosity, his wonder, awe, and reverence for all of God's creations. He seldom let disappointments and setbacks set him back, discourage him from going forward...he never gave up. That, I believe was where Einstein not just exploded past, but more importantly, outlasted and out-endured his contemporaries. Minds like Bohr, de Broglie, Curie, Planck, Schrödinger, Tesla, et al. were geniuses many times over, and revered and learned about in modern Chemistry, Biology, Physics, etc. I would be amiss if I didn't add his humble, respectful nature, quick wit, and enduring sense of humor to what helped elevate him to immortal status, and how and why you know the name of Einstein, and not those of so many other great thinkers even if you've never taken an advanced course in any of the above-mentioned subjects.
This biography was more like a heady marathon than a mindless stroll along the beach. It was to be endured, to be experienced. There were many beautiful moments, times when I felt excitedly curious, enlightened, and engaged in thought. There were also moments...more like long stretches, where my intellectual "legs" felt overwhelmed, exhausted, and incapable. Although those times were grueling, they stretched and deepened...strengthened me as a person, both mentally and spiritually.
May he rest in piece. Edward Herrmann was an incredible talent who added much to Bill O'Reilly's great books, and many, many others when he read them, this book includeed.
What an great experience, what a great man, what a great book!
I couldn't wait to find a reason to drive or plug in my headphones in order to listen to this. Complicated scientific theories are explained, to a degree, in a very comprehensible manner.
Well researched, written and read. Sometimes a bit too detailed perhaps on his relatives and networks and their respective lives and long quotes from letters back and forth. Lot's of wisdoms and thoughts on human nature and the nature of things in general though, not just theories on relativity. After this book you'll never have to read another book on the life of Albert, or his theories.
You might find it entertaining to read "Driving Mr. Albert" directly after this one, and hear the absurd story of what happened to his brain after he died.
Great book. It was very interesting and really gave the reader a feel for Einstein the man. His kindness, humility and even his faults. While I didn't understand all the science in this book, it did help me to understand more than I had before. Very enjoyable!
The book combines the personal biography with a clear exposition of his scientific contributions. It stands in sharp contrast with Galileo biography by James Reston, Jr., in which the science is almost a side line.
The explanation of relativity theory in a non-mathematical manner, and Einstein contribution to underanding the reality of atoms and molecules.
A model of what scientific biography should be
Often when we read, see or hear about life in the early 1900's, it's easy to think of people of that time as somehow "different" to us modern folk. Something separate from ourselves, relics of the past.
That's why this book is so darn refreshing. Einstein is portrayed as a human being just like us, living a life just like we are (OK with some glaring exceptions!). Einstein lived then, but from the way it's told, he could have just as easily been living now. As I listened, the past became real, just as real as my present.
OK, so most of the physics stuff went over my head - I suppose I'm just dumb that way. But the beautifully written letters, the anecdotes and the events had me hooked. I vaguely recall even shedding a tear when Einstein drew his last breath.