Walter Isaacson is an incredible writer and brings his subjects to life. His book "Benjamin Franklin, An American Life" took me on an amazing two year journey, ending with getting kicked off the grounds of Monticello by the Park Rangers for staying past closing time because I was so engrossed in the history of the place (nothing bad happened, just went on my own walking tour and missed the last bus off the mountain).
After finishing his recent book on Steve Jobs, I bought Einstein to keep me company. While most of the content about Einstein's life interests me, I found it delving too deeply in his physics pursuits. While this content defined Einstein's life, I found it too heavy to listen to and was forwarding past some sections to get to the content about his family and school life. I also found Einstein to be a not-so-loveable character, quite honestly, so that may have colored my opinion of this book as well. This is one of those books that I had to force myself to finish as I didn't want the money I paid for it to go to waste.
Einstein was intriguing and a genius of his time, but he had significant flaws that I found less than appealing. While I applaud him for his pursuits and his dedication to knowledge, I didn't like some aspects of his character. I won't go into them here, given that I don't wish to spoil the read for the future reader.
In this type of book, you either accept the person or you don't. I wouldn't change or cut any scenes becuase all of them contributed to making Einstein the person he ended up being. So much good has come from his work (primarily his lesser known works) and he is such a beloved character for those that know about him only in passing, I am happy to accept the good with the bad.
Not a book that I would recommend to my friends. If you are facing of choice of purchasing this book or another Isaacson, I would recommend either the Franklin or Jobs books above Einstein.
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