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Einstein: His Life and Universe | [Walter Isaacson]

Einstein: His Life and Universe

Why we think it’s a great listen: You thought he was a stodgy scientist with funny hair, but Isaacson and Hermann reveal an eloquent, intense, and selfless human being who not only shaped science with his theories, but politics and world events in the 20th century as well. Based on the newly released personal letters of Albert Einstein, Walter Isaacson explores how an imaginative, impertinent patent clerk became the mind reader of the creator of the cosmos.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: Isaacson is the modern master of the biography, so it was only natural that he turn his pen to Einstein. And more than any biography of the past, Isaacson's account unravels the life behind the brain and provides a full picture of the man who embodied the scientific spirit of the 20th century. Edward Herrmann is stirring and moves effortlessly from humorous anecdotes to scientific theories. —Chris Doheny

Publisher's Summary

How did Einstein's mind work? What made him a genius? Isaacson's biography shows how his scientific imagination sprang from the rebellious nature of his personality. His fascinating story is a testament to the connection between creativity and freedom.

Based on the newly released personal letters of Albert Einstein, Walter Isaacson explores how an imaginative, impertinent patent clerk, a struggling father in a difficult marriage who couldn't get a teaching job or a doctorate, became the mind reader of the creator of the cosmos, the locksmith of the mysteries of the atom and the universe. His success came from questioning conventional wisdom and marveling at mysteries that struck others as mundane. This led him to embrace a morality and politics based on respect for free minds, free spirits, and free individuals.

These traits are just as vital for this new century of globalization, in which our success will depend on our creativity, as they were for the beginning of the last century, when Einstein helped usher in the modern age.

It's all relative: listen to more about Albert Einstein.

©2007 Walter Isaacson. All rights reserved; (P)2007 Simon and Schuster Inc. All rights reserved.

What the Critics Say

  • Audie Award Winner, Biography/Memoir, 2008

"[A] lucid account." (Publishers Weekly)
"Isaacson has admirably succeeded in weaving together the complex threads of Einstein's personal and scientific life to paint a superb portrait." (Arthur I. Miller, author of Einstein, Picasso)
"Isaacson has written a crisp, engaging, and refreshing biography, one that beautifully masters the historical literature and offers many new insights into Einstein's work and life." (Diana Kormos Buchwald, General Editor of the Collected Papers of Albert Einstein)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (3848 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Gareth 07-22-13
    Gareth 07-22-13 Member Since 2013

    I love all nonfiction but in particular history & science. When I tire of facts I'll run to fiction

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    "Fascinating and comprehensive"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Einstein to be better than the print version?

    Never read the printed version but would prefer the audio to get through the density of the material


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Einstein of course. Because he was a brilliant scientist but not a perfect person. He made mistakes but imagined the world in a way few did.


    What does Edward Herrmann bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He takes his time when it gets to the dense physics bits. He makes the physics in the book sound as if it were the story of little red riding hood. Simple, clear and concise.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Alongside a light beam.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LA Stillwater, OK United States 07-21-13
    LA Stillwater, OK United States 07-21-13

    LA

    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    "Fascinating Look at the Man, His Mind and Life"
    What did you love best about Einstein?

    This book is so interesting. It is hard to put down and beckons for encore listening presentation.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Einstein, of course!


    Which character – as performed by Edward Herrmann – was your favorite?

    Again, Einstein, of course!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, but I couldn't. It's pretty lengthy.


    Any additional comments?

    This instantly became one of my all time favorite books!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Schultz 07-21-13 Member Since 2008
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    "A tour of space, time and the early 20th Century"

    I had expected to hear about Einstein, his theories and scientific career, but I had not expected to learn so much about his personal life and his attempts to prevent war. The book is loaded with copious comments from Einstein (thanks to his writing letters to so many of his friends), and you really get the sense that you understand how and what he thought. Most of Einstein's greatest work takes place in the 20th century, so there is the bonus that world events that I had heard about separately from other sources, were told in a linear fashion in the book, allowing me to see events in a more causal fashion.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Naita Wichita, KS, United States 03-11-13
    Naita Wichita, KS, United States 03-11-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Excellent Info on Einstein"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Einstein to be better than the print version?

    Good Reading


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Einstein?

    That he was such a women's man.


    Which character – as performed by Edward Herrmann – was your favorite?

    Albert


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When he signed a guest book, where he was from and he signed it, that he had no country.


    Any additional comments?

    Albert gave up his German citizenship. He chose Switzerland and the USA over Germany!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    serge potvin anjou, Quebec Canada 03-09-13
    serge potvin anjou, Quebec Canada 03-09-13
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    8
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    Story
    "Inspiring!"
    Any additional comments?

    Help to know what is intelligence. The historical even with the world war is a major character who influence strongly. The way Einstein thinking is exceptional .

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Skeeter 02-17-13
    Skeeter 02-17-13
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    "Want to understand your world? Get this book!"
    What did you love best about Einstein?

    I love the way stories are used to help the non scientist understand the theories of Einstein.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Einstein?

    I finally "get" why the General Relativity Theory shifted the entire concept of how the universe works.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I would have had a hard time actually reading this book. I think I might have set it down -the concepts require great attention and focus. But read to by a master, listening to stories about a great story teller, kept me riveted to my "book", eager for each new chapter.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Sunnyvale, CA, United States 01-11-12
    David Sunnyvale, CA, United States 01-11-12
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    "narrator is aweful"
    Were the concepts of this book easy to follow, or were they too technical?

    not technical enough and when you choose a narrator who explains technical intricacies of the subject please choose someone who does not gobble and zip through the entire subject. i can detect a bit of a show off in the narrator. he really is better suited for narrating american civil war heros or presidents from that era. someone else with more clear intonation when it came to tech stuff should have narrated this book. I am very dissopointed. what an extraordinary material and what poor performance by narrator. he was much better as dick chaney then einstein and his thearies of relativity.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Edward Herrmann?

    someone who has more passion for phisycs for sure. edward showed more enthusiasm when talking about personal relationships that when it came to discribing the genius of einstain, that is so said. i hate the narrator.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    it told me that great minds do not rely on what is confirmed by their sicieties, instead they examin everything to suit their way of life. that living alone without female hosemates gives one a trampeline into discoveries beyonds ones imaginations, that swiss as well as german societies were nationalistic. that america is a periphery.


    Any additional comments?

    one must put a conciouse amount of effor and time into selecting a suitable narrator. its not what people say it is how they say it that makes all the difference. I thought narrator sounded too old. i can detect hemoroid in his voice and a bit of disinterest in the physics itself.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jose Quintana Madrid (Spain) 12-16-09
    Jose Quintana Madrid (Spain) 12-16-09 Listener Since 2004
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    "Einstein is always interesting"

    Very interesting to know details about the life of such a man, so detached from the opinions of others, trusting and following his own intuitions till the end of his days; and at the same time always gentle. There are also lots of amusing stories and anecdotes; I enjoyed the listening. I rate four stars because I missed some more about his relationship with the spiritual realm, with God (the well-known "God does not play dice" and little more).

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ronnie Liverpool, NY, United States 10-07-08
    Ronnie Liverpool, NY, United States 10-07-08
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    "Not For The Average Reader"

    If you're not a scientist or otherwise very well educated, this is not for you. I had a very hard time making it all the way to the end of this book.

    2 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew M. Kayes 08-19-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great read"

    Enjoyed this book very much

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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