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.
"[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)
In the middle.
I liked the interweaving of Einstein's life with his science, but as a biography I thought it was a bit thin. I've read Isaacson's bio of Steve Jobs and found it a lot more thoughtful.
The volume was too uneven - the narrator has a habit of dropping his voice on certain words or parts of a sentence, which makes the book very difficult to listen to with any background noise (i.e. in the car). I was constantly having to go back and replay bits with the volume turned way up to hear where the narrator had dropped his voice.
The human side of the man, I had heard the story of the science forever. He would have been great to know, un assuming.
He was a kind man full of laughter, not arrogant at all
From start to finish E. Herrmann is very enjoyable to listen to and by the end you almost want to mimic not only his pronunciation but also his impersonation of Einstein.
Yes, but way too long to accomplish.
Isaacson does a great job of inter weaving Einstein's great feats of science and his everyday life. Well worth the read.
I gained an appreciation of the man whose mind moved science and words remain inspirations.
The struggle that a scientist has to remain a person of ethic and socially responsible when working with concepts that have potential for harm.
I read a lot...
This book doesn't rank anywhere near the top of the book I've listened to so far. Maybe in the middle somewhere.
I would say it compare to Steve Jobs or Mao when it comes to the content it attempts to cover but definitely doesn't so as good of a job as Walter did with his Steve Jobs bio.
No I had no reaction. I was surprised at times but it didn't do much more than than. Just food for thought.
I think it was a decent book but it felt more historical and less investigative. I assume that is because Walter Isaacson didn't have the opportunity to work with him on-on-one and ask him questions the way he did with Jobs. We see then because in the end we have no more answers or insight as to how or why he thought the way he did, just speculation. Einstein was such a private person it may have been hard even to understand him even if he was involved in the making of this book.
Most certainly. There is lot to learn from this genius of a man.
The sharp contrast between the different facets of his remarkable life
His thought experiments
His emotions at the death of his mother
On the whole a very rich, informative and fascinating story of the greatest scientist of the twentieth century who is in fact far more than that.
... but that doesn't matter. Einstein was such a creative thinker and such a humanist, a term many people abuse. He was the real deal. I let some of the long scientific explanations wash over me but those shouldn't be a deterrent to anyone who considers reading the book. Excellent narration and a well-told tale. I was truly sad when it ended. I chose Einstein because it was written by Steve Jobs biographer and that was a good call.
Informative, emotional, good
Hearing about his passion and struggling through certain things.
His life and universe.
I studied physics in engineering school. I taught physics for a while at a technical university. I studied Einstein’s theories off and on over the years and always knew that this was a towering intellect. After hearing about physicists in Italy forcing a Neutrino to travel faster than light, I thought it was time to brush up a little on Einstein’s theories.
I never knew the first thing about the man, his life or the trials and tribulations of that life. I am so glad that I spent the time listening to this. I enjoyed learning about this man, and all of the problems that I never knew accompanied the monumental achievements. This was a great book, and it was rich with information about the man’s life. The book clears up misconceptions about Einstein’s life and helps the reader understand much more about the human aspects.
It turns out that a mechanical problem with a fiber optic cable caused a timing error. Einstein’s theory about the speed of light being the absolute limit of the universe still stands.
The way Isaacson pulled the story out of the surviving facts. Hearing the way Einstein continually transformed his theories and had to explain them countless times to regular people so that they could understand. How Einstein used his celebrity to bring light to critical issues of the times.How, as brilliant as he was, he failed at people skills even with those closest to him.
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