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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

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  •  
    Gary Las Cruces, NM, United States 05-27-12
    Gary Las Cruces, NM, United States 05-27-12 Member Since 2014

    Letting the rest of the world go by

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    "I don't like biographies, but I loved this one"

    I was reluctant to listen to this book because I don't like biographies. I'm glad I broke my rule. The author explains the physics of Einstein (from quantum theory to general relativity) better than almost any other popular physics book. It's really the definitive biography of Einstein because the author had access to letters which none of the other biographers have had till now. The book can be read by those who love a good biography of an interesting person and for those who what to learn about the physics. After having read this book, I can fully understand why Steve Jobs picked the author to write his biography.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Yamhill, OR, United States 08-20-10
    Robert Yamhill, OR, United States 08-20-10 Member Since 2015

    Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books.

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    "Nicely done in all respects"

    If you are looking for a great treatment on the life and character of Albert Einstein look no further. I'm not so convinced, however, that one gleans much on the nature of Relativity from the book. The book considers a personal and professional chronology of his life in way that is interesting and stimulating. The narration is quite outstanding. Making a book like this an easy listen I do not think is an easy thing. The only book I might equate with this ease of listen and profundity of such a subject would be Parallel Worlds by Michio Kaku narrated by Marc Vietor.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wolfpacker Fort Mill, SC 05-27-12
    Wolfpacker Fort Mill, SC 05-27-12 Member Since 2014

    Curtis

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    "Author Does a Nice Job of Engaging Us in the Story"

    Einstein is a fascinating man scientifically, politically, and personally. Isaacson does a good job of telling the story in a way that balances these three aspects of the famous man. Hermann's narration is masterful.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sonoma 05-20-07
    Sonoma 05-20-07
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    "Einstein"

    Beautifully read and written. Even for the non-physisist it is a wonerful listen.

    12 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mathieu Cognac 03-02-14 Member Since 2015
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    "Great read!"
    What did you like best about this story?

    It is fascinating to learn how this person has revolutionized the world of physics and how his discoveries affect our lives. Excellent read.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Noreen WICHITA FALLS, TX, United States 04-24-13
    Noreen WICHITA FALLS, TX, United States 04-24-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Einstein His Life & Universe"
    What did you like about this audiobook?

    The performance by Edward Herrmann is so perfect.
    He is such an important person, and his story is so inspiring.


    How has the book increased your interest in the subject matter?

    I have no interest in physics or higher math. This is story of a great scientist and humanitarian.


    Does the author present information in a way that is interesting and insightful, and if so, how does he achieve this?

    The letters and piecing his life together is fascinating!


    What did you find wrong about the narrator's performance?

    Nothing! Superb!


    Do you have any additional comments?

    Bravo!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    peter Pound Ridge, NY United States 11-16-11
    peter Pound Ridge, NY United States 11-16-11

    A transplanted Englishman, I spend my time on biography, history and military books. I appreciate good English and good narration.

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    "Beautifully written, beautifully read"
    Where does Einstein rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I read many biographies and this book brings out Einstein's character and personality as well as any book managed with its title subject. There is that first moment in any book where I wait to see who is to read it. Marvelous, Edward Herrmann, deep rich voice, perfect pace, appropriate emphasis and clear delivery free of accent. Water Isaacson, biographer of Steve Jobs (which I did not know when I ordered this book) has a grasp of Einstein's life details combined with an ability to put across tough scientific concepts and place them in context. Oh yes, it gets complicated...how could it not? But he never lost my interest even when it was beyond my comprehension. Isaacson kept such necessary writings to a suitable length.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Einstein came across as fallible, human, kind, tough, estranged, close, humorous, thoughtful, pacifist ,but then a considered opponent of Germany and justified war against Hitler. The juxtaposition of stories of his reclusiveness at times, merged with his open armed acceptance of some who stumbled across him. Einstein's humility; his respect for others in his profession; his ability to apply his intelligence outside of quantum physics. All come across, either in cameo writings of individual happenings or general description.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    His eccentricity, sailing alone on the lake for hours on end, presumably thinking about his mathematical proofs or endless equations. How sad it was that Hitler's bully boys ransacked his home outside Potsdam and destroyed his yacht of solace.


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

    At the end of it all, what a thoroughly fine, kind, charming gentleman.


    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Glenn Richmond Hill, ON, Canada 04-24-11
    Glenn Richmond Hill, ON, Canada 04-24-11 Member Since 2012
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    "Excellent book that covers more than just Einstein"

    Great book that makes you understand why Einstein was as icon. It was three books in one. It was a biography, overview of his physics theories (in layman???s language) and impacts of being Jewish in Germany during world war one & two. What really surprised me was that he struggled to get a professorship as well as his impact on the world stage away from physics. He was a remarkable person for his accomplishments in physics and beyond and this book brought his story and the times in which he lived to life.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bennett south lyon, MI, United States 12-13-09
    Bennett south lyon, MI, United States 12-13-09 Member Since 2012
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    "Amazing"

    Walter Isaacson paints a complete, partial, realistic, beautiful picture of this most amazing mans life.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Montezuma Toronto 09-20-09
    Montezuma Toronto 09-20-09 Listener Since 2003

    Montezuma

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    "Einstein is much deeper than E=MCC"

    A great listen, I have already recommended this book to several people. In fact, I was so moved that I need to read the book as well.

    We have heard stories about Einstein, unfortunately these stories are tales and legends or simple not true.

    Einstein is a deep man, some one I would have like to have known. There is so much I did not know about him, such as his defense of Civil Rights in the USA. To his way with women.

    As well, I chose this book because of my love of physics and it did not disappoint.

    Get it, you will love it, the only disappointment will be when it comes to an end, 21 hours never went by so quickly!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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