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Einstein: His Life and Universe | [Walter Isaacson]

Einstein: His Life and Universe

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.
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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

"[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

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  •  
    Lee R. Atlanta, GA 11-12-12
    Lee R. Atlanta, GA 11-12-12

    Voracious Reader

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    "Expected more Life Story, less Physics Lesson"
    Would you try another book from Walter Isaacson and/or Edward Herrmann?

    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.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    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.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Great narration.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Einstein?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Claudio Miami, FL, United States 06-12-12
    Claudio Miami, FL, United States 06-12-12 Member Since 2012
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    "interesting points of a life of a genius"
    What disappointed you about Einstein?

    The biography was a little boring even thou many interesting points of his life. What made the biography a little slow is the description of all the physic laws and his experiences. Maybe for someone who enjoys more physics will find more interesting than I did.


    What three words best describe Edward Herrmann’s performance?

    Edward's performance is very good.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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