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Editorial 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.

Critic Reviews

  • 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 Ratings

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I was glued to my earbuds

A few years ago, I missed Halloween because I was so addicted to Isaacson's Steve Jobs biography. His earlier handling of Einstein's life is equally engaging.

He does a great job balancing both Einstein's life and science. While it's certainly not a science book, you'll learn a lot about how specifically Einstein came to his ideas, which, as it happens, leads to one of the best explanations of special relativity I have read in any book.

The last 3rd is less engaging but that's not Isaacson's fault: unlike Jobs, Einstein wasn't doing new, crazy things right up until his death. His role, however, in social and political debates of his time are certainly fascinating.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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So much more than a biography.

Any additional comments?

Who knew that besides being the smartest guy ever Einstein was also a straight up spiritual gansta first class. Love Einstein.

Besides my brain glossing over during the maths I feel like this is a incredible, biography, a history of the birth of the nuclear age, and of course a glimpse of Einsteins theory of relatively.

Bangin.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Perfect Trinity.

In my opinion Walter Isaacson is one of the best biographers, Edward Herrmann is definitely my favorite narrator, and Albert Einstein is one of my favorite human beings. I couldn't ask for much more. I have listened to both the abridged and unabridged versions and would recommend both. The abridged version is nice if you have already read or listened to the full version and just want to go back and get the highlights. When I was younger I always imagined Einstein as having more of an impersonal, awkward-genius type personality. But after reading this biography I view him as one of the most well rounded, personable individuals out there. If I could go back in time and meet anyone Einstein would be the first man I would visit.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Extremely well written book about a fascinating man

At parts I was awed, at parts I was moved, at parts fascinated and of course at parts just delighted.
Great research by isaacson presents to us the life of one of the most fascinating humans in a way that can be understood and almost felt.
LOVED the book. Loved the narration.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Einstein. the human being.

Bio presents a clear understanding of Einstein's intellectual brilliance as both scientist and humanist. Portrayal of Einstein's successes and failures provide an invaluable lesson to the power of imagination and humility.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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outstanding

simply outstanding. The insight into Einstein's personal life was fascinating. And help to explain his approach to science. It was particularly interesting to listen to this audio book while reading mcculloughs biography of Harry Truman.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • G. Ozag
  • San Rafael, California
  • 11-17-15

Writing and editing superb

Where does Einstein rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

top 5%

Who was your favorite character and why?

Niels Bohr whose creativity, genius and courage was a match for Einstein, the greatest scientific mind of his time.

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

Einstein

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

Rebel Genius

Any additional comments?

The structure and execution of this audio performance was brilliant. One of the very best I have experienced using the Audible format. Thank you!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good overview with lots of details

I zoned out through some of the science talk, but believe I understood a lot of it. There was enough life drama mixed with the science to keep me interested to the end. The narrator has a great voice and Einstein had an interesting life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Focus on science not as much on social science

It when into a lot of detail in regards to his theories which can be overwhelming. I liked the parts regarding his personal history, but I was expecting more " social" history like when he met w the Indian poet and that pivotal meeting and his interactions w the movers and shakers of his era

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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One of the best books I've ever listened!

This one definitely surprised me with the interesting storyline, great narration and just a genius of Einstein. I have learned so much about Einstein and his works and his personality and life! I would definitely recommend this book to anybody who is curious and likes something interesting to listen to. Thanks!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful