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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.

Critic Reviews

"[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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  • Overall
  • Klaus
  • Princeton, NJ, USA
  • 08-22-07


This bio is a must read for all fans of Einstein,
all interested in physics, science, history of science, and in Einstein's theories.
Although this is the abridged version (7 vs 21 hours) you don't feel there's much left out, so much detail is contained in this book.
It covers all aspects of Einstein's life, personal as well as scientific and describes to some detail the steps of thought Einstein was going thru to develop his theories.
It should be easily understood by the non-physicist and bring insights also to the "expert".
I truly enjoyed the read and maybe some time go for the unabridged one :)

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Nathan
  • Atlanta, GA, USA
  • 05-09-08


I fully recommend the abridged version. The story is concise, yet it's highly cohesive and powerful.

The content of this book is evenly split between the science and personality of Einstein.

Awesome narration.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Kevin
  • Twin Falls, ID, USA
  • 07-07-08

Didn't know that.

A little dry but interesting information on a genius. Would reccomend.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Floyd
  • denton, TX, USA
  • 06-11-07

Not Bad

This book gets very technical sometimes which makes it hard to follow. I wanted to know more about Einstein as a person not his science.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

This is the abridged version!

This is the abridged version! It's only about 1/3 of the total book. Before you buy it... double check that you want abridged... and not unabridged!

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Should've bought the unabridged version

This is the abridged version. It is good but now having finished the book I wish I had chosen the unabridged version.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


I can't speak to the unabridged version of this book, but I don't recommend this one to anyone without a background in, or at least a strong interest in physics. The interesting passages about Einstein's life weren't plentiful enough to keep me involved. I do now, however, know more about relativity theories than I did; although that is not why I listened to the book...

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A Fasinating Perspective of Einstein's Life

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend this book to a friend. You don't have to be a science buff to follow the many concepts covered throughout the book, however some knowledge helps to shed light on understanding of the many topics discussed. I was shocked to find out about Einstein's aloofness toward his family.This was a great book! It was easy to listen too and follow.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Einstein?

Of course... when he had his break through moment E=mc2

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Informative for Einstein Enthusiast!

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

Make sure you understand this is a abridged version - meaning shortened version of the book! If you want the full version word for word download the unabridged version.

Who was your favorite character and why?


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


1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Roger
  • Orlando, Florida United States
  • 01-12-10

Warts and all

This is a great book about Einstein's life and work. I thought the author explained his contributions very clearly. Neither did he sugar coat Einstein's personal life - definitely not a saint, I felt sorry for his wife.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful