Biography Einstein Biography Book


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Andrew Robinson, author of a biography of Albert Einstein, picks and talks through the five best Albert Einstein books and discusses the life and times of the . Buy Einstein: His Life and Universe on ✓ FREE SHIPPING on I bought this book because the writer was touted on TV for his new biography of. The book is the first biography to tackle Einstein's enormous volume of personal correspondence that heretofore had been sealed from the public, and it's hard to .

Einstein Biography Book

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Albert Einstein: A Biography (Greenwood Biographies) [Alice Calaprice, Trevor Lipscombe] "In this book, written for high school students, the authors present a . Einstein book. Shelves: biography, science, favourites, us-canada-author, .. Isaacson's biography shows how his scientific imagination sprang from the. The book by Isaacson presents a populist view of Einstein and the book by Neffe is a more probing biography. Being from a science.

He wrote her passionate letters, saying: And this someone is you. Eventually, Einstein came around to the cause [of Zionism]. It was also, as Einstein described, "the utter failure of the so-called intellectual aristocracy. Einstein eventually settled in Princeton, New Jersey, and would spend the rest of his life there.

He was given a corner office in a university hall, and was asked what equipment he needed. Oh yes, and a large wastebasket, so I can throw away all my mistakes.

Occasionally, he would take rambling walks on his own, which could be dicey. One day someone called the Institute and asked to speak to a particular dean.

When his secretary said that the dean wasn't available, the caller hesitantly asked for Einstein's home address. That was not possible to give out, he was informed. The caller's voice then dropped to a whisper. Einstein, I'm on my way home, and I've forgotten where my house is. But what grew to impress him more — and what made him fundamentally such a good American but also a controversial one — was the country's tolerance of free thought, free speech, and nonconformist beliefs.

That had been a touchstone of his science, and now it was a touchstone of his citizenship. In one of his most revealing remarks about himself, Einstein lamented, "To punish me for my contempt of authority, Fate has made me an authority myself. This is the second book by Walter Isaacson I've read, the other being Steve Jobs , and he is a talented writer and biographer. I especially appreciate his skill at weaving quotes and anecdotes into the narrative.

For example, this is a typically elegant and amusing paragraph from Isaacson: Einstein's new marriage was different from his first. It was not romantic or passionate. From the start, he and Elsa had separate bedrooms at opposite ends of their rambling Berlin apartment. Nor was it intellectual. Understanding relativity, she later said, "is not necessary for my happiness.

His eyes could positively twinkle, and that shock of hair was rarely tamed. I really enjoyed most of this book, and if I had been more studious and applied myself, I probably could have made better sense of the heavy chapters on physics.

But there is a reason I ended up in the humanities and not the sciences, and I shall continue to admire Mr. Einstein's work from a distance. Favorite Quotes: View all 22 comments. What made him a genius?

The Scale of Einstein, From Faith to Formulas

Isaacson's biography shows how his scientific imagination sprang from the rebellious nature of his personality. Aug 16, brian rated it really liked it.

Dear Habicht, Such a solemn air of silence has descended between us that I almost feel as if I am committing a sacrilege when I break it now with some inconsequential babble.

So, what are you up to, you frozen whale, you smoked, dried, canned piece of soul? Why have you still not sent me your dissertat here's a letter a young einstein wrote to his pal. Why have you still not sent me your dissertation? Don't you know that I am one of the 1. I promise you four papers in return.

The first deals with radiation and the energy properties of light and is very revolutionary, as you will see if you send me your work first. The second paper is a determination of the true sizes of atoms. The fourth paper is only a rough draft at this point, and is an electrodynamics of moving bodies which employs a modification of the theory of space and time. The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of all true art and science.

He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead, a snuffed-out candle. To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is something that our minds cannot grasp, whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly: In this sense, and in this sense only, I am a devoutly religious man.

I very seriously doubt that Einstein himself really knows what he is driving at. The outcome of this doubt and befogged speculation about time and space is a cloak beneath which hides the ghastly apparition of atheism. Hey Frank, c-squared ya dipshit, c-squared!

That's a whole lotta motherfuckin' bango django. Love Bertie the last one, not really. View all 11 comments. In primary school, he was at the top of his class. It would probably add to your enjoyment. I always fell like the floor is starting to ripple with the space-time continuum when I go over these theories. And, appreciated the biochemist, Chaim Weizmann, quote. Asked upon their arrival whether he understood the theory, Weizmann gave a delightful reply: View all 10 comments.

Nov 04, Bonnie rated it it was amazing. My brother-in-law recommended this biography in There are eleven pages of sources alone!

This book is meticulously researched, beautifully written, fascinating, inspiring, and wonderful on every level. Explanations of scientific theories are clear and restated many, many times in different ways. Einstein believed deeply in intellectual freedom and he was a nonconformist first and foremost.

Although distinct in most ways, both quests reflected his instincts for transcendent order. But in that regard he was in the tradition of some venerable strands in the fabric of American character: To keep your balance you must keep moving. Advice offered to his step-daughters in on how to live a moral life: Imagination is more important than knowledge.

Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. And one life is enough for me. View 1 comment. I recognised the great work that he did regarding General and Special Relativity, the Photoelectric Effect and Brownian Motion - brilliant stuff. But why does Einstein get wheeled out for every portrayal of a great scientist? Why does everyone feel the need to quote the guy regarding religion, education, happiness, sociology This really annoyed me - and I guess it still does.

In an education lecture a few weeks ago the lecturer gave an Einstein quote on learning. And it immediately got my hackles up. Did Einstein even teach?

I guess as an academic he must have taught someone. And I had to look it up. It seems his undergrad degree was in physics and education. Ok, maybe an education quote might be legit from this guy. So this prompted my to pull this volume from my to-read bookshelf might be bigger than this, shhhhh and open it up.

And damn did I learn a lot about the details of his life. The book was for most part engaging and fascinating. It helped fill in a lot of details on what I already knew about the events in physics and chemistry from the late 19th to mid 20th century. Non-science people: I found this very accessible - not too much jargon at all.

But the wonderful Diane said there was a bit of ultra-tough physics in here, however nothing you couldn't skip. So, how do I stand on Einstein quotes now?

Well I'm more open to appropriate ones. The guy was very intelligent in matters of physics and math. So make it rain with equations and thought experiments. Teaching quotes: No- fail on the education front. Any other quotes: Quit it with the psychology, sociology quotes. Actually, the guy spent most of his life trying to refute quantum mechanics.

And look at it now. God plays so much dice that Las Vegas is embarrassed. View all 7 comments. View all 4 comments. I am not calling him great for what he did for science, but for the kind of person he was.

He will appeal to those of you who like non-conformists, people with imagination and curiosity. Now there is a lot of physics in this book, and there are sections that went over my head. This annoyed me. Although it is not a criticism of the author, but rather a criticism of myself, IF the author had managed to make clear for me more of the scientific theories, I would have to call the book amazing.

General and special relativity, gravitation and quantum mechanics they do all belong in this book, they should not be removed. I understand more than when I began, but I have far to go. He would imagine a physical happening in his head, be it an elevator in free-fall or a bug crawling around a branch, and he would ask himself what would happen and how does the bug see the world around him.

Others criticize how Einstein treated his family. He did love his family. All people do not express love in the same way. Is there humor in the book? Yes, mostly in some of the things Einstein said.

You get history too. McCarthyism and Stalinism and Nazism. What role did he play? What was his role exactly in the development of atomic weapons, and more importantly how did he see the world afterwards.

He thought there should be a world organization that controlled all atomic weapons. Could this have ever worked? All of this is discussed. Religion is discussed too.

According to Einstein, it is the absence of miracles that proves the existence of divine providence. It is the laws of nature that so magnificently explain the world around us and that inspire awe.

His belief in science was very close to his religiosity. They are one and the same thing. Einstein in a nutshell: Einstein was a kind, unpretentious, humble man. I really, really liked this book. I wish I could speak with Einstein himself. Even though he was great he would have talked to me. He was never showy or saw himself as the extraordinary person that he was.

Another interesting question: I mean, in spirit. Or was he a citizen of the world? I listened to the audiobook narrated by Edward Herrmann. The narration was clear and at a perfect speed.

The science sections were hard. For those of you who are reading this to better understand physics, maybe it is better to read the paper book, where it is easier to stop and THINK! Oh, I forgot to say this — when Einstein got the Nobel Prize, which by the way was not for relativity, he explained his scientific theories over and over. This made me feel a lot better when I found myself becoming confused. I read the book to meet the man, and I really enjoyed it.

View all 29 comments. Jul 18, Michael Finocchiaro rated it really liked it Shelves: On the suggestion of my friend Al, I acquired and recently finished the recent Einstein biography by Walter Isaacson. He also wrote one on Franklin which I will read soon as well. As for the Einstein biography, it is about pages long follow by 90 pages of footnotes and references and 50 pages of index. It covers his life and attempts to explain some of his theories.

I found that the first half about his childhood and momentous discoveries in was exciting. The photoelectric effect proving the existence of atoms Brownian motion, special relativity, and the equivalence of matter and energy were all there.

It took him another 10 years to get from the special theory to the general theory of relativity. Interesting to note as well was the innate marketing in Einstein to simplify formulas to their more palatable essence: Isaacson often takes time to demonstrate how Einstein was constantly in wonder at the universe around him and convinced that there was some relatively simple rules hiding there waiting to be discovered by some distant omniscient deity.

His further quest for general relatively was similarly passionate reading particularly in the race with a Swedish mathematician David Hildbert to find the final formula. It is a bit harder to remember and understand than the special theory but contains the famous cosmological constant that bugged him ever after.

The book kind of slows down and loses a little focus after this initial rush. The author organized the books on common themes rather than using a chronological account.

I am more a fan of the latter such as the 2-volume Faulkner biography by Blotner that remains my favorite so this one left me a little wanting. Certainly not the best biography I ever read but not the worst either. View all 5 comments. Aug 01, Jamie rated it really liked it. A while back I had tried to read Walter Isaacson's biography on Benjamin Franklin, but just couldn't get through it because the author mired everything down in pointless details. Despite that, I decided to give his more recent book about famed theoretical physicist Albert Einstein a try.

If it turned out to be boring, I'd just drop it. Turned out, I loved it. What I loved about Isaacon's book here is the way it delicately balances three aspects: I could see how someone setting out to write this book might want to focus on just one or two of these facets, but that would really be missing a huge opportunity.

Each member of this trio of topics interacts with each other, and Isaacson finds ways to discuss two or more of them within the same passage. We get interesting little tidbits about Einstein's personal life and character, but we see how those things impacted the way he pursued his scientific work and thinking, and how that body of work turn defined or, later, ran counter to the entire field of physics.

Seeing how all these pieces intersected and linked was fascinating. It's all pretty well written, too. We get neat little anecdotes about Einstein like how contrary to popular belief he never failed math, or how he married his cousin, had four citizenships, or how --SPOILER ALERT-- the coroner who performed his autopsy stole his fricking brain and kept it in a jar for years while periodically giving out pieces of it to friends.

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I'll admit that when Isaacson would go off on a lecture about special or general relativity my eyes would glaze over while trying to follow his discussion of say four-sided triangles in non-Euclidean space or whatever, but at least some of the time it was written at a level I could follow, at least conceptually. Enough to understand the impact it had on the field, at least until Einstein's own theories were supplanted by quantum theory.

If I have any criticism of the book, it's that while Isaacson does an admirable job of placing Einstein's achievements within the context of scientific discoveries at that time, what he fails to do is give us much perspective on how much --if anything-- the modern science of today owes to Einstein and his theories.

What did Einstein get wrong, and what parts of his theories have been crowded out by the inevitable march of scientific progress? Didn't say. All in all, though, I found the book fascinating and would recommend it. I think I may go back and give the Ben Franklin book another shot. View 2 comments. Dec 09, Jason Koivu rated it really liked it Shelves: His Life and Universe is but a mere pinch of Einstein's theories mixed in with a modest helping of his life.

The brevity was too my taste as I was only in the mood for a tiny taste of Einstein bio. Too much of the genuis' theory is liable to give me brain-freeze, so this was perfect.

Master of the Universe

And done just the way I like it, tight and to the point. Jul 23, Andrej Karpathy rated it really liked it. This was my second read of an Einstein biography, this time by Isaacson.

Coming from Isaacson, the book is well-written and seemed very thoroughly researched. Overall a great read, but if I had to complain my biggest issue is that the emphasis was not allocated very well. Conversely, some very interesting portions of his life are under-represented.

In one chapter he publishes his streak of papers, and in what feels like a few pages later he is a scientific celebrity. This period, where the community is discovering and processing him as a person from nowhere who made sudden and large contributions is among the most interesting, and very sparsely covered.

This book was written in but so few of these interesting retrospectives are present that it may have as well been published in I thought this was a huge missed opportunity. A few more fun parts of the book I enjoyed: An interesting view, expanded on nicely in the book. Most people felt strongly that he should get one, but the situation was more politically charged than may seem at a first glance. In the end, Einstein received the Nobel for photoelectric effect, not for his much more impactful theory of general relativity.

Luckily, it turns out that a patent office is not a bad place for an academic tenure. I wish we did. The irony is that many established senior scientists were on the defense of the old order when Einstein first formulated GR, and now here he was much later as an established senior scientist stubbornly defending the old order in face of attacks from QM.

Einstein 1905: The Standard of Greatness

This irony was not lost on Einstein at all either, but he still refused to correct for this persistently observed bias across history. I developed a new appreciation for Einstein after reading the book, and there were plenty of fun parts and anecdotes that made this quite worth the read. This is an incredibly well researched, detailed account of all aspects of Einstein's life, personal, scientific and political that I can highly recommend to anybody interested.

I learned heaps I didn't know and had the record set straight on a number of points, mainly regarding Einstein's political views, how they changed over time and his level of support for setting up the Manhattan Project. I read the book with a specific research agenda, which was to independently form an opinion as to whethe This is an incredibly well researched, detailed account of all aspects of Einstein's life, personal, scientific and political that I can highly recommend to anybody interested.

I read the book with a specific research agenda, which was to independently form an opinion as to whether Einstein was autistic, an idea not first suggested by me and not on the author's mind either.

Yep, autisticker than an autistic person with autism. Towards the end there is an account of how Einstein was affected by and responded to McCarthyism. He was opposed, seeing in it the oppression of free speech and free thought characteristic of both Fascism and Communism.

The author takes the view that McCarthyism was a passing fad, doomed to fail in the long term because of the greatness of the American Constitution.

I found this level of complacency offensive to all the victims of McCarthy, all the people who spoke up in defense of freedoms and all the people who defended the constitution legally. On it's own the constitution is nothing; without those people willing to risk reputation, career, even liberty, would McCarthyism have been a "passing fad"?

Given the current political situation, we need such people more than ever. You disappoint me in this, Isaacson. Einstein, who used his world famous name to stand up for moderation, tolerance and freedom of thought and speech, does not. Still, overall an excellent book. View all 3 comments. Probably his most productive years are those years when he was a patent clerk.

Having said that, he came up with general relativity when he was a professor of physics in Berlin. Also, at the patent office, although he was not known in the academic world, he had some contact with academic physicists like Max Planck who was a key supporter of relativity.

But we should remember that he was always involved with those two worlds. Are there any clues as to where his revelations came from? Did his unconventional background play a part in that? Like many geniuses, he was not particularly successful in his university training.

He attended a famous institution—in Zurich—but was always rebelling against his academic education, constantly reading the latest research on his own.

He was not working with other people at all. He was not very successful in his relationships with his university lecturers. He was a rebel and, because he was so passionate about physics, his best ideas really came from his own reading and thinking. One of the most famous ones concerns chasing a light ray. When he was 16 or 17, he imagined whether you could catch up with a light ray and what that would mean.

Yes, to begin with, it did. He had friends who he tried his ideas out on and often they disagreed—quite violently in some cases—and that improved his thinking. At one point, he did have a collaborator who was a mathematician and they published some work on general relativity together.One of the most famous ones concerns chasing a light ray.

I found that the first half about his childhood and momentous discoveries in was exciting. He was a loner with an intimate bond to humanity, a rebel who was suffused with reverence. Einstein's new marriage was different from his first. Your first choice is Albert Einstein: So, what are you up to, you frozen whale, you smoked, dried, canned piece of soul? You get history too. He kept Swiss nationality throughout his life, until he went to the United States and became an American citizen when he was quite old, in This site has an archive of more than one thousand interviews, or five thousand book recommendations.

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