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Einstein: His Life and Universe Hardcover – Apr 10 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1 edition (April 10 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743264738
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743264730
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 4.6 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #33,468 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Acclaimed biographer Isaacson examines the remarkable life of "science's preeminent poster boy" in this lucid account (after 2003's Benjamin Franklin and 1992's Kissinger). Contrary to popular myth, the German-Jewish schoolboy Albert Einstein not only excelled in math, he mastered calculus before he was 15. Young Albert's dislike for rote learning, however, led him to compare his teachers to "drill sergeants." That antipathy was symptomatic of Einstein's love of individual and intellectual freedom, beliefs the author revisits as he relates his subject's life and work in the context of world and political events that shaped both, from WWI and II and their aftermath through the Cold War. Isaacson presents Einstein's research—his efforts to understand space and time, resulting in four extraordinary papers in 1905 that introduced the world to special relativity, and his later work on unified field theory—without equations and for the general reader. Isaacson focuses more on Einstein the man: charismatic and passionate, often careless about personal affairs; outspoken and unapologetic about his belief that no one should have to give up personal freedoms to support a state. Fifty years after his death, Isaacson reminds us why Einstein (1879–1955) remains one of the most celebrated figures of the 20th century. 500,000 firsr printing, 20-city author tour, first serial to Time; confirmed appearance on Good Morning America. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Isaacson--formerly the managing editor at Time magazine and head of CNN, currently CEO of the Aspen Institute--has written acclaimed biographies of Henry Kissinger and Benjamin Franklin. In his penetrating and magnificently nuanced biography of Albert Einstein, Isaacson elucidates Einstein's nonconformist and philosophical temperament and the particular nature of his genius within a richly textured social context, and he precisely explains Einstein's "astonishing, mysterious, and counterintuitive" scientific achievements and their epic consequences. Isaacson explores Einstein's valiant advocacy for peace and justice in view of the genocidal anti-Semitism that drove him from Germany and revels in Einstein's pithy humor and role as scientific superstar. Isaacson tells in full the anguished tale of Einstein's disastrous marriage to Mileva Mari? and his appalling missteps as a father, the private failings of a public humanist. But what distinguishes this extraordinarily encompassing and profoundly affecting biography most are Isaacson's empathic insights into painful paradoxes. Einstein believed in an ordered universe of "harmony and beauty," yet his discoveries revealed uncertainty, randomness, and chance. Einstein spent the second half of his life not only attempting to refute his own revolutionary findings but also witnessing the creation of potentially apocalyptic weapons that harnessed the diabolical powers he unveiled. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on July 8 2007
Format: Hardcover
In this lengthy and epic biography, Isaacson presents the life of Albert Einstein - regarded by some as the person to represent the genius of the modern age - in all its multi-faceted complexities. First, Einstein is defined as a great mind who had the ability to think in the abstract in order to bring mankind closer to fathoming the truth of its existence. His revolutionary theories on relativity and light particles undoubtedly paved the way for nuclear age. Second, Einstein is shown to be a very humble person who always acknowledged his insignificance in relation to the universe he studied. There are countless examples of this very endearing quality throughout the book. Third, Isaacson's account gives ample coverage to Einstein's scientific and humanitarian achievements in such a way that the reader should have no trouble seeing how self-effacing he was when it came to receiving public recognition. Fourth, Isaacson deals with the controversial and private side of Einstein. This makes for fascinating reading because it forces the reader to weigh the public record on each of the critical incidents against Einstein's version. After wading into the enigmas of his personal life, I came to see him as a willing public figure who did not want to stay out of the public limelight when important issues needed to be resolved. Lastly, Isaacson does a competent job in placing Einstein and his works in the mainstream of history. His tireless search to make sense of the universe became the signature of his life. If you want to know how Einstein handled fascism, communism and the Cold War, the latter part of this story should hold you spell-bound. Marvellous read but be prepared to take your time and absorb a little bit of this man's wonderful and witty persona.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Phillips on July 27 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I studied physics in the 1960's and was totally fascinated. I relive my enthusiasm through Walter Isaacson's excellent biography.
He captures the essence of Einsteins's work(no mean feat) and also the man himself. What a powerful force he was for independent thinking and freedom as a social value. That appeals to all of us now - whatever political stripe. How prophetic he was even though considered naive by many. We were naive to think that war would solve anything. His view of God is totally modern. His humility in the face of nature's magnificent design is beautiful. There is a God but he does not help us win lotteries. He is concerned with bigger things. His design is everything - all follows from that.
His emphasis on experimental proof of his theories was exemplary and showed great confidence. He loved the music of Mozart and I believe that - like Mozart - his creativity was inspired by God. He admits that he was privileged to make these discoveries
He was chosen to reveal natures secrets - hence the humility. I don't know how that works.
Thank you Walter for your great work. I find it rejuvenating.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Vic on Sept. 9 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not only do you learn the fascinating facts concerning the nuances of this genious's life and thinking, but one gets a grasp on (as best as a non physicist can) some basic concepts in theoretical physics.
I enjoyed the book very much.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed it all along.I really appreaciated the man.If there ever was a Genius he was the one.But I became quickly disappointed when I found out he was a convinced atheist.He's almost blocked out of my memory now for my admiration for him might make me loose my faith in God.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Incredible, one of the best biography I ever read.
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