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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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on July 27, 2013
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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on September 9, 2013
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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TOP 100 REVIEWERon March 16, 2015
I found the audiobook narration enjoyable - however the abridgement left me feeling as if the account of Einstein's life left something to be desired. Perhaps I'll have to pick up the full book sometime to see how well Isaacson captures the essence of the man. The audio recording seemed almost hagiographic in places, glibly skirting difficulties in Einstein's character while praising his genius and his moral foresight. Maybe, maybe not.
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on April 5, 2012
I really enjoyed listening to this audio book. Hermann does a great job reading. My only complaint was that it was an abridged version.
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on April 18, 2013
I enjoyed reading this book very much. The author has done a very good job of relaying Einstein's not so boring life in detail.
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on September 28, 2013
somewhere in "leaves of grass" walt whitman declares, "who touches this book, touches a man" (or something pretty close, i'm too lazy to look up the exact quote). well, the same can be said of wi's biography of "einstein". as isaacson portrays it, einstein's life was filled with triumph and tragedy, some of which is widely known (his scientific achievement, for ex), other aspects of which less widely known (his relationship with his first wife and their 2 children); but whether writing about the public or private einstein, isaacson brings to the task a unique blend of scholarly objectivity and personal assesment. it's pretty obvious -- to this reader, at least -- that isaacson likes and admires einstein -- why else would he devote years to writing an 800 page biography?-- and by the end, the reader as well comes to like-- perhaps even more than like -- the bushy-haired genius who attended a black-tie dinner sans socks. but nothing i can say about this biography will do either its author or subject justice. it is a classic in its own right; my only regret was that it has a last page.
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on October 3, 2015
Product arrived quickly and the quality meets expectation.
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on August 9, 2015
Great book, great read. Walter Isaacson is the best!
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on July 18, 2014
Good insight to the life and thinking of a genius.
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