Winner of the 2008 Audie Award for Biography/Memoir
The definitive, internationally bestselling biography of Albert Einstein. Now the basis of Genius, the ten-part National Geographic series on the life of Albert Einstein, starring the Oscar, Emmy, and Tony Award–winning actor Geoffrey Rush as Einstein.
How did his mind work? What made him a genius? Isaacson’s biography shows how Einstein’s scientific imagination sprang from the rebellious nature of his personality. His fascinating story is a testament to the connection between creativity and freedom. Einstein 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.
Einstein, the classic #1 New York Times bestseller, is a brilliantly acclaimed account of the most influential scientist of the twentieth century, “an illuminating delight” (The New York Times). The basis for the National Geographic series Genius, by the author of The Innovators, Steve Jobs, and Benjamin Franklin, this is the definitive biography of Albert Einstein.
An Excellent Work!
While it requires a serious investment of time to listen to this unabridged edition, I think it's well worth it. Isaacson goes into great detail explaining the famous, revolutionary theories and concepts that Einstein presented in the early 1900s. Despite the time Isaacson takes to do this, I still found myself rewinding explanations to hear them again and again. If you approach the audiobook in this manner, you'll probably find yourself explaining Einstein's ideas to your friends! The science and Einstein’s brilliance are not presented in a dry, technical manner. There’s a spy novel aspect to the story of how Einstein's theories are developed – the race to work out the underlying formulas, the obstacles encountered by those who sought to verify the theories, and the resistance such revolutionary ideas evoked. Isaacson doesn't talk only about the science; he gives us a rare and thorough glimpse into Einstein's personal life - warts and all. Based on Einstein's own letters, and letters of friends and family, we see the pain that Einstein and those around him endured during the most prolific period of his life. Isaacson’s work does honor to Einstein’s – presenting Einstein’s ideas and life in a concise, yet thorough way that I believe even Einstein would have found exciting and elegant.
I had to give a presentation on Albert Einstein so I listened to this book and ended up engrossed in it. Walter Isaacson is a master of nonfiction - let's face it, nonfiction can sometimes read like a bulleted list, but Isaacson presents Einstein's life in a way that makes you come to appreciate him as a person rather than an icon. The book is full of wonderful anecdotes, heartbreaking failures, and triumphant successes. It is a must read. Props for Edward Herrmann as well; his narration is fantastic.
Informative as always
I've now read 3 of Isaacson's books and this one is, as always, wonderful. I always was uncomfortable with not knowing anything about Einstein because he was such a remarkable person. Isaacson tells the story so well that even the parts that might bore people are easy to get past. There are a few places you'll probably need to rewind and listen to multiple times but what can you expect? It's Einstein!