By the author of the acclaimed bestsellers Benjamin Franklin and Steve Jobs, this is the definitive biography of Albert Einstein.
How did his 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 newly released personal letters of Einstein, this book 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.
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.
Customer ReviewsSee All
A delightful read
Perfect for those like me who knew little more than e=mc2 about Einstein. This book introduces the reader to the life and character of one of the greats minds. The layman's explanation of the science and good historical context reminds the reader of Einstein's brilliance.
The mind of a genius
Mr. Isaacson succeeds in showing all sides of Einstein: his genius, his philosophy, his politics, his flaws, his virtues. An amazingly well documented book. I love how the principles of Einstein's physics are explained to the layman. Hard concepts such as quantum mechanics and relativity without being obscured by advanced mathematics. Excellent book, highly recommended.
Excellent and so easy to read and to want more; very good reading after or before the "Steve Jobs" book...