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Ideas and Opinions (1934)

by Albert Einstein

Other authors: Carl Seelig (Editor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,69987,807 (3.86)21
Originally published: New York: Crown Publishers, 1954.
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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Essays
  hpryor | Aug 8, 2021 |
I just dipped into this one - could not get into it as this one of those books with bits and pieces of thought, some more interesting than others. ( )
  WiebkeK | Jan 21, 2021 |
It seems blasphemous to say this, but I found the ideas and opinions expressed in this book so darned reasonable that ... ultimately, I got bored.

But this is Einstein!

Einstein's science was revolutionary, controversial, exciting, world-shaking. As a citizen of the world he was -- at least as far as this Commie pinko leftie is concerned -- a champion of many of the best causes, some of which are to this day crucial to understand. The lack of surprise left this reader enervated.

Your mileage may vary, of course. ( )
  tungsten_peerts | Feb 23, 2019 |
A collection of essays, speeches, letters, and other random bits of Albert Einstein's writing, first published in 1954, but compiled from previously published material.

The book is divided into five sections: "Ideas and Opinions" (a catch-all category with several subheadings), "On Politics, Government, and Pacifism," "On the Jewish People," "On Germany," and "Contributions to Science."

Not surprisingly, the science section is the longest, and contains the most substantial material, covering not just relativity and its implications for our conception of space and time, but also other historical scientific breakthroughs and some quite extensive musings on the relationship, both philosophical and practical, between mathematics, theoretical physics, and reality. Many of these pieces cover more or less the same ground, so they can get a bit repetitive, but I generally found them interesting. They could often be hard going, though; I must confess that my rusty, twenty-year-old physics degree and I got lost more than once.

Most of the rest of the book is dominated by Einstein's political ideas, particularly his devotion to the causes of pacifism, disarmament, international government, and the establishment of a homeland for the Jewish people. These parts are more of a hodgepodge than the science section, with quite a few pieces consisting only of a paragraph or three without much in the way of useful context. And, like the science essays, they tend to be somewhat repetitious. Some pieces, certainly, are well worth reading in their own right. (I was particularly interested in Einstein's discussion of his thoughts on religion, which are complicated, subtle, and idiosyncratic -- much more so than you'd think from the out-of-context quotes that theists and atheists alike enjoy trotting out in attempts to claim him as one of their own.) But I think that, overall, this volume is likely to appeal mostly to people who already have a specific personal interest in Einstein, or in the history of the causes he espoused. It did, however, make an interesting "further reading" companion to Walter Isaacson's excellent bio, Einstein: His Life and Universe, which I read a few months ago. And it did impress me strongly with just how much of an idealist Einstein truly was. Whether that idealism might be more fairly called visionary or naive, I can't really say -- probably a bit of both -- but I do have a lot of respect for it. ( )
1 vote bragan | Jul 14, 2013 |
In this book will finde the philosophical thinking of Alber Einstein, his moral and some of his greatest ideas.
  HanoarHatzioni | Jun 10, 2009 |
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Einstein, Albertprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Seelig, CarlEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bargmann, SonjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Originally published: New York: Crown Publishers, 1954.

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