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Einstein: His Life and Universe (2007)

by Walter Isaacson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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5,455931,862 (4.16)156
The first full biography of Albert Einstein since all of his papers have become available shows how his scientific imagination sprang from the rebellious nature of his personality. Biographer Isaacson 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 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.--From publisher description.… (more)
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» See also 156 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 91 (next | show all)
I can't quite put my finger on what I felt was missing that prevents me giving this 4 stars. But it was a good read, nonetheless. ( )
  Treebeard_404 | Jan 23, 2024 |
Captures the man's work a little better than it does the man himself, perhaps. It's no American Prometheus but it's a decent enough biography. ( )
  emmby | Oct 4, 2023 |
E = mc2. We're all familiar with Einstein's famous equation and we're all familiar with his iconic smile and wild mane of hair. But how many of us actually know the real meaning of the equation, and for that matter, how many of us truly know the man behind the equation? Well the answers to both those questions are superbly answered by Walter Isaacson in this wonderful biography of Einstein. Einstein's famous theories are all described in a way the average layman can understand. But the true joy of reading this book was learning so much about Einstein himself. He was an absolutely fascinating man who led a fascinating life, and Isaacson turns this into a fascinating book ! ( )
  kevinkevbo | Jul 14, 2023 |
Isaacson does a biography like no one else. He beautifully unpacks the person in the context of their times. He summarizes the important attributes, connects the moments and experiences of a person’s life and makes you walk away from a reading, like you have known this person. Einstein was no exception. When I read or watch anything regarding Einstein in the future, It will be from a deeper understanding. Highly Recommended! ( )
  stevetempo | May 5, 2023 |
Isaacson demystifies the elements of the theory of relativity along with providing information about Einstein's humanity, something often missing from other biographies of this unique individual. It's rather long, but so well done its hard not to finish it. Can't wait to read the new one about DaVinci! ( )
  Jonathan5 | Feb 20, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 91 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Walter Isaacsonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Moerdijk, HenkTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Life is like riding a bicycle.
To keep your balance you must keep moving.
--Albert Einten, in a letter to his son Eduard, February 5, 1930
Dedication
To my father,
the nicest, smartest, and most moral man I know
First words
"I promise you four papers," the young patent examiner wrote his friend.
Quotations
They even considered the unlikely possibility that the earth was the only thing at rest with respect to the ether, and that everything else in the cosmos was spinning around, including the other planets, the sun, the stars, and presumably poor Copernicus in his grave.
The leader of the group, Mrs. Randolph Frothingham (who, given this context, seemed as if her distinguished family name had been conjured up by Dickens), submitted a sixteen-page typed memo to the U.S. State Department detailing reasons to "refuse and withhold such passport visa to Professor Einstein."
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The first full biography of Albert Einstein since all of his papers have become available shows how his scientific imagination sprang from the rebellious nature of his personality. Biographer Isaacson 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 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.--From publisher description.

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Book description
Quando, nel 1900, Lord Kelvin dichiarò che la fisica non aveva ormai "nulla di nuovo da scoprire", il mondo scientifico non sospettava che, di lì a pochi anni, gli articoli di un giovane impiegato dell'Ufficio brevetti di Berna, basati su esperimenti mentali, avrebbero rivoluzionato la scienza. Albert Einstein, il mite rifugiato in fuga dall'oppressione, con la sua aureola di capelli arruffati, gli occhi pensosi, la sua accattivante umanità e il suo limpido genio spicca come icona suprema del Novecento. Gli impulsi ribelli, la curiosità, le passioni e l'elegante distacco che permeano la sua produzione scientifica hanno dominato anche la vita affettiva e la dimensione politica dell'uomo Einstein. A un secolo di distanza dalle sue straordinarie scoperte risulta ancora stupefacente che un giovane studioso sia riuscito da solo a ridisegnare l'universo. Come funzionava la sua mente? Quanto influiva l'intuizione e quanto la logica nel suo modo di pensare? Che cosa fece di lui un genio? Walter Isaacson ci offre una biografia completa di Einstein, probabilmente lo scienziato più famoso e più amato di tutti i tempi, cercando di indagare lo stretto legame tra creatività e libertà che fece di un fisico teorico capace delle più complicate astrazioni un personaggio pubblico di grande carisma, impegnato a difendere la causa della pace e della giustizia sociale.
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