The Ultimate Quotable Einstein
Princeton University Press, 2011.
Edited by Alice Calaprice
By L. Edward Sizemore
For the Denton Record-Chronicle
The Ultimate Quotable Einstein is neither novel nor reference work. It is the sort of delightful book that one dips into here and there, from time to time, for the simple pleasure of doing so.
Calaprice arranges the material in 23 topical chapters, each dealing with a particular subject, such as death, education, Jews and Judaism, music, and Science and Scientists, to name but a few.
Of special interest are the final chapters. There is a longish chapter on miscellaneous topics, followed by a chapter of Einstein's poetry, as well as quotes attributed to Einstein -- some rather questionable. The concluding chapter has quotes about Einstein by others.
The beauty of this book is that it allows us to see Einstein the man, as well as Einstein the scientist. He was, for example, essentially Jewish, though not observant. In a later chapter, we see Einstein as an international advocate of peace. One marvels to see that Einstein, arguably the greatest scientist of all time, was also a human being, subject to the same frailties that bedevil us all.
This small-format book contains a wealth of material for anyone interested in the man and his work. For that matter, for anyone who knows the pleasure of dipping in here and there.
L. EDWARD SIZEMORE is a book lover from McKinney. His reviews have appeared in The Dallas Morning News and the Denton Record-Chronicle.