Einstein: The Life of a Genius Hardcover – 11 Sep 2014
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"This is a brilliant intellectual tapestry -- and a great read. Skillfully weaving Einstein's revolutionary scientific achievements, his prolific political initiatives, his complex personal life, and his fascinating personality, Isaacson has transformed the transformer of the twentieth century into a beacon for the twenty-first century." --Martin J. Sherwin, coauthor of "American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer," winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for biography
About the Author
Walter Isaacson is the President and CEO of the Aspen Institute, an international non-profit organization designed to promote enlightened leadership and dialogue in contemporary issues. He was the Chairman and CEO of the international news organization CNN and managing editor of Time. Isaacson wrote the critically acclaimed Einstein: His Life and Universe (2007), for which he had access to previously unavailable papers belonging to Einstein. He has also written Benjamin Franklin: An American Life (2003) and Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography (2011). His work has been published in the USA, the UK, Canada, Germany, France, Japan and China. In 2007, Isaacson became a columnist for Time.
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Top Customer Reviews
The coldness of his attitude towards her was evident by the manner in which he provoked their separation in order to marry his cousin Elsa Einstein. In 1914, ' Einstein delivered a brutal ultimatum....decreeing what she would have to do if she wanted to remain married to him.....(she) was to attend to (his) physical wellbeing by doing his laundry, cooking for him and keeping his study neat, while neglecting her own emotional needs, as Einstein forbade her even to sit with him at home, to talk to him unless he requested it and insisted she leave his presence when asked. Intimacy between them was out of the question'. Isaacson believes the separation hurt Einstein emotionally but this is denied by the speed he moved into Elsa's bed.
Einstein was a slow learner.Read more ›
I have done this review today on Einstein's birthday, 14th March. A curiosity is that, in American chronology this is "3/14". But 3.14... is the number Pi. How strange.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This one was fairly typical of the style, with fixed pages throughout and with added pockets containing pictures, documents, postcards, newspaper articles etc. However this book also had many artifacts that were carefully taped onto the pages so that the reader could unfold them without removing them from the book. This is a little different than most books of this kind. This way documents stay on the page their meant to be on and don't get lost as easy. Is this good or bad? You decide. The graphics are also more subtle than many other books of this type. Less bright color, plenty of call out boxes with text and graphics lending itself to a more serious look.
It covers not only the work that Einstein did early in his life with Relativity and THE BOMB but also his work with Civil Rights, Israel, and McCarthyism. From his birth to his death and some of the more interesting time in-between. Very nicely done for a subject that can be somewhat dry.
In spite of his scientific brilliance,this book gives a very clear insight of Einstein as a human being.It deals with his family life and shows him to be extremely simple in some ways ,but also a deep thinking person in many other ways.It details his political and religious beliefs and reasons for them.It also dispells many of the myths that have grown up around him,particularly that he was a slow learner.It also gives a good insight into what he felt man's ability to create a nuclear bomb ,imposed on man to learn how to avoid having it totally annihilate him.
The book is exceptionally well organized ,and the photographs ,illustrations and documents that are placed in "pockets" are what really make it unique. One often forgets that Winstein was first of all Jewish and his first language was German. At first glance,one might be disappointed when glancing at the inserts, that many of them are in German;but don't let that dissuede you as translations for all of them are provided.
The book gives several examples where Einstein could change his thinking when facts showed he was in error.This occurred in both his scientific as well as his social thinking.
Although many tried to pin the name Athiest on him;he denied it.He was angered buy those who said God did not exist.He did not feel that science and religion necessairly conflicted.He defined religion as the feeling that beyond even the marvelous experiences and emotions that touch us directly,there is a force that transends all.Only in his acknowledgement of this force could he be regarded as religious.Einstein many pronouncements were both embraced and denounced by Athiests and Believers.
An excellent book for anyone wanting to know about Dr.Einstein as a person,without getting involved in complicated Mathematics and Physics.
Also included are a number of fascinating 'facsimiles' like reproductions of scientific-equations from his notebook (in his own handwriting of course), also that famous letter to Franklin Roosevelt imploring the President to step-up scientific/Atomic research (before Germany beats us to it), and even a copy of his hallowed U.S. citizenship certificate! And many more reproduced letters, postcards, etc. highlighting key phases in Einstein's extremely-eventful life!
The information in this book is also well thought-out and in addition to tracing Einstein's specific high-points (as well as a few low ones) - you also get a definite sense of just how deeply-impactful/ fateful the 20th Century really was ==> with Two devastating World Wars (and a subsequently-severely 'Cold' one) - but also filled with scientific-Wonders (and terrors) the human World could never have even imagined before!
In our ultra-modern 21st Century, technological wonders seem like everyday occurrences (and we certainly take most of them for granted now) - but roughly 100 or so years-Ago, authentic hyper-creative geniuses like Einstein in many ways created much of the World we live in today, mainly thru the power of their sheer imagination (undergirded by a foundation of impeccable 'logic' of course). Walter Isaacson's fun (and highly-informative) table-top scrapbook really drives this point home!
note: another important emphasis of Walter Isaacson's table-top book (and the full -biography) is that Albert Einstein was a brilliant-scientist with a genuinely beating human-heart = enthusiastically lending support to the civil-rights movement and other calls for a 'fair & just' society (far-ahead of his time in more ways than one)
I bought it to have something good looking and engaging in my office guest area. I prefer to leave brain food lying about rather than garbage like the pop magazines. This book is a huge hit, people pick it up to look at the photos and the drawings and then get completely engrossed in the text. It is extremely well put together and immediately draws people into the rich story of this mans life and impact.
The only downside is that I keep having to rescue the book. People like it so much that they take it back to their desks. :)
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