In my edition - read August 2014- the text is of a easy to read size for those whom wear specs, and the paperback book is well bound. There are some b&w photos that are helpful, but seem a bit washed - out. Its an older book and may be out of the way for some who prefer more modern books?
* A-level, H.N.D., undergraduate, post graduate?
In my opinion, this book is better tackled in some undergraduate background studies.
* Whats covered by the book then?
This book tackles both the General and the Special Relativity with cut glass clarity, with a non - mathematical signature within its explanations and possesses a fascinating review style. This book is one of the rare types that takes you away from the mathematical 'close - to - the grindstone' type exploration and it's 'in - a - minds - eye' showing the theories with a sweeping vista.The chapters are usually only several pages in the length. Each of the twenty one chapter's begins with a introductory summing - up in a few sentences that's great to memorize the overall direction flow of whats to be shared. This book is a superb resource to other books covering the more mathematical explanations of the General and the Special Relativity. These books i have already suggested to have more mathematical backbone would dove-tail beautifully with this book.
Special Relativity (Springer Undergraduate Mathematics Series) Paperback - 12 Mar 2007 by N. M. J. Woodhouse
General Relativity (Springer Undergraduate Mathematics Series) Paperback - 11 Dec 2006 by N.M.J. Woodhouse
This book and topic has such careful clarity in its descriptions such as i have rarely encountered with this or any topic. My expressions hopefully suggest that if your in the market for studying this topic in whatever form, you will hopefully find it as useful and simply enjoyable as i have.
For those who would normally find Einstein's theories perplexing, or yawn inducing;read this book! The author has succeeded in communicating the genius of Einstein's theories and how they can be, and have been used to explain the universe. The book is arranged such that it is possible to read selected sections in isolation, covering theories on gravity, time, light etc and includes related history. The presentation and style are extremely readable and comprehensive, whilst not patronising to the novice reader. Typically many books on this subject fly to high or low of the mark leaving the reader either bored through over simplification or frustrated from 'techno babble'. The author has done a great job of inspiring and generating interest for the audience.
I'm a complete lay person, and I found the book extremely interesting. In a way I feel I was short changed in my own education as it seems I was given a Newtonian view of the universe as opposed to an Einsteinian view. I still find it very hard to get my head a round this view, and feel either the book does not do a good job of explaining gravity or it's so incredibly difficult that even the author hasn't fully got his head around it!
Still worth the read though in my own estimation. After this I' going to read Stephen Hawking's "A Briefer History of Time"
I'm about half way in and struggling to understand the key ideas on gravity, time and light. He's started to say that nothing can travel faster than light without explanation. Too often he passes off descriptions of appearances as if they are reality and I can't believe this is failthful to Einstein. For example he says a spaceship travelling at light speed leaves a black hole behind it. That's like saying when I drive away from my house it shrinks. Without grasping the basics I'm going to have to find another read.