How did his mind work? What made him a genius? Isaacson's biography shows how his scientific imagination sprang from the rebellious nature of his personality. His fascinating story is a testament to the connection between creativity and freedom.
Based on newly released personal letters of Einstein, this book 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 mind reader of the creator of the cosmos, 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.
Isaacson's impressively readable biography of Einstein, the first to be published in English since all Einstein's papers have been available, lays some long held myths to rest ... Einstein comes across as fully man, not myth, replete with complexities and contradictions. A man to be admired as a scientist but not necessarily as a human being. (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Los Angeles Times - George Johnson
Occasioned by the release of more Einstein papers, his book re-creates events with a richness not possible before. Isaacson, who cut his teeth as a political correspondent for Time magazine, does a fine job of explaining some difficult science.
The Boston Globe - Amir D. Aczel
Overall, this is an excellent book and has much to recommend it. Isaacson's biography is well researched and contains a surprising amount of new information about its enigmatic subject .... [his] writing style is engaging and lively, although at times the subject matter slows him down somewhat ... There are a few other flaws in the book. One is Isaacson's pursuit of an unconfirmed rumor about Einstein's love life .... Possibly, this problem and others arise from Isaacson's use of some secondary sources of dubious quality among a large totality of references, most of which are helpful and dependable. But the flaws in this biography are minor, and the book emerges as a major and authoritative work on one of the most interesting figures in the history of science.
The Washington Post - Michael Dirda
[A] painstaking and reliable biography. You won't go wrong in reading and learning from it.
Popmatters - Kathleen Krog
Like its subject, Walter Isaacson’s ambitious biography of Albert Einstein radiates intelligence, wit and eloquence. You won’t need to recall high school physics and geometry to grasp Einstein’s soaring concepts, which changed the study of the science and provided the seedling for the atom bomb.
Isaacson focuses more on Einstein the man: charismatic and passionate, often careless about personal affairs; outspoken and unapologetic about his belief that no one should have to give up personal freedoms to support a state.
Library Journal - Jack W. Weigel
This work, the first full biography of Einstein since all his papers have been made available, is well written and sensibly balanced in its treatment of the famed theoretical physicist, his family, and his friends. Certainly one of the best and most complete Einstein biographies thus far.
An exemplary biography, at once sympathetic and unsparing. Readers will admire Einstein's greatness as a thinker, but they will now know that he, like all other idols, had feet of clay.
Booklist - Donna Seaman
Starred Review. In his penetrating and magnificently nuanced biography of Albert Einstein, Isaacson elucidates Einstein's nonconformist and philosophical temperament and the particular nature of his genius within a richly textured social context, and he precisely explains Einstein's "astonishing, mysterious, and counterintuitive" scientific achievements and their epic consequences.
The New York Times - Janet Maslin
Mr. Isaacson has great fun with the reportorial frenzy that surrounded each new pearl of Einsteinian wisdom … an illuminating delight.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Fred Landis Science and nationalism The realities of war,nationality,and religion are almost ignored in previous biographies of Einstein.This is the first to make clear that if Neils Bohr had not been Danish he would not have had access to research from both the British and... Read More
Walter Isaacson was born
on May 20, 1952 in New Orleans,
Louisiana. After graduating from
New Orleans's Isidore Newman
School he spent a brief time at
Deep Springs College before
attending Harvard, graduating
with a BA in history and
literature. From there he went
to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar,
gaining an MA in Philosophy,
Politics and Economics.
He began his journalism career
at The Sunday Times (UK) and
then at the New Orleans
Times-Picayune. He joined TIME
Magazine in 1978 and served as a
national editor, and editor of
new media before becoming the
magazine's fourteenth managing
editor in 1996.
He became Chairman and CEO of
CNN in 2001, and in 2003 became
president and CEO...
The ultimate journey to discover how we went from there being nothing at all to there being something, and then how a little of that something turned into us, and also what happened in between and since.
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