Einstein is the great icon of our age: the kindly refugee from oppression whose wild halo of hair, twinkling eyes, engaging humanity and extraordinary brilliance made his face a symbol and his name a synonym for genius. He was a rebel and nonconformist from boyhood days. His character, creativity and imagination were related, and they drove both ...
Einstein is the great icon of our age: the kindly refugee from oppression whose wild halo of hair, twinkling eyes, engaging humanity and extraordinary brilliance made his face a symbol and his name a synonym for genius. He was a rebel and nonconformist from boyhood days. His character, creativity and imagination were related, and they drove both his life and his science. In this marvellously clear and accessible narrative, Walter Isaacson explains how his mind worked and the mysteries of the universe that he discovered. Einstein's success came from questioning conventional wisdom and marvelling at mysteries that struck others as mundane. This led him to embrace a worldview based on respect for free spirits and free individuals. All of which helped make Einstein into a rebel but with a reverence for the harmony of nature, one with just the right blend of imagination and wisdom to transform our understanding of the universe. This new biography, the first since all of Einstein's papers have become available, is the fullest picture yet of one of the key figures of the twentieth century.
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Excellent tale of Einstein's personal life as well as a layman's guide to physics.
Jul 26, 2007
The nature of genius
I really enjoyed this book. Einstein was not only a genius and a contrarian, but also a fascinatiing man who lived a full life outside of his scientific pursuits. He enjoyed comradeship with co-workers and friends and had a full if somewhat convoluted family life. He cultivated the "absent-minded professor" image, and comes across as an endearing figure whom one would have liked to encounter walking across the quad at Princeton, etc. Isaacson does well in keeping the narrative interesting; he's not always the greatest at explaining the arcane principles of theoretical physics. Many times, he loses me, and on occasion, I think he's just quoting the explanations provided by his physicist consultants without fully grasping the concepts themselves. Then again, that's what made Einstein a genius along side Isaac Newton, Capernicus, Planck, et al. Read it.
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