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By the author of the acclaimed bestsellers Benjamin Franklin and Steve Jobs, this is the definitive biography of Albert Einstein.

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.

Topics: Germany, Judaism, World War II, Mathematics, Space, Physics, World War 1, German History, and Fathers

Published: Simon & Schuster on Apr 10, 2007
ISBN: 9781416539322
List price: $12.99
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An excellent biography of an extraordinary person. Mr. Isaacson's book about Dr. Einstein is well researched, well written, and takes us well beyond the science and the physicist. Mr. Isaacson describes Einstein's life, as well as the political and scientific culture he lived in. At times the science was a bit daunting (I read "Einstein for Dummies", which helped; other reviewers said they skipped those parts), but at other times, the book was actually quite humourous and portrayed a very real human being. I guess the best thing I can say about this book is how it inspired me to read "Einstein for Dummies", Einstein's own book "Relativity", and to re-read "Driving Mr. Albert" in which a reporter tracks down the pathologist who stole Dr. Einstein's brain, and after many years, decided to return it to the family.
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Isaacson assembles a biography with enough details to make a high school English student puke, but it creates a complete picture of one of the world's most famous scientists. Einstein's charisma is clearly illustrated in this text, from personal relationships to his obsessive pursuit to explain the universe. It took me 6 weeks to read partly because I'm a slow reader, partly because the book is heavy, but mostly because I enjoyed the ride. I'm no physics major but managed to comprehend many of Isaacson's presentations of Einstein's theories and thought experiments, most of which I've forgotten by now. By and far, it was most satisfying to look inside his personal life, how he married his cousin (you read that right), never wore socks, was truly absent-minded, and was still working on his theories on his deathbed.
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At times I struggled with this book. Apparently Albert Einstein knew how to explain his theories in a simple way, Walter Isaacson doesn't know how to do that. Add to that the fact that I'm notoriously bad at anything scientific and you will see the problem.Notwithstanding the obvious struggle, I did think this is a very interesting book. Before I bought this book I didn't know much (I should say: I knew nothing really) about Albert Einstein. All I had ever heard was the reputation that he was a difficult man, without emotion, scruffy, untidy. When I saw him on tv, I thought that couldn't be right. His eyes were too soft, friendly. That's when I decided I wanted to know more and this biography proves me right. He comes across as a very friendly and sweet person. Apparently he wasn't always an easy man, but who is? :-)After all, I think he was a fascinating man and I'm glad I read this book.
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