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Einstein: The Life And Times

4.02  ·  Rating Details  ·  775 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
Ronald W. Clark's acclaimed biography of Einstein, the Promethean figure of our age, goes behind the phenomenal intellect to reveal the human side of the legendary absent-minded professor who confidently claimed that space and time were not what they seemed.

Here is the classic portrait of the scientist and the man: the boy growing up in the Swiss Alps, the young man caught
Paperback, 880 pages
Published January 25th 2011 by Harper (first published January 1st 1971)
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Jul 10, 2012 JBedient rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't believe all the reviews about this book being mediocre - I got to take two minutes out of my day to stand tall for my man RWC!

If you're thinking of reading a book about Einstein I wholeheartedly recommend this one.

I really enjoyed this thing back when I was a young man in my early twenties trying to understand the world. I savored it and read it chapter by chapter, day by day, on the bus to and from this death-dealing manual labor job I despised - it saved my brain! Clark's writing style
Pooja Kashyap
Sep 19, 2014 Pooja Kashyap rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biographies
One of the best biographies, I have read so far, although I had to re-read some of Einstein’s concepts to make myself clear for the next move. The progression from one part to the other is like moving a higher level with respect to Einstein’s journey and getting to know more of him at personal level.

Before reading this book, I have always wondered had Einstein not discovered the theory of relativity, what would have happened to physics. But the answer wasn’t too difficult to find, there would ha
Apr 10, 2014 Clif rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a joy to find a masterful writer. Ronald Clark brings both the subject of his book and the period within which Einstein lived to life. I'm excited to see that he has also written bios of Bertrand Russell and Ben Franklin.

As any good biographer should, Clark is after all aspects of Einstein's character and is not out to confirm the man's place on a pedestal. Einstein himself hated the public adulation he received, though he treasured the high estimation with which his fellow physicists held
Betty Confetti
Mar 30, 2016 Betty Confetti rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is incredibly detailed and well-researched. Clark went to the ends of the earth to uncover relevant documents. I even was able to understand how objects could be shorter as they approach the speed of light. The major omission was a complete understanding of Einstein as a father. One of his sons was schizophrenic, but very little is offered about Einstein's role as a father, really to either boy. Also, his step-daughter and sister lived with him at Princeton, and yet this was not reveal ...more
Jan 14, 2013 Relstuart rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jonathan Jessup
Einstein was a remarkable man. I was aware of this and knew his reputation as a brilliant scientist who postulated the theory of reletivity.

But there was more to the man than this. There are three main things in his life he dedicated himself to. Science was his greatest love, followed by pacifisim, and Zionism.

WWI deeply affected Einstein. He saw his brother scientists turn their minds to creating better ways to kill their fellowmen and it disturbed him. After WWI he spent a great deal of time
Bryan  Jones
I didn't particularly care for Clark's writing style. It tended to be longwinded and was filled with too much innuendo. While such a comment could simply be a matter of preference, I do have another, more concrete criticism. After Einstein becomes famous in the late 1910's, Clark moves away from a strict chronological biography. Rather he breaks up the subsequent chapters by Einstein's three major undertakings - physics, Zionism, and pacificism. By doing this, the book jumps around and becomes h ...more
Jul 26, 2012 MisterFweem rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Albert Einstein is a human being. That I knew before I read this book. But how human -- with the genius and frailties we all possess to differing degrees -- I didn't really know until I read this. Intersected nicely with what I've read of the nuclear age by Richard Rhodes, but takes you off on such interesting tangents.

This book illustrates how much the world has changed in the past century. Not only in technology, but how we consider celebrity and science.

Well worth the read.
Feb 05, 2014 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very well written biography of a near mythical scientist. I was very interested in reading about his pacificism and later pragmatism in confronting the German threat prior to WW11. Einstein's gradually emerging view of his Jewishness was sympathetically portrayed. I am not strong on science or mathematics but found the material presented clearly and interestingly. Any general reader should be able to appreciate this book.
Feb 17, 2008 Magda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Puneet Sharma
Jun 14, 2015 Puneet Sharma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A biography of most famous scientist of 20th century. I learnt a great deal about the founding years of Einstein and his personal side and his struggle in escaping Nazi Germany. It was fascinating to read about his obsession to solve God's equation and his part in convincing Roosevelt to commence Nuclear program.
Sriramvamsi Ilapakurthy
I read it when I was in 12th grade and it inspired me everyday to think bigger. I knew how he spent his day and how he worked at the Swiss patent office. He had long walks with friends helped him in solving scientific problems.It was a good read without much maths but could clearly explain the science.
Feb 19, 2015 ರೋಶನ್ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Albert Einstein, a prodigy who has many a scientific theories and discoveries to his name. In this biography, Ronald W Clark puts light on the various aspects of Einstein's life such as - Einstein's dislike of student life in Germany, his life as a Patent worker, his life in Berlin, his life as a Professor, his life in Switzerland, his days of rise to fame with the Theory Of Relativity and Photo Electric Effect, his days of devotion toward Zionism and Pacifism, his dislike for Hitler, his contri ...more
Nov 30, 2014 Mikee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
An in-depth and sympathetic biography in historical context of one of the greatest and most humane thinkers of all time. Clark manages to make the science almost comprehensible and does not shy from the shortcomings and contradictions of the man. I feel fortunate for just having re-read this volume.
William Mann
Mar 28, 2013 William Mann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, history
This is the first book on Einstein I ever read and it is so far the best at putting Einstein and modern physics in historic context. There is very little science as this is primarily a biography. Still on of my favorite Einstein books, and I have read a lot of them.
Mark Ray
Feb 22, 2013 Mark Ray rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An intimate portrait of the "everyday" life of Albert. He went from a tortured student to an enthusiastic researcher to a reluctant figure drawn in several ironic directions by the socio-political times he found himself enmeshed within.
Larry Gerovac
Nov 18, 2014 Larry Gerovac rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A real look into the life of Einstein. A brilliant man with many faults just like the rest of us. A great story of some of his day to day life. The book has some photos that I hadn't seen before.
Jul 26, 2014 KennyO rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Meticulously researched and well written, this is the thorough biography a figure such as Albert Einstein deserves. For those who prefer a popular biography look elsewhere.
Oct 14, 2012 Gene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Dry, some repetition, but very well researched and jammed with information. You will end up almost as obsessed to explore quantum physics when you finish as Einstein.
Ankit Goyal
Ronald Clarke portrays Einstein the man and not merely Einstein the scientist in a fascinating piece of non fiction writing . If the formative years reveal no early signs of a genius , the later years are marked by a touch of pathos at a man who cannot come to terms with the non determinism of quantum mechanics at a time when his mental powers have long faded for him to mount a serious attack on it . But in between these , Clarke weaves in the magic to show a superlative genius who can only smil ...more
Aug 05, 2010 Tina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I still don't understand e=mc2 but even with all the scientific jargon at times, I enjoyed reading this book over the years (yes, it has taken me quite some time).
Joyce F
Jun 01, 2009 Joyce F rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Einstein Enthusiasts; Students of History
People think and act in ways reflective of the times during which they live. I enjoyed reading about the man and how the times may have shaped him.
Aug 05, 2014 Jacques rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scientists
Great view from the human being and human life aspect, which clarifies or explains some "cliches" relative to his personal behavior.
Balkrishna Rijal
Because I am so eager to read this book......
also I am so much impressed by the discovery that he did...
This book examines the life of legendary physicist and his contribution to Science. It's fantastic!!!
Jan 25, 2014 Pablo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great rendition. Very engaging! Thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I believe it's time for a cursory visit.
Jul 13, 2012 Sarrvesh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very detailed account of the life of Albert Einstein. I really loved reading this book.
Apr 27, 2013 Cathy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very comprehensive biography, covering all his life. I very much enjoyed it.
Feb 04, 2008 Gervaze rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'Most interesting: a look at and into the man and the scientist.
Friscilia Nz
Jul 10, 2012 Friscilia Nz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant written! That's all I can say :)
Oct 03, 2012 Mica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books I read on Einstein
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