Einstein: His Life and Universe
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Einstein: His Life and Universe

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  53,699 ratings  ·  1,650 reviews
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 an...more
Hardcover, 781 pages
Published April 10th 2007 by Simon & Schuster (first published January 1st 2007)
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Laurel
I decided to read this book primarily because of my fiance's interest in Einstein's life and theories. I thought it might help me to actually have a somewhat intelligent reply on the rare occasion he starts talking physics (don't tell him I said so, but he is much smarter than I am). :)

I felt a bit daunted by the length of it at first (700 pages, or 22 hours on 18 CDs), but the book is engrossing from the start. The periodic and quite detailed descriptions of Einstein's theories and research wer...more
brian
here's a letter a young einstein wrote to his pal.
the 1st paragraph: more waugh than egghead, eh?
and that 2nd paragraph?
those 'papers'?
"a modification of the theory of space and time"?
holy shit.


Dear Habicht,

Such a solemn air of silence has descended between us that I almost feel as if I am committing a sacrilege when I break it now with some inconsequential babble. So, what are you up to, you frozen whale, you smoked, dried, canned piece of soul? Why have you still not sent me your dissertat
...more
Bonnie
My brother-in-law recommended this biography in 2007. It is one of the most incredible books I’ve read in a long time. There are eleven pages of sources alone! This book is meticulously researched, beautifully written, fascinating, inspiring, and wonderful on every level. It’s 551 pages long, and I so did not want this book to end!

Isaacson immerses us in a detailed, in depth probing of Einstein’s life – personal, intellectual, scientific, political, and cultural - against a backdrop of the histo...more
أيوب الحازمي
من أجمل وأروع السير الذاتية التي قرأتها , تعلمت واستفدت منها الكثير.
على الرغم من حجم الكتاب الكبير واسترساله في المسائل الفيزيائية إلا أن الكاتب نجح في شد انتباهي حتى النهاية.







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العبقرية.. وقيود المجتمع

فهد عامر الاحمدي

* حين نصف شخصاً بانه مبدع فماذا نعني بذلك!؟

في الغالب نقصد انه خرج بشيء جديد وغريب لم يستطرق من قبل. وحين يخرج المرء بشيء جديد فانه في الغالب يخالف واقعاً معتاداً وطريقة اعترف...more
Alyazi
أينشتاين أينشتاين .. لقد أضحكتني ، أمتعتني ، أغضبتني ، أبكيتني .. وأشعلتَ في داخلي عوالماً فيزيائية كونية .. ورغبات جديدة كُلياً على رُوح .
كنت سعيدة بي لأنني أقرأك ، وغاضبة مني لأنني أبدو أحياناً متعاطفة معكَ كُلياً وكم يبدو هذا سيئاً ! فأنتَ لم تكن عالماً فحسب ، لم تكن ألمانياً تخليت عن جنسيتك ، لم تكن يهودياً فقط بل صهيونياً أيضاً تحاول الإنصاف .. أترى ها أنا أحاول أن أبرر لكْ مع أنه لا يجب أن يحدثَ ذلك .. أنتَ ساهمت في بناء إسرائيل في أرض فلسطين ، أنتَ رغبتَ بهذا مع أنكَ لم كنت بادئ ذي بدء ت...more
Chrissie
The book wasn’t amazing, but the man certainly was. Don’t get me wrong; I really liked the book, and it is one I would recommend to all those readers who want to meet an intelligent, wonderful, honest, humble person. I am not calling him great for what he did for science, but for the kind of person he was. He will appeal to those of you who like non-conformists, people with imagination and curiosity. He is one of those few adults who manage to keep alive a child’s delight in the world around the...more
Jamie
A while back I had tried to read Walter Isaacson's biography on Benjamin Franklin, but just couldn't get through it because the author mired everything down in pointless details. Despite that, I decided to give his more recent book about famed theoretical physicist Albert Einstein a try. If it turned out to be boring, I'd just drop it. Turned out, I loved it.

What I loved about Isaacon's book here is the way it delicately balances three aspects: the life of Einstein from a strictly biographical a...more
Jason Koivu
Einstein: His Life and Universe is but a mere pinch of Einstein's theories mixed in with a modest helping of his life. The brevity was too my taste as I was only in the mood for a tiny taste of Einstein bio. Too much of the genuis' theory is liable to give me brain-freeze, so this was perfect. And done just the way I like it, tight and to the point.
Alex Telander
EINSTEIN: HIS LIFE AND UNIVERSE BY WALTER ISAACSON: Walter Isaacson, author of Benjamin Franklin: An American Life, takes biography writing to a whole new level with Einstein: His Life and Universe. This isn’t just the story of Albert Einstein from birth until death; Isaacson escorts the reader on a unique journey through the mind of Einstein, as well as through the eyes of his friends and family; along the way one becomes so close and understanding of the man of the twentieth century it is as i...more
Lee at All Ears
You'll know Albert like your own grandfather after reading this. This book covers the complete life of Albert Einstein, from his childhood (he never did fail a math test) and early attraction to science and math to his love life, his children, his education, his employment, his many great theories and discoveries, his relationship with all of his famous peers, his rise to public fame, his sincere beliefs in freedom from oppression, 2 world wars, his role with the bomb, and his life in the US. An...more
Amy
Einstein was a great read - I gained a new appreciation for Einstein as a person and his scientific world. In the beginning of the book, I didn't know quite what to think of Einstein. I couldn't tell if he possessed great confidence or if he crossed over to being arrogant, and I wasn't impressed with how he handled his personal relationships. However, as the book went on, I gained an appreciation for his thirst for knowledge, his independent thinking, confidence, determination, and even kindness...more
Natalie
Here's a chance to become more intimately acquainted with an exceptional life that straddles both world wars, a biography that introduces the reader to the histories of England, Germany, Switzerland, England, Israel, Italy and Japan in relation to both conflicts .

The pre & post war economies, businesses, and careers possible as described here seem a world away from today. Seeing them from the perspective of Einsteins life, his family's ups and downs , and the way they separate colleagues, c...more
Jacqui
Everyone knows Albert Einstein--smart man, came up with E+MC2, helped create the atomic bomb--but I didn't know much beyond the hype. That's why I picked up Walter Isaacson's award winning book Einstein: His Life and Universe (Simon and Schuster 2007). I like to read about smart people. What's different about how they think than other people? Can they relate to ordinary people? Where do they get the amazing ideas they come up with?

As often as not, brilliant people become criminals as successes l...more
Eman Ahmed
منذ الصغر و آينشتاين يجذب انتباهي بصفته صاحب أكثر النظريات الفيزيائية غموضا -و شهرة في الوقت نفسه- على مر التاريخ،،أردت أن أجمع بين
التعرف أكثر عن النسبية و عن حياة آينشتاين و أراءه الدينية و السياسية
و الحقيقة أنني وجدته إنسانا في المقام الأول له ما له و عليه ما عليه.
و هنا يجدر الإشارة إلى تميز المؤلف ف جمعه بين الجوانب العلمية و الجوانب الحياتية الأخرى في قالب سردي ممتع.
و بعد قراءتي للكتاب ازداد احترامي لهذا العالم بقدر ما احترمت آينشتاين الإنسان الذي تعرفت عليه على صفحات ذلك الكتاب.
أخيرا..أنص...more
Tony

EINSTEIN: His Life and Universe. (2007). Walter Isaacson. *****.
This was one of the most engaging biographies that I have read in years. I think that second place also goes to Isaacson and his biography of Ben Franklin. Einstein was born in Ulm (remember that – it’s often a crossword puzzle clue) in 1879. His youth and early education is covered adequately, along with those of his siblings. He was born into a non-practising Jewish family. In later years, when he was forced to list some personal...more
Raquel
أُعجبت بآينشتاين عندما سمعت به و بنظريته النسبية
اذكر عندما حاولت معلمة الفيزياء شرح نظريته لنا فقد كنتُ اصغي بإعجاب
وسبب الإعجاب هو مخالفة نظريته للمألوف
كان تمرده على المألوفات واضحاً في هذه النظرية العبقرية
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مضت الأيام وشاءت الاقدار ان اكون على بعد انملة من اصبح معيدة و هي الوظيفة التي طالما اردتها لأنها تمهيد الى الدكتوراه و هذا بالضبط ما احبه و اسعى اليه
مع انه تم اثبات جدارتي العلمية لكن للأسف الشديد لم تكن لي اي جدارة اجتماعية
فالتمرد...more
Marty Ross
I really enjoyed this biography, though generally, I'd say I'm not the biggest fan of the biography format. This was a bit of a twist in that it actually did go through many of Einstein's mental processes to arrive at a theory of relativity, special and general. What I found pretty impressive was that it delved not just into the implications of the theory, but the origins as well; the people who influenced his thinking, the people who came right up to the idea, but stopped short, unable to leap...more
Charles Cavanaugh
I'm still reading this book, and it's endlessly fascinating how Einstein's personal life meshed with his scientific insights. What's intriguing for me is how certain events (schooling, patent office, childhood events, etc.)helped steer him towards the stature and genius he achieved.
Just as an example, as a young man he desperately wanted a job as a university professor, but no one would hire him. He got the civil service job in the patent office which allowed him to conduct his brilliant thought...more
Aisha Almansuor
في البداية كان حصولي على هذا الكتاب بمحض الصدفة عندما وجدته وحيداً في رفوف مكتبة المطار وقررت بأنه يجب أن أحصل علية لأنني لم أكن قد قرأت عن سيرة أينشتاين من قبل و لأنني كنت قد اعجبت به وبأفكاره من خلال بعض الأفلام الوثائقية التي شاهدتها في بدايته كان كما تخيلته من خلال عناوين الفهرس بل وأجمل مما كنت اتخيل أكثر جزء أحببته كان فترة شبابه في الجامعة و عندما كان يعمل في مكتب برائات الإختراع لقد اعجبتني لا مبالاته بالمجتمع وبالقيود التي يفرضها على العلماء اعتقد بأنه في هذه الفترة على الأقل كان حراً ف...more
Steven Peterson
This lengthy 550 page biography depicts Albert Einstein's life well. This is a nuanced volume, speaking to the subject's flaws as well as his triumphs. Isaacson is a functional writer rather than a compelling writer, but his skills still make this a good book to read.

Isaacson introduces the volume with a telling comment (page 2): ". . .it is possible to explore how the private side of Einstein--his conconformist personality, his instincts as a rebel, his curiosity, his passions and detachments-...more
Christine
This book was very interesting at times but I just found myself bored too much of the time. The book could have been condensed in some parts in my opinion.

I really enjoyed learning more about Einstein's life and trying to get to the core of who he was. The stuff about his theories was boring to me. There was a lot devoted to it. Anyone who really cares about that is going to read a physics textbook, so I think the author should have put less of that in there.

The book cleared up some of the myt...more
Doran Barton
I finished reading Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson.

As a biography, Isaacson's book was good, but could have been better. I feel I've been spoiled by reading David McCullough's book on John Adams because Issacson's book is considerably disjointed and littered with personal opinions assertions compared to McCullough's book. I also found reading Isaacson’s book was slow-going compared to other biographies I’d read.

Prior to reading this book, my knowledge of Einstein was pretty li...more
Madmadam
Aug 29, 2007 Madmadam rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: voyeurs
I read until the second chapter and briefly flipped through the book in its entirety when I decided I’m against biographies. I’ve always been an Einstein fan. I thought it would be interesting to read about his life. It was interesting, I suppose. But I couldn’t shake the feeling of intrusion when reading into his personal matters. Really, and this biography in particular is a perfect example, I’ve come to the conclusion that the biography when written by an author who does not sensitively treat...more
Scott
"Einstein: His Life and Universe" attempts to balance both a biography of Einstein and a layman's dissection of his complex theories and nearly succeeds... depending on your understanding of physics, that is. It's a worthwhile book, exhaustively researched and lovingly written by Isaacson, but a bit of a chore after a while.

The life story of Alfred Einstein is very interesting, peppered with many insights from Einstein himself, his colleagues, family, as well as excepts from letters from all of...more
Jeremy K
After reading Isaacson's excellent biography of Steve Jobs, I was looking forward to his biography of Einstein. While it was a good read, I was disappointed.

First, the book gets mired in far too many details. It is also VERY repetitive. How many times do we need to read that he was a nonconformist? That he had fundamental disagreements with quantum theory? That he tried in vain for most of his later life to come up with a unified field theory?

I think Isaacson faced a difficult task in writing Ei...more
ValenS Wiranadhi
If you can explain Einstein's theory of relativity clearly in a
paragraph or two, then you probably don't need to read this book.
But for the other 99.99 percent of the human race, it will
doubtless prove vastly enlightening.

Walter Isaacson, a seasoned writer editor and media executive,
tells the story of Einstein's life in colorful detail and makes a
valiant effort to explain his work in theoretical physics along the
way.

The life is engagingly told. It brings the man Einstein to vivid
life. The explan...more
Geo
I am, as a general statement, not a great reader of biographies, or even really any non-fiction. However, some time ago, I convinced myself that I wanted to get through this one, and so I did. I'm very happy I did.

Reviewing nonfiction, and perhaps especially biographies is decidedly not the same thing as evaluating a fiction book, where you are going after elements that the author creates. Instead, you are taking a set of data, and in this case, very well known data, and attempting to give it a...more
Rebecca
This book took me almost a year to read in its entirety. Not because of lack of interest or poor writing, as Einstein is one of the most profound figures to affect my imagination and Isaacson captures him brilliantly. My issue is with exactly that: Isaacson presents the reader with the real Einstein. We all know him to have been a genius without equal, a bit of an eccentric but beloved and revered all the same. Isaacson removes the veil, brandishing Einstein's mistreatment of his first wife and...more
Reem Almajhad
أخيراً ولله الحمد أتممت سيرة اينشتاين المكونة من ٦١١ صفحة للمؤلف والتر إيزاكسون والمترجم المبدع هاشم أحمد
سيرة ذاتية تكاد تكون دقيقة جداً تميزت بسلاسة السرد وروعة الطرح
تصوير لحياة إينشتاين وكأنها مذكرة شخصية كتبها بنفسه
عرض لجميع جوانب حياته الشخصية والعلمية
طفولته توحي بأنه كان يعاني من بعض أعراض التوحد مثل بطء نموه اللغوي وتأخره في الكلام بشكل استدعى قلق والديه أيضا ترديده للكلام بينه وبين نفسه بصوت غير مسموع ليجرب قدرته على نطقه قبل أن ينطقه بصوت عالٍ
كذلك انطواؤه على نفسه ومحبته للوحدة والخلوة ب...more
Aubrey
It was with great pleasure I took to reading about Einstein's human nature. It is full of witty aphorisms, theoretical physics debates with every scientist to leave a mark on history, and above all the struggle of a brilliant mind to fully succumb to any one train of thought. Einstein goes through an endless scientific pattern of accepting and rejecting everything in his life from religion, quantum physics, pacifism, politics, and monogamy, only to come full circle and accept again his original...more
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Mongolian Readers: Einstein: His Life and Universe [2013 оны 5 сар] 8 52 Jun 17, 2013 02:28AM  
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Walter Isaacson lives in Washington, DC, where he is the president and CEO of the Aspen Institute. He is the author of acclaimed, best-selling biographies of Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, and Henry Kissinger.
More about Walter Isaacson...
Steve Jobs Benjamin Franklin: An American Life The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made Kissinger Einstein: The Life of a Genius

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“One of the strongest motives that leads men to art and science is escape from everyday life with its painful crudity and hopeless dreariness. Such men make this cosmos and its construction the pivot of their emotional life, in order to find the peace and security which they cannot find in the narrow whirlpool of personal experience.” 8 likes
“To dwell on the things taht depress or anger us does not help in overcoming them. One must knock them down alone.” 5 likes
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