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My Brief History

3.47 of 5 stars 3.47  ·  rating details  ·  2,196 ratings  ·  348 reviews
NATIONAL BESTSELLER

Stephen Hawking has dazzled readers worldwide with a string of bestsellers exploring the mysteries of the universe. Now, for the first time, perhaps the most brilliant cosmologist of our age turns his gaze inward for a revealing look at his own life and intellectual evolution.


My Brief History recounts Stephen Hawking’s improbable journey, from his postw
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Hardcover, 126 pages
Published September 10th 2013 by Bantam (first published 2013)
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Brendon Schrodinger
Thanks to Netgalley.com and Random House Publishing Group for a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Cross-posted on my blog, The Periodic Table of Elephants.

I have never read any Hawking before *gasp*, so what a place to start, on his autobiography. Titled 'My Brief History' is really is brief and to the point.

The style of this autobiography is terse, to the point, and mainly about his academic achievements. His children and wives get a brief mention, which is reassuring, with the only
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Joel
I feel like a terrible person giving this book two stars... I'm sure Mr. Hawking has far more important things to do, think about, and write about than himself... and it shows in the book. One wonders why he bothered or why he didn't hire a biographer to write a more concise story instead of making it a slim-volume autobiography. I'm sure, given the speed at which he works, this was still an impressive achievement, but as far as an informative biography of a fascinating person, it fails to achie ...more
Jacob
Nov 10, 2013 Jacob added it
Recommended to Jacob by: Caustic Cover Critic
A very brief history. Stephen Hawking's autobiography is 126 pages long, and would have probably been less than a hundred without the many photographs included. However, considering that Hawking's maximum typing speed is 3-4 words per minute, we should be grateful he decided to spend the time to write this book.

The first half of My Brief History briefly goes into Hawking's early years (he was born exactly three hundred years after Galileo's death), family, education, career, first marriage, and
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BigJohn
I'm giving this a neutral 3-star rating. From the description of the book, I thought this would be a biographical telling of Stephen Hawking. Perhaps I misunderstood, but his biography probably makes up less than 50% of the entire book, which is quite brief.

It starts out well enough, beginning with his Great-Grandfather, and working up to his own birth during WWII. Then the accelerator is floored, as he zooms through childhood and into his college and post-doc years. From there, it's physics, ph
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Inaniel
For me it was a nice read. But I would have liked more personal topics, less explanations of physical theories because Mr. Hawking seems to be an interesting and extraordinary human beeing even without his achievements in science, but this book did not deliver this.
Kumar Anshul
More of a technical autobiography. If you are expecting, details and anecdotes about Hawking's Motor Neuron disease and how he coped up with it, you would be disappointed. Hawking is plain, simple and not-at-all modest while penning down his towards being one of the most acclaimed scientist of recent times.
A must read if you are his fan and are familiar with concepts of theorerical physics and cosmology. Else, avoid.
Sheldon
How does one review someone's life? It's probably one of the harder things to do, especially with such an icon as Stephen Hawking. I'll admit that I'm one of those people who has a copy of A Brief History of Time , but I haven't read it yet (I'm going to, I swear!).

My Brief History by Dr. Stephen Hawking is his personal memoir. For those who don't know who Stephen Hawking is, he is a theoretical physicist, cosmologist and the Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the U
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Jill
Some lives of scientists are incredibly interesting. Newton’s personal life is the source of endless debate and fascination, and there are whole cults devoted to the life of Richard Feynman. (Even Hawking recounts some amusing anecdotes told by Feynman.) So I had high expectations for hearing about the life of Stephen Hawking.

This memoir, however, struck me as uneven in quality. Some of it had too much detail given to the most quotidian events. For example, Hawking names every friend he ever pl
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Charbel
My Brief History is written with care and objectivity (as much as you can get from an autobiography), yet Hawking's personality still manages to impose itself through the quality of the words. It is this personality that makes this book such as wonderful read.

The reader gets a peak into Hawking's past, his family history, and his educational and scientific career. And for those nosy readers (and I am one of them, for it is only natural to be nosy in this case) he talks about his disease, its d
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Kaethe
For me one of the most appealing aspects of this book is its brevity. And that is not intended as any sort of dig at Hawking. Really, I want to learn a bit about him, but I don't want the messy details of anyone else's romantic life (and they are all messy). This is a bit about his parents, his childhood, his education (college was important to him), his marriages. his kids, his career, a bit about working around his disability. I don't feel like I know him, but I feel I've gotten a pretty good ...more
Debbie
Stephen Hawking: the man and the human being. It is extremely difficult to see Stephen Hawking as a person with love, fear and loneliness as things he possibly suffers through. In his autobiography we learn about Stephen’s life leading up to his grand successes and beyond. As a child he loved trains, was curious how machines worked, and was not skilled with his hands when rebuilding the machines he dissected.

Professor Hawking is revered for his “genius” in the theoretical physics realm and hea
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Nancy
Stephen Hawking: A Brilliant and Playful Mind

Like most people, I view Stephen Hawking as a great scientists and as a determined individual who overcame a debilitating disease, ALS. In this book, he reveals himself as a witty and warm human being.

Hawking's parents were considered rather eccentric. They kept to themselves, but they cared about their children and devoted time to their development. I found Hawking's memories of his childhood illuminating. His fascination with machines and how they
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Ginan Aulia Rahman
Membuat resensi buku ini agak sulit. karena Stephen Hawking sudah menebak isi kepala pembaca bukunya. Pasti pembaca akan menulis tentang betapa hebatnya seorang yang tak berdaya yang sepanjang waktunya duduk di kursi roda bisa menjadi ilmuwan besar dengan karya-karya cemerlang di bidang kosmologi.

Iya betul pak. Kami tak punya ide lain selain membicarakan itu. Kami mau menulis soal black hole, gelombang gravitasi, big bang, dan perjalanan menembus waktu, tapi kami tak sepenuhnya mengerti. menyed
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Ranjeev Dubey
Why would anyone want to read an autobiography? I would do it for the insights: insights into what has driven the author, insights about subjective truths, insights about the nature and meaning of their life or what they do....whatever. I want to know why you do the things you have done more than I want to know what you have done....especially since what you have done and what you believe is on Wikipedia.

This book fell into my hands for reading on the same weekend that I was seeing the movie "T
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Marty
This was quite the quick read and my first book of science that I have read.

Stephen Hawkins is one of the smartest men of my time and I greatly appreciate my love of Star Trek even more as most of the dialogue used in the shows are derived from current knowledge of cosmology which the study of the science an development of the universe.

Very good read and knowledge builder.
Deji Toye
Hawking himself thinks, from accounts in this book, that book reviewers who are typically unable to grapple with the science in his "books for the general reader" often lapse into a recount of his life and struggles with a little sprinkle, along the line, of whatever garbled understanding of the subject of the book itself the reviewer could muster. Short of making voyeurs of book reviewers, so why not jolly well throw the door open, Hawking would appear to have asked himself before setting about ...more
Ho Manh
I can only give it three stars because it is just too hard to understand. Even I find it truly inspiring and challenging, thus enjoyable. The discussion on the topics of Black Hole quantum emission, imaginary time, time travel, cosmic string, predictability in Big Bang singularity remain obscure to my little mind, I have no ideas how to wrap my mind around these stuffs. When I listen to this audiobook, I get a feeling Stephen Hawking is like a character in Matrix, reading numbers and symbols, an ...more
Barbara Sumpter
I have not read many biographies. Not because I dislike them, but because it is a genre I just don’t think about very often. I usually read for entertainment, a brief escape from reality and stress. Some people watch TV, I read. That being said, I prefer fictional literary adventure over “cinematic” adventure because movies and television always strikes me as lacking in some dimension. In movies and television you lose hefty chunks of the story for the sake of brevity, you miss the thoughts of t ...more
Jody Curtis
Brief, indeed, at 126 pages. I prefer brief, having already read plenty of blowsy biographies that stretch like Silly Putty just to reach some arbitrary word count. Hawking tells us he didn't study much at Oxford, where he was a crash-happy coxswain; he lived more than 50 years beyond what his doctors expected after his ALS diagnosis at age 21; he had a l'il polygamous spouse triangle going on for a while; and he's published almost as many children's books as scientific tomes.

Between tidbits ab
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Patti
I was looking forward to reading and reviewing an advance review copy of Stephen Hawking's autobiography My Brief History so that I could learn a bit more about how he manages his disability, but it turns out that he really doesn't dwell on his ALS in the book. Much like his family life, there are just brief mentions of some of the high points and the rest is left unmentioned. Instead, the major focus of his autobiography is the evolution of his ideas about time and space rather than on his pers ...more
Faithe
For this autobiography, "brief" is a more than accurate word to describe the book. Within a minuscule 126 small, large-type pages (pictures included), Hawking sums up his 71 years. It took me only a couple hours to read it. This autobiography was a tad disappointing. He focuses more on his scientific work, and not nearly enough on his actual life outside of that. I felt like I had already read this book, as it contains passages from lectures and other books he has authored. I expected this autob ...more
Andy Shuping
Stephen Hawking is known throughout the world for his work A Brief History of Time, one of the most iconic books of the twentieth century, and his intellectual prowess that has helped redefine and reshape our understanding of the world around us. In this book, My Brief History, Stephen tells us his story: from his postwar London childhood, to his diagnosis with ALS at twenty one, to becoming the scientist we know today.

Although this is a relatively short book, one that can be read in one sitting
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Ketti
3 1/2 stars from me. This was a great book to listen to. Very well done in that way, at the beginning of some of the chapters it was Stephen Hawking voice, then the reader started talking. I enjoyed hearing about his personal life.
My favorite quote – “I believe that disabled people should concentrate on things that their handicap doesn’t prevent them from doing and not regret those they can’t do.”
Michael
A relatively short, and quite easy read, that is an autobiography of Stephen Hawking. It certainly makes an interesting read. He was and still is a very able physicist. His academic career that just evolved, rather than pursued. His marriages. The onset of his motor neuron disease. He is very honest, self-deprecating and at the same time constructs a book worthy of the title My Brief History.
Laurel
This memoir is certainly brief, and I suspect that this economy of words is as much due to Hawking's natural reserve as to the slowness with which he writes due to his disability. He is extremely terse when describing his personal life, which makes it all the more meaningful when he takes the time to recount any specific incident or detail (such as the warmth with which he recalls buying a cheap electric train as a child). Of course, Hawking is scientist and he spends more than half the book exp ...more
Jason Williams
Very short book but lots of information about an interesting person.

Chapter 11 was a bit hard to grasp when he went somewhat in depth about Cauchy Space, especially the section about the potential relationships between time finite space and time that an advanced civilization may be able to control. I may have to read that chapter a few more times before I will be able to get my head around it.

I now have a better understanding about black hole emissions. Previously I had understood that the trip
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Phoebe
I picked this brief history of Stephen hawking after I saw the theory of everything which I loved! I enjoyed reading it although a lot of it was quite difficult as I'm not overly scientific, but to know it's his memoirs is quite nice. What an interesting and inspiring man.
Dpdwyer
Since a member of my family was just diagnosed with ALS, I wanted to understand the disease from the perspective of a man who’s dealt with it for over fifty years, since he was 21! His account, especially of his early life, is factual and attractively succinct (I read the book easily in an afternoon), just what you would expect from a scientist. The central story of his life is the development of his thinking as a physicist. The arrival and evolution of the disease are peripheral, which is perha ...more
Jorge Figueroa
Este pequeño libro que se va como agua nos deja ver como ha sido la vida (mucho más interesante de lo que parece) de Stephen Hawking, quien sabe que es el científico más famoso del mundo.

El tono es humilde, jovial, y es claro, salvo un par de capítulos al final, se limita a contarnos su vida y el génesis de su más famosa obra A Brief History of Time, al final no puede evitarlo y nos habla del tiempo imaginario y sobre lo factible del viaje en el tiempo, intenta ser claro, pero en esa páginas es
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Ed Correa
Cuando dice "breve" es "breve", no solamente por la extensión del libro sino porque Hawking es parco en hablar de muchas facetas de su vida. Es una especie de sobrevuelo por algunos de los momentos importantes. Curioso cómo aprovecha aún este libro para hacer mención y explicación de algunas de sus teorías más recientes.
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Stephen William Hawking was born on 8 January 1942 in Oxford, England. His parents' house was in north London, but during the second world war Oxford was considered a safer place to have babies. When he was eight, his family moved to St Albans, a town about 20 miles north of London. At eleven Stephen went to St Albans School, and then on to University College, Oxford, his father's old college. Ste ...more
More about Stephen Hawking...
A Brief History of Time The Grand Design The Universe in a Nutshell A Briefer History of Time Black Holes and Baby Universes

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“The microwave background indicated that the universe had had a hot, dense stage in the past.” 0 likes
“So if a beautiful alien in a flying saucer invites you into her time machine, step with care. You might fall into one of these trapped repeating histories of only finite duration.” 0 likes
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