Shirley Thomas's Reviews > The World as I See It

The World as I See It by Albert Einstein
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May 28, 12

bookshelves: essays, non-fiction, read-in-2012
Read from May 11 to 28, 2012

The other day I read an article titled We Believe in Experts Because They Agree with Us.

That might be why I like Einstein and subsequently this book. What I knew of the man behind that iconic frizzy haired picture prior to reading this came from scattered quotes of his I read somewhere or heard from friends. There was eccentricity that drew me in first and then the refreshingly grounded feel one sensed about him that spurred on my fascination about this scientist.

This book is a collection of his essays, letters and speeches - minus anything scientific, which I was told was present in the previous edition.

I'm not sure about the other editions but mine has no timeline to it that, while I believe them to be chronological, it would have been better if there had been a context of what was going on with the world. Halfway through, however, Einstein spoke about pacifism and later, Disarmament Conference in 1932 so at least the succeeding texts have a firmer setting to them.

Personal thoughts

In this book Einstein talked about a number of things, one I find the most pleasing is curiosity. Einstein placed a lot of importance on curiosity and I like how you can find a lot of quotes where he emphasized this. My favorite:

He who [...] can no longer wonder, no longer feel amazement, is as good as dead, a snuffed out candle.


There was talk about science and art and how they stemmed from the same root; comments on painting and music, expression of admiration toward people who he had come to know. Einstein talked about religion and how people see God; he advocate against war and valiantly promote pacifism.

Initially I thought the book would be fascinating because I wondered how exactly a scientist saw this world, especially a scientist like Einstein. It turned out to be much more than that because it was about how a curious person with a capable intellect and an open mind filled with wonder saw the world.
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Reading Progress

05/13/2012 page 36
28.0% "Einstein was a consummate optimist, who at the same time completely resigned to the fact that human beings can never reach ultimate companionship. Very interesting."
05/28/2012 page 55
43.0% ""But war is not like a parlour-game in which the players loyally stick to the rules." -- On War and Pacifism."

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