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Essays in Humanism

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  517 ratings  ·  33 reviews

An inspiring collection of the great thinker’s views on a rapidly changing world

Nuclear proliferation, Zionism, and the global economy are just a few of the insightful and surprisingly prescient topics scientist Albert Einstein discusses in this volume of collected essays from between 1931 and 1950. Written with a clear voice and a thoughtful perspective on the effects

Kindle Edition, 182 pages
Published (first published 1950)
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Oct 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
I won't claim to agree with many of the ideas that Einstein sets forth in this small collection of essays, but I will say that they were well laid-out and certainly provided fodder for deeper reflection. I think that everyone knows who Einstein is but like me, have spent little time getting to know Einstein. The internet is rife with supposed quotes from Einstein leaving people to wonder what Einstein actually said and thought. If this is you then I suppose this book will begin to help you resol ...more
Bernard O'Leary
Aug 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Einstein was a Centrist Da
Jan 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Albert Einstein was no doubt a brilliant man. But that doesn't mean he was wise about everything. For example:

Having viewed the brutality of war he was anxious that it be prevented. He recommended a supranational military force that would keep the peace and once agreed upon the "guarantee against war of world-wide dimensions can be assured" But the problem with trying to suppress man's desire for power with a super organization is that the super organization is comprised of MEN WHO WILL WANT POW
Jan 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Really wasn't as impressed with this as much as I thought I would be; a good portion of the first half of the slim book is pretty repetitious, the essays covering the same subject matter in different framings (Not merely Humanism, but specific ideas about Humanism: IE: A world state as a judicial court, with the intent to do away with the need for war.) I found the idea overly idealistic, at best; not because I am against peace (A friend of Anais Nin acted upon doing something very similar in pr ...more
As one would expect when reading something by Einstein, this collection of essays was incredibly thought-provoking. Both for internal reflection, but also for how society as a whole moves towards a realistic passion for peace and security. Having been mostly familiar with his scientific work, I was amazed to see how active he was in writing about political and social concerns, and specifically, how much he advocated for a world organization much like the United Nations, but with more authority. ...more
Arno Mosikyan
Jan 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
I lived in solitude in the country and noticed how the monotony of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind.

Most people go on living their everyday life: half frightened, half indifferent, they behold the ghostly tragicomedy that is being performed on the international stage before the eyes and ears of the world.

Schools ought to be intent on presenting history from the point of view of progress and the growth of human civilization, rather than using it as a means for fostering in the minds of t
Forest Book
Dec 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book gives hope to the necessary presence of humanism. Professor Einstein writes with clarity from an unassailable intelligence of heart, mind and soulful existence. The essays repeat over and over the characteristics of humanism. Central to its principles; is mindfulness of how one treats effects the whole.

Writing of our effortful attributes, he clarifies our most nurturing ideals, ideas, and behavior. Einstein writes of resolve chiefly. And the absolute necessity of intellectuals to main
Mar 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
a short collection of essays reiterating the importance of a global government. something very advanced for our humanity that it seems like a fantasy, but with the proper precautions and a set of guidelines that could control and provide world peace could work in the years to come.

einstein also explains the jewish state and how their race have impacted society as a whole, and also, stating that germans are evil people and should be punished. i never really thought of einstein as a person who wou
Richard Croner
Jan 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read this book with a grain of salt. By that I mean Albert Einstein was a genius in theoretical physics but although a very clear thinker he was just like you and I when it came to opinions regarding society, governments and people in general. I enjoyed the book and found some of his views compelling. I could not tell when the various articles were actually written or delivered but it was obvious that the majority were from the period after the conclusion of WW2 and the mid 50's. Einstein's ad ...more
Apr 25, 2019 rated it liked it
I’m really disappointed in myself for only giving Einstein’s essays 3 stars.
This is a collection of his thoughts on politics, the speeches he made for different memorials and monuments and other public speaking events, articles he had published in different magazines...
My favorite essays were his thoughts on the persecution of the Jewish people. That was fascinating.
It is an interesting read and you’ll get an idea of the kind of man he was.
I’m giving it 3 stars because I don’t find it recomme
Mar 21, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I didn't read all the essays that spanned at least a decade or more but got the general drift. The writing style is archaic (think German speaker writing in English in the 30s -40s) so it doesn't make for ease of reading and the message is repetitive and sometimes contradictory (Israel is a good thing, the Arabs should just get along).

There's also a sweet naïveté to his demand for a world government ala the UN... In fact most of his essays are naive, innocent longings for a better world.

Sam Motes
Sep 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A very easy read coming from such a deep mind. Einstein���s remorse for helping to unleash the weapons that can seal our fate on a global scale came through loud and clear. He makes a strong case for his undying belief that the only way to avoid our eminent doom is the establishment of a supranational government that ensures government is managed on a global scale. A very thought provoking collection of essays still as relevant today as the day Einstein produced them.
Anel Kapur
Whilst I can appreciate some of the points Einstein aims to convey in this book, I can't help but feel I would enjoy reading the complex equations that led to the formulation of The Theory of Relativity a lot more than I enjoyed reading this collection of works. To look at the current state of world is to get an understanding of how fantastical some of the ideas he lobbied for are within the context of current geopolitical climate. Disappointed.
Dustin Voliva
Nov 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: must-reads, read-2012
An exploration into the humanist side of one of our greatest physicists. As a collection, it works well. He explores a socialism, a singular world government and the hopes for a path to an end of military conquest, and the spirituality and tradition of Jewish ideals.
Feb 13, 2018 rated it did not like it
So none of this was actually about humanism and the essays have no introduction or context included. Breakdown is roughly 50% saying why we should have a single world government, 25% memoriums to dead scientists, 25% discussing how great it is the jewish people now have the country Israel.
Josi Rebar
Sep 26, 2012 rated it really liked it

Political and social views remind me of Gene Roddenberry's.
Pat May
Sep 28, 2012 rated it liked it
Way over my head. This is a book I had to read for a short time and then sit back and think for a while. Encourages examination of personal worldviews.
Kellie-Rose Wick
Oct 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Great,beware of racial opinions!!!
Aug 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
He was a genius but some ideologies I did not agree with. Even so, his ideas are interesting to read. It is good to keep an open mind.
Jan 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
I loved this collection of essays, Of course we all know of this man's genius in physics and mathematics, but what a gentle and loving and ambitious heart.
Matt Heavner
interesting collection of politics, obituaries, and a bit of science. I found this to be both dated and timely.
Laura Montauti
Aug 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very interesting read, insightful and with relevance still today although I don't agree with all his points, I would definitely like a world without war.
Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
An interesting insight into one of the wisest minds of the last century. Einstein waxes philosophically on various topics of his time, Zionism, and his contemporaries.
Apr 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Surprisingly poorly written and redundant. More political than the title would suggest. Made me wish he had stuck to Physics.
Sep 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Interesting reading.
Gerald Kinro
Mar 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Einstein, regarded as one of sciences great minds gives his views on things outside of science, views largely shaped by his experiences as a Jew in Europe in the early to mid-2oth Century. I feel that he is very idealistic with a mediocre, at best, grasp of human nature and a weak understanding of how the rest of us intellectually-challenged people think. Nevertheless, I found it interesting and entertaining, though sometimes difficult to read with his flowery style and often double negatives.
Nov 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Interesting essays by Albert Einstein, but I'm a bit disappointed in how many of the essays focused on the idea of a Supranational state to bring about peace. Uniting the world's nations into a global government with a peace-keeping army has its merits, but I would have liked to read more about actual humanism instead.
Apr 01, 2020 rated it it was ok
I don’t know how to rate this. I personally did not enjoy this. The life philosophy I enjoyed but it was more political that I expected. There is a lot of mention about atomic bombs and supranational political forces. All that being said, there is no doubt Einstein has a brilliant mind it was still intriguing.
Sep 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd never read anything by Einstein but I found his views and writings on Humanism to be very interesting. I would recommend this to anyone who has an interesting in Humanism or Einstein in general.
Oct 13, 2015 rated it liked it
An insight into a remarkable man's views.
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In 1879, Albert Einstein was born in Ulm, Germany. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Zurich by 1909. His 1905 paper explaining the photoelectric effect, the basis of electronics, earned him the Nobel Prize in 1921. His first paper on Special Relativity Theory, also published in 1905, changed the world. After the rise of the Nazi party, Einstein made Princeton his permanent home, becoming ...more

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