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My Brief History

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  10,103 ratings  ·  898 reviews
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 postwar London boyhood t ...more
Hardcover, 126 pages
Published September 10th 2013 by Bantam
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Luis Arteaga Mejía It's just OK. You won't get the answers to the origin of the universe or any other in-depth knowledge. I'd call it "Stephen's bio, abridged", good for…moreIt's just OK. You won't get the answers to the origin of the universe or any other in-depth knowledge. I'd call it "Stephen's bio, abridged", good for simple fun and not much more.

In my opinion, there are better, longer biographies of Dr. Hawking somewhere else. (less)

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Average rating 3.58  · 
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 ·  10,103 ratings  ·  898 reviews

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B Schrodinger
Thanks to 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
Sep 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Oct 07, 2013 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
Omar Fadel
Jul 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In his beautiful autobiography, Stephen Hawking focuses on his academic life details. He didn't mention his family more than when it is necessary like when talking about his childhood or his problems with his motor illness that affected his work.

This book tells the very brief story of Stephen Hawking: his childhood, his youth, the heyday of his career, and the most interesting of all, his process whilst writing his famed A Brief of History. Also, he mentioned his collaboration with Kip Thorne -
Bogdan Teodorescu
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very very good. Stephen Hawking's mind an way of writing a book is just genial. And after all he's been through, he still published this. All my respect ...more
May 17, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This makes sense to me. Not the physics, that will never make sense to me. The physics are leagues beyond my comprehension. But, the heavy leaning on physics instead of personal detail does fit perfectly for what I know of Mr. Hawking. Which is not much more than what I knew before going into this book.

Ask a man who dedicated his life to finding the secrets of the universe and the meaning behind our existence to write a story of his life, what do you really expect to get? I was happy for the sm
With the passing of the great cosmologist last week, it seemed fitting to read his autobiography as a way of appreciating the man a bit more. It’s a very compact account of Hawking’s life, hitting the high spots without going into great detail. One of the more charming aspects for me was the inclusion of a fair number of personal photographs, many supplied by Hawking himself and his sister.

Numerous tributes to Hawking last week referred to his sense of humour. Unfortunately, that didn’t really c
Alice Lippart
Nothing wrong with this, but it didn't offer up a whole lot I didn't already know, so it felt a little meh for me. ...more
Sarah AlObaid
Feb 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-my-bookshelf
This is a very straightforward, short recount of Stephen Hawking's life told by himself. It is beyond inspiring and it left me in complete awe for this man but it was not full of sentimental heartfelt chapters describing his endless struggles in life and his battle against his disability. On the contrary, this was mostly facts, facts, facts with the occasional pondering here and there. It was not at all difficult to read and only had scientific-talk when he described his accomplishments and the ...more
Stephen Hawking, one of the most famous physicists and researchers in cosmology in the world, tells the story of his life in this book. Did you know that he is self learned when it comes to maths? Or that he wasn't happy when his little sister was born? This book includes information that shows the man behind the success.

What made him interested in science and so successful? As a young boy, he was fascinated by systems and wanted to control them. He used to take apart items to see how they worke
Fern Adams
Mar 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this. You can tell he is a scientist as he gets down to the facts and doesn’t waste any words but somehow I found, for biographies, that kind of works really well. It’s also far from a dry read as Hawking’s humour appears throughout the book. Very interesting.
Nov 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio-books
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
Dec 08, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013-readings
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.
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was short and sweet! :)
Helga Cohen

My Brief History was a brief memoir by Hawking. It was written not as a long detailed autobiography but a brief history of his life which included pictures which I liked. It includes a little bit about his parents, childhood, education-preparatory school and college, his marriage, children and his career which detailed his areas of interest in astrophysics. He also detailed a bit about working around his disability.

In this book, I found he had a sense of humor and would make bets with peers a
Jan 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
I have always been intrigued and fascinated by Stephen Hawking but knew very little about him, his work and his life. After seeing the movie, "The Theory of Everything" based on the book by his first wife Jane, I became even more interested and wanted to learn more. My Brief History is truly that. A very short, quick insight into the man and the scientist; touching briefly on his personal life and two marriages. It is a very small window we are given to look into this great man's life. There is ...more
Dec 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is an autobiography of the famous physicist Stephen Hawking. He is one person who has probably inspired me the most in my life. His book “A brief history of time” made me fall in love with physics more than a decade back. So happy that I read this book finally about him and his research.

He talks about his childhood, his parents and siblings in the first few chapters. One interesting fact is that I could relate to his father a lot. His father sounded so much like my own father sometimes. The
Jan 09, 2016 rated it it was ok
It is not what one expects from a biography. Very little information about the man's personal life, his beliefs , his friends , his enemies, his relationships with children, relatives, students, the world! And too much science! But he already wrote about it in other books! So better watch the movie! ...more
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
very light and educational.
he changed people’s lives without even knowing.
Sep 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 he
May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The book is a very short autobiography of the eminent physicist. Hawking briefly touches upon his personal background with the greatest emphasis given to his happy childhood. It is a poignant book of fond memories, scientific discoveries, and concise anecdotes. The best part of the book is his passion for understanding the universe. It is clear that his mind was his playground and he viewed himself as a scientist through and through. Regardless of every obstinate obstacle in his life, the philos ...more
Kaethe Douglas
Sep 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir, a, uk
I recently watched a movie about Stephen Hawkins and found it really interesting.
This book was of so little interest to me that I gave up 50% into the book. I know nothing of the sciences and don’t much care about what degrees SH took.
Maybe I was expecting too much
Mar 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Just as it says on the label, here's Hawking's short autobiography. It starts off like a conventional autobiography -- parents, childhood, schooling, university -- but then focuses as much on his work as it does on the events of his life. Bearing in mind that, for a theoretical scientist, life is defined to a great extent by the work, this seems an ideal balance to me.

If you want to spend an hour or two being introduced to what makes Hawking tick, this is the ideal book. I'm now quite tempted to
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.
MissBecka Gee
This was a wonderful introduction to his early research and the his life surrounding that time.
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
Nov 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Sanuj Kulshrestha
As title says, it is a breif biography and illustrations will connect you more with Stephen Hawking. Loved the cover page photograph.
Sep 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
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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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

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