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Ideas and Opinions

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  3,639 ratings  ·  194 reviews
A new edition of the most definitive collection of Albert Einstein's popular writings, gathered under the supervision of Einstein himself. The selections range from his earliest days as a theoretical physicist to his death in 1955; from such subjects as relativity, nuclear war or peace, and religion and science, to human rights, economics, and government.
Hardcover, 377 pages
Published December 12th 1988 by Bonanza Books (first published 1922)
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Average rating 4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,639 ratings  ·  194 reviews

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Feb 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Physicists interested in history
I will say at once that there was a great deal I did not understand in this book, which is based on four lectures Einstein gave at Princeton in 1921. Though short, it is very dense, and obviously written for people who know considerably more physics and mathematics than I do. But I had read enough about the content elsewhere to be able to follow the general outlines of the argument, and I will do my best to explain what I got out of it.

Einstein's main goal is to show you how he arrived at the Th
E. G.
A Note on the Sixth Edition

--The Meaning of Relativity

Appendix I: On the 'Cosmologic Problem'
Appendix II: Relativistic Theory of the Non-symmetric Field

Apr 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I started reading this book cause i wanted to know more about the man who postulated the theory of relativity. And i was delightfully surprised by the human nature of Albert Einstein. The book is collection of his speeches, interviews and articles covering his views and opinions about diverse fields ranging from Physics to philosophy and life in general. Amazed to find that most of his ideas are valid even in today's world.Einstein seems to had opinions on almost every subject and most of these ...more
Jan 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
“Whoever undertakes to set himself up as judge in the field of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.”

A book of a variety of subject matter, many of which are likely better pursued in other works. Wisdom, politics, and science are stuttered through articles, speeches, letters and statements, i.e. it is often truncated, generalized, esoteric, and/or repeated. So why go this route? For me, there are two main reasons: 1) the man is not separate from his ideas; and 2) a tast
Cassandra Kay Silva
May 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Unbelievable. No words. Just lovely.
Aug 29, 2009 rated it it was ok
I read this book because I wanted to get to know Einstein a little. I'd run across several insightful quotes from him and decided to explore what he was all about. As my rating indicates, I felt this book was just "ok". The man himself was very impressive. He was definitely a humanitarian, and wanted nothing but peace. But the book is a collection of his essays and I didn't find it fascinating reading. It also seemed too repetitious at times. The last section of the book was about his "ideas & o ...more
Dan Goldberg
Mar 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The words of the master himself. Not a biography written by someone else. Einstein's writings are fascinating. His opinions...thought provoking and invigorating. I highly recommend this book!
Mar 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed."

"Feeling and longing are the motive force behind all human endeavor and human creation."

"Nobody, certainly, will deny that the idea of the existence of an omnipotent, just, and omnibeneficent personal God is able to accord man solace, he
Mohamedridha Alaskari محمد رضا العسكري
I never seen a man like him!
Such a great mentality I ever seen in my whole life. He has different vision that the all other people around the world!!

In spite of my disagreement with some of his opinions for maybe genetic factors but he still number one.

On the other hand I agree with his ideals!
Salma Bahaa
Jul 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Was it a good book? Yes it was. Did I enjoy it? Yes, yes I did. Did I understand a tenth of it? BUAHAHA. No.
Well, I did understand a good deal, compared to the knowledge I already had about the complex theories and lectures discussed in the book. I actually found some satisfying answers to question that itched my mind for some time. However, even though this book did benefit me, I believe that it is more beneficial to those who are more knowledgeable about mathematics and physics than I am, as t
Chris Barrett
Jan 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I always believe that WHEN you read a particular book for the first time is akin to the first time you heard say Gershwin for the first time or Rakim. Whatever your tastes are the timing does matter. For me, this book mattered a great deal when I first read it.
I read this in 1995. I was 21 and about to move into a 285 square foot efficiency, on my own. So one can imagine the impact a book like this can have at that age in that place.

I absorbed the book like an Iguana in the desert laying in 3
Dec 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I've given this book at least a dozen times to people over the years. Wise insights and a good book to have around.
Nov 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Go, dive, explore, build your opinion; this will do service to all.
Mark Feltskog
This is a book by Albert Einstein. Unlike the rest of us, he is Einstein.

Enough said.
Nathan Park
I thought this book was okay (2/5 stars). The book is broken down into 5 sections: ideas and opinions, on politics, government and pacifism, on the Jewish people, on Germany, and contributions to science. If I read only the first four sections and stopped, I would have given this book a higher rating (3-4 stars). The fifth section, contributions to science, was by far the longest section and definitely the most difficult thing I have read in my life.

The book is basically a conglomeration of Eins
Maggi LeDuc
May 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: owned-books
Dull, but important? Couldn't track with the final section, on physics, at all.
Oct 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science, non-fiction
This is a large collection of various writings and talks by Albert Einstein. It's boring and repetitive, but it's hard to blame this on Einstein. He wasn't trying to write a book. That was done by others after he died. These writings all existed in isolation when he wrote them, and a lot of what made them interesting was the historical and scientific context in which he wrote them.

Probably my favorite part was the correspondence with the Prussian Academy of Science. Adolph Hitler had just come i
Mar 21, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a collection of writings and lectures by Albert Einstein, organised in sections, discussing ideas, politics, pacifism, the Jewish people, science and more. I got through all of it until I reached the final part: contributions to science. Although Einstein's writing could be dense (particularly his pre-war stuff), it was generally understandable. The science writing was beyond me. I struggled through a lot of it, but stopped when I realised that I had read entire pages that didn't make an ...more
Katya Mills
Feb 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Einstein's own words, what could be better? Some scientists struggle to bring their ideas to the general public, and many scientists require you to have a working knowledge of biology, chemistry and physics to translate their writings. I was thrilled when I discovered this book and the easy way he writes about his life and theory. He was to science what Carl Jung was to psychology... both of them visionary, both humble. They both took the time to decodify their fields for us. Kinda like Bodhisat ...more
Sebsibe Fikir
Apr 10, 2013 rated it did not like it
i really pleased by reading this book of albert einstein;coz i always wanna to read different books of different peoples who have master mind, and he is also one & my first choice. no one is perfect in this world;but information makes everyone perfect. man of gr8 thought albert....sebsibe wish his friends to join his reading network. hey guys let's start..... ...more
May 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I found the first part of this book fantastic, the later part of the book was a bit over my head as I was not familiar with some of the other scientists theories that he was quoting from so I became a bit lost during the 2nd half of the book and had to slow my reading down to process it.
Dana Jerman
Full of quotes and quips from a giant brain. Wholesome.
Noor Iqbal
definately...some ideas hidden in our mind...and some thoughts we express by our movement and actions......fantastic work
Mike Fiddleman
Jan 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
i was surprised that one of the smartest guys, let's see...ever, could write so simply. you hardly have to be polysyllabic to read this and it was a joy.
SJ Loria
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Is Einstein a Philosopher?

This is one of the best books I’ve read in a long, long time. The most recent addition to my “Top Shelf” on my bookshelf.

Everyone “knows” Einstein as the scientist with the scientist look, E=MC2, etc. Until reading this I thought Einstein was just a scientist. After reading this book I stand in awe of the man’s intellect, the wide range of topics he thinks about, and the beautiful way that he writes and thinks.

Someone recently told me an entrepreneur is an artist. I bel
Naman Narain
Apr 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
There are first hand accounts that help a reader understand the person behind them. This wide collection of letters, essays and speeches by Einstein is enlightening and delightful. His cheeky comments, eloquent writing and clarity of thought are remarkable. Things written about a century are still equally valid. Even if there are disagreeable points, the underpinning arguments are perfectly logical. Quite fortunate that such a book exists and that I got a chance to read it. If only I could give ...more
Nathan Albright
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's a good thing this book has an introduction, because this particular work presents a bit of a conundrum for many readers, myself included.  This short book, which including two appendices of some length comes out to only a bit more than 150 pages in length of Einstein's material, finds itself in a bit of an uncanny valley as a work, but this is not necessarily a bad thing [1].  Einstein, like a few of the great theoretical scientists of our time (Hawking comes to mind here), seeks to write i ...more
Thomas Warger
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
He was also one of the great "humanists" of the 20th century.
Joseph Knecht
Nov 21, 2017 rated it liked it
A good review of the ideas of Einstein. Contains letters, public speeches, and opinions on many topics including his humanism, pacifism, religion, relativity and everything in between. The main surprise was that he advocated to the US president for the development of the bomb before the Germans developed it. And after reading Schroedinger, the Germans at that time were not focused on building the bomb.

Some quotes I liked:
How strange is the lot of us mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojo
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Some beautiful thoughts about peace, about the meaning of life, about God, about almost everything. I was in waaaay over my head in the last section called "Contributions to Science." But my own peculiar illness dictated that I read every word, even when I had to start reading out loud to try to make any sense of those words.

"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it
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a genius!!!!!!! 1 5 Aug 07, 2013 11:02PM  

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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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