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Einstein in Berlin

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  114 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
In a book that is both biography and the most exciting form of history, here are eighteen years in the life of a man, Albert Einstein, and a city, Berlin, that were in many ways the defining years of the twentieth century.

Einstein in Berlin

In the spring of 1913 two of the giants of modern science traveled to Zurich. Their mission: to offer the most prestigious position in
Paperback, 496 pages
Published February 3rd 2004 by Bantam (first published 2003)
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Oct 05, 2011 rated it liked it
Einstein in Berlin was an interesting read. It was a good mixture of biography, science, and history. The author did a nice job of making the science approachable for a layman such as myself. Although someone with more technical experience may have criticisms that I could not pick-up. The author did a good job of exploring the history and culture that surrounded Einstein during his greatest scientific triumphs. And, as my brother-in-law observed, the book gave interesting insights into Germany’s ...more
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
Jul 08, 2012 marked it as maybe-read-sometime
Seems like I good book but I got distracted by other things (shiny fiction mostly). Admittedly it was slightly depressing to read about Einstein's, well, failures at relating to other humans, mostly women. I'd consider resuming this book at some other time, though.
Jun 11, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quite a summation of Einstein's early life, theoretical physics, WW I, the Weimar republic, the rise of Nazism, Zionism and Nobel prizes! Excellent distillation of history and biography.
Sep 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
Read as background for Berlin Literaryscape class at U of Chicago Basic Program. In 1913, fellow scientists Max Planck and Walther Nernst invited Einstein to join the faculty of the University of Berlin and to accept election to the elite Prussian Academy of Science. At 34, he had already changed the face of physics with his theory of special relativity. Plank and Nernst offered him an opportunity to work in the company of his scientific peers, with “no teaching obligations whatsoever [and] the ...more
Jan 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
Einstein in Berlin is an ambitious book portraying a place and time in history as well as highlighting a person who tried to affected that place and time. Einstein's physics changed Berlin and the world yet his social activism could not open the eyes of his fellow Berliners or the world.

Thomas Levenson expertly weaves both the politics of the day and an individual. I grew to see why Einstein was such an important person of his day. The same man who revolutionized physics saw what Germany could b
Jonnie Enloe
Apr 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
It is hard to critize the writer or his style due to the subject matter. I suppose I have read all of this information before at least once. Einstein is put in a unique position due to the Nazi party and the politics of the day. Coupled with his personal failures he still manages to emerge as a giant historical figure. I am an Einstein fan in any case, even given his quirks. It seems as though he is a reluctant participant one minute and a glory seeker the next. I believe this comes from being f ...more
Thomas Bach
Jan 25, 2011 rated it did not like it
Although a well written book, Levenson relies on outdated and unconvincing discussions of German "character," the origins of WWI, and, what is worse, seems not understand the origin, course, and meaning of the German revolution or Weimar more generally. In addition, his discussion of Einstein adds little what was already known, and his description of Einstein's Theory of Relativity, Gravity, and ideas is obscure when not being banal. All this is unfortunate.
Jan 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Even though I don't like historical books and I am fairly good in theoretical physics, this book attracted me due to the historical facts and the approachable physics concepts. Strange? Might be, but Levenson did a very good job in putting Einstein's most productive years in the historical context of the Middle-War Berlin providing the reflections that the one had to the other. Great book in general...
Oct 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
one of the most valuable passages was not even about Einstein:
[about Hitler]: "'The German people', he said were ' made up of children, for only a childish people would accept million-mark bills.' It was a demagogue's trick and an effective one, for ultimately children must be blameless. The fault lies with the grown-ups who allow them to come to harm."

Antonio Toledo
Jan 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Livro muito interessante. Além de contar sobre a história de um dos grandes gênios da humanidade, faz uma excelente contextualização histórica e permite uma visão da Alemanha no período entre as guerras mundiais.
Jun 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished
This book gives you a good history for Germany from just before WWI though the rise of Hitler. Einstein's story gives a good look at Einstein the man, the scientist and an explanation of his theories.
Pavel Miksa
Čekal jsem, že se kniha bude více věnovat Einsteinovi během jeho života v Německu. Obsahuje spoustu informací o dvou světových válkách a okolní politické situaci, že jsem knihu ani neměl chuť dočíst.
Mike Lundgren
Focused on Einstein's years in Berlin and the world events thatshape the man... and in turn how he shapes world events.
Apr 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: enistein
A good book which but Einstein's life in the context of the changing fortunes of interwar Berlin
Rick Smith
Dec 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was pretty darn good. Just the right mix of physics and Einstein's personal flaws. I think I enjoyed it more than Isaacson's biography too.
Laura Quilter
Einstein in Berlin by Thomas. Levenson (2003)
Jun 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
incredibly rich and deep account of a not so good time for Einstein.
Cruddy Bookclub
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