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Einstein Hardcover – November 3, 2009

13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"This is a brilliant intellectual tapestry -- and a great read. Skillfully weaving Einstein's revolutionary scientific achievements, his prolific political initiatives, his complex personal life, and his fascinating personality, Isaacson has transformed the transformer of the twentieth century into a beacon for the twenty-first century." --Martin J. Sherwin, coauthor of "American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer," winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for biography --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From the Back Cover

Albert Einstein is synonymous with genius. From his remarkable theory of relativity and the famous equation E=mc2 to his concept of a unified field theory, no one has contributed as much to science in the last century.

As well as showing how Einstein developed his theories, Einstein reveals the man behind the science, from his early years and experiments in Germany and his struggle to find work at the Swiss patent office to his marriages and children, his role in the development of the atomic bomb, and his work for civil rights groups in the United States.

Drawing on new research and personal documents belonging to Einstein only recently made available, this book also includes items of rare facsimile memorabilia, to show you more than this scientist's groundbreaking theories.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 94 pages
  • Publisher: HarperDes; First Edition edition (November 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061893897
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061893896
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 9.8 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,060,139 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Walter Isaacson, the CEO of the Aspen Institute, has been chairman of CNN and the managing editor of Time magazine. He is the author of Benjamin Franklin: An American Life and of Kissinger: A Biography, and the coauthor of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and daughter.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A. G. Sanchez on December 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
From the beginning I'll admit I'm a sucker for these Museum In A Book type of books. These books are often described as books for children. I'm not sure why? Too many pictures, too much interaction? I don't get it.

This one was fairly typical of the style, with fixed pages throughout and with added pockets containing pictures, documents, postcards, newspaper articles etc. However this book also had many artifacts that were carefully taped onto the pages so that the reader could unfold them without removing them from the book. This is a little different than most books of this kind. This way documents stay on the page their meant to be on and don't get lost as easy. Is this good or bad? You decide. The graphics are also more subtle than many other books of this type. Less bright color, plenty of call out boxes with text and graphics lending itself to a more serious look.

It covers not only the work that Einstein did early in his life with Relativity and THE BOMB but also his work with Civil Rights, Israel, and McCarthyism. From his birth to his death and some of the more interesting time in-between. Very nicely done for a subject that can be somewhat dry.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Charles Ashbacher HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The primary draw of this book is not the information about the life of Albert Einstein, most of that has appeared elsewhere. The greatest interest is generated by the reproductions of some of the major documents related to his life. The first one is of his report card for October, 1896. Others are:

*) A postcard that Mileva Maric, his first wife, sent to him.
*) A letter from Einstein to his cousin Elsa, who became his second wife.
*) A copy of Einstein's handwritten notes for his lectures on relativity.
*) A copy of the telegram Lorentz sent to Einstein that his theory of the bending of light beams by gravity had been confirmed.
*) A copy of the letter Einstein sent to President Franklin Roosevelt about the possibility of Germany developing an atomic bomb.
*) A copy of Einstein's certificate of naturalized citizenship.
*) A copy of the letter sent by Israeli ambassador Abba Eban offering him the presidency of Israel.
*) A copy of the letter that Einstein wrote to William Frauenglass encouraging him to commit civil disobedience during the McCarthy years.
*) A copy of the unfinished speech that Einstein was working on hours before he died. It was to be given to commemorate Israeli Independence Day.
*) A copy of the letter written by Einstein and Bertrand Russell appealing for nuclear disarmament.

Even though many of these items are written in German, seeing them and relating them to Einstein and his prolific personal output help you understand him. His last name now synonymous with genius, Einstein was a rock star before they existed and is deservedly an icon of science and humanism. It is not possible to read about him and have your world perspective remain unchanged.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Nom De Plume on November 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover
We bought this book to do a middle school project . . . and it was great for that. But it is a fabulous book for any purpose, including just to learn about a fascinating man who lived at a fascinating time. The organization of the book, the visual elements and the "artifacts" provided (copies of significant letters and documents from Einstein's life) kept my son -- and me! -- engaged in the subject in a way that a run-of-the-mill biography would not. (I note that the previous 1-star review was not based on the content of this book). Highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is an outstanding book for anyone who wants to learn about Dr.Albert Einstein.It covers his whole life from childhood in 1879 until his death at 76 in 1955. It covers why he was so important for his scientific work ,and does it so that the average person can get an idea of what he accomplished;but does not delve into the depth of Mathematics and Physics involved.This is just as well,because only a relative few highly educated and knowledgeable could even begin to fathom such complicated science and theories.
In spite of his scientific brilliance,this book gives a very clear insight of Einstein as a human being.It deals with his family life and shows him to be extremely simple in some ways ,but also a deep thinking person in many other ways.It details his political and religious beliefs and reasons for them.It also dispells many of the myths that have grown up around him,particularly that he was a slow learner.It also gives a good insight into what he felt man's ability to create a nuclear bomb ,imposed on man to learn how to avoid having it totally annihilate him.
The book is exceptionally well organized ,and the photographs ,illustrations and documents that are placed in "pockets" are what really make it unique. One often forgets that Winstein was first of all Jewish and his first language was German. At first glance,one might be disappointed when glancing at the inserts, that many of them are in German;but don't let that dissuede you as translations for all of them are provided.
The book gives several examples where Einstein could change his thinking when facts showed he was in error.This occurred in both his scientific as well as his social thinking.
Although many tried to pin the name Athiest on him;he denied it.
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