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My Brief History Kindle Edition

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Length: 144 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Stephen Hawking [has] a brain of enviable vastness, seeing and understanding things that lie way beyond most of us... His modesty is engaging" Daily Mail "Hawking writes movingly... we hear his voice radiating directly from the black hole of his motor neuron disease, without the amplification and elaboration supplied by the co-authors with whom he wrote his last few books" Financial Times "A concise, gleaming portrait" Nature "Powerful... [his] brevity makes for a bold picture" Guardian "Read it for the personal nuggets... But above all, it's worth reading for its message of hope" Mail on Sunday

About the Author

STEPHEN HAWKING is regarded as one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Einstein. He held the position of Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge for thirty years and is the author of A Brief History of Time which was an international bestseller and stayed on the Sunday Times bestseller list for 237 weeks. His other books for the general reader include Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays, The Universe in a Nutshell, A Briefer History of Time and The Grand Design.

Product Details

  • File Size: 8933 KB
  • Print Length: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (September 10, 2013)
  • Publication Date: September 10, 2013
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DXKHGPQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,511 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Stephen Hawking's ability to make science understandable and compelling to a lay audience was established with the publication of his first book, A Brief History of Time, which has sold nearly 10 million copies in 40 languages. Hawking has authored or participated in the creation of numerous other popular science books, including The Universe in a Nutshell, A Briefer History of Time, On the Shoulders of Giants, The Illustrated On the Shoulders of Giants, and George's Secret Key to the Universe.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 41 people found the following review helpful By A. Jogalekar VINE VOICE on September 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Stephen Hawking is not only a great scientist but he is also an exemplar of grit, optimism and good humor. He is as famous for his triumph over a devastating disease and his determined survival as he is for his scientific brilliance. His book "A Brief History of Time" introduced millions of people to the wonders of the universe. This short memoir now introduces people to his own life which has not been any less wondrous. Those who have read the biographies by John Gribbin and Michael White or by Jane Hawking may not find much that is new in here, but the book definitely benefits from Hawking's simple and illuminating writing style and dry sense of humor. Suffering from an illness like ALS can definitely lead someone to express themselves with economy and clarity.

As the title indicates, the book is very short (144 pages) and is divided into even shorter chapters. Each chapter is more like a snippet that focuses on one particular topic. The earlier chapters deal with Hawking's upbringing in London as the son of caring and slightly eccentric parents, his education at Oxford and Cambridge and his initial struggles with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease). Hawking gives us a good idea of the pioneering research on black holes and the Big Bang which he did with Roger Penrose and others. There are also anecdotes about other scientists like Richard Feynman and encounters with celebrities like Popes and Presidents. Hawking talks unflinchingly about his disease without a hint of self-pity, and this is a quality that continues to make him so widely admired, sometimes to the point of reverence.

The later chapters deal with his current research on quantum gravity, his various trips to different parts of the world (including a few weeks spent every year at Caltech) and his two divorces.
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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Shannon on October 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Told with the greatest humility, My Brief History by Stephen Hawking is a fascinating jubilee of life, love and triumph over adversity that gives its readers unprecedented access to the heart and mind of one of the most famous and loved living scientists.

The following is an excerpt of my book review published in association with Nature.com and Scientific American. The full review can be read online at [...]

The autobiography revealed a great deal about Hawking, the man. Most notably, it took Hawking out of a wheelchair and showed us a vibrant, active, and youthful man. The featured image on the cover of the book, titled "The Boat Club at play," is of Hawking leaping into the air holding a white kerchief. Similarly, we see Hawking, once again defying gravity much later in life, in the last photo of the book where he is floating in "Zero-G" aboard NASA's "Vomit Comet."

Hawking's autobiography genuinely burst to life with 47 archival images, including candid family portraits with his parents and his two sisters, Philippa and Mary, affirming a happy childhood. (A photo of his adopted brother, Edward, is absent). Some of the photos exposed colorful, non-centrist, and controversial aspects of the lives and political beliefs of his parents, Frank and Isobel.The photos of Stephen's first wife, Jane, whom he married in 1965, and their children -- from eldest to youngest: Robert, Lucy, and Tim -- unveiled tender, celebratory moments depicting nearly 25 years of a happy marriage and a joyful home life. The photos, however, masked brewing marital tensions that followed a life-threatening event related to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, commonly known as "ALS" or "Lou Gehrig's disease." Hawking said his declining health led to his wife's affair.
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Rikki White on September 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I was one of the millions who bought a copy of A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME and read it from cover to cover. It enthused me so much that I enrolled with The Open University and did three years study of AstroPhysics, so I am a hero worshipper of Stephen Hawking and anxious to learn as much as I can about this incredible man. Therefore, I am disappointed that I can only give two stars to this book. I have read several of his books and I was wanting to find out more about the man not his music. There is little new to enlighten the reader of his fortitude with the slings and arrows that life had shot at him. It was more a record of people and places he encountered. Wonderful that he could be so positive about the advantages his disability gave him but I feel I know no more about him than I did at the start of the book. The chapters on his work I found incomprehensible, but that's probably my fault not his. This is a book for admirers of the genius who have little knowledge of his history and want to know something about him. It could appeal to a wider audience than his more scientific offerings as only a small section needs a knowledge of theoretical physics to understand it. The title is apt, it is indeed a very brief history.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mary Lavers (in Canada) on April 17, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I thought I knew a little bit about Stephen Hawking but after reading his brief autobiography (it really is brief, he's not just saying that as a play on his most famous book, A Brief History of Time) I realized I hadn't known anything about him. First of all, I thought he had cerebral palsy and had been wheelchair bound since childhood. Not so. He has ALS, a degenerative disorder that didn't present symptoms until he was in his early twenties. He was on the rowing team in university! (Though he was the person who does the shouting and no actual rowing. What's that called? I literally just read it. Oh I forget.)

I also learned that Stephen Hawking is twice divorced (the first divorce was particularly complicated and sad) and that he has written a series of science books for children with the help of his daughter, Lucy. I also learned that A Brief History of Time was meant to be a populist book to explain astrophysics to the everyday person. After four failed attempts at reading it, I question whether or not I qualify as an everyday person. But at least now I can say I finished a book by Stephen Hawking!
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