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My Brief History Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this book for my 17 year old son at his request. It was awesome that he actually requested a book to read! He was very happy with it.Published 2 months ago by Danita
Interesting autobiography of an incredible person. Highly recommend.Published 2 months ago by Suzanne M. Schneider
What is there to say about one of the most brilliant humans alive today? I am in awe of this man and his accomplishments.Published 3 months ago by ohwell1
A short and engaging glimpse into a beautiful person's life. Even simplified, some of the physics went over my head, but it was a fun peek into a remarkable genius' logic process. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Michele Packard-Milam
A straightforward autobiography of one of the most intelligent men alive currentlyPublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
My son drives back and forth to another city and he needs some entertainment instead of his phone. Nice work!Published 4 months ago by Sally spring
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