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The New Quotable Einstein Paperback – March 14, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0691120751 ISBN-10: 0691120757 Edition: Enl. Commemorative Ed. /

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; Enl. Commemorative Ed. / edition (March 14, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691120757
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691120751
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #883,527 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


From review of Princeton's original edition: "All of us who lack Einstein's intellectual and spiritual gifts owe a debt of gratitude to Princeton University Press for having humanized him in this innovative way."--Timothy Ferris, New York Times Book Review

From review of Princeton's original edition: "Masquerading as a quote book, this title may set a new standard for the genre as well as expand the concept. It is filled with the written and spoken thoughts of this cultural icon as well as those merely attributed to him but conveys much more than a traditional collection of sayings might."--Bloomsbury Review

From review of Princeton's original edition: "This fascinating book reveals Einstein as a fully rounded human, with both a tender and a darker, more brooding side."--Physics World

From review of Princeton's original edition: "The chief value of this collection of [Einstein's] more memorable observations on the events of the 20th century and his own part in them is that it reveals the development of the person as well as that of the scientist. [The Quotable Einstein] is something of a triumph."--New Scientist

"This is a marvelous treasure to dip into for an eclectic helping of wisdom and enjoyment. Better than the original highly regarded edition."--Australian Physics

"Equations and texts are . . . Einstein's true monument, and Calaprice lays out a veritable feast of pithy and telling aphorisms drawn from his speeches and letters. . . . They reveal a private Einstein who never strove for the monumental phrase but was able to deliver it in a seemingly effortless off-the-cuff manner."--David E. Rowe, Times Higher Education Supplement

"This excellent updated edition is packed with wonderful quotes and anecdotes."--PD Smith, The Guardian

About the Author

Alice Calaprice was until recently a Senior Editor at Princeton University Press, where she worked with the Einstein Papers for more than twenty years. She is also the author of "The Einstein Almanac" and coauthor of a forthcoming biography of Einstein for teenagers. Freeman Dyson is Professor Emeritus of Physics at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. He is the author of several books, including "Disturbing the Universe" and "Origins of Life".

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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He has a lovely sense of humour and wit.
Hande Z
Two indexes, one for subjects and another for key words, make this book particularly user-friendly.
I pick it up and read it over and over again.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Bibliophile on March 27, 2005
Format: Paperback
I was overjoyed when the first edition came out. Here in one small volume were many of Einstein's most famous lines. I was even happier when new expanded editions came out. I have used the book almost as an index to my collection of books about Einstein (and I have a dozen of them).

But I noticed one problem in the editing. In the first edition, in the chapter "On Religion, God, and Philosophy," Einstein is quoted as saying "I see only with deep regret that God punishes so many of his children for their numerous stupidities, for which only he can be held responsible; in my opinion, only his nonexistence could excuse him." In the "expanded" edition, the word "only" (the first one) was removed. Well, this changes the meaning a lot, given what we know about Einstein's denial of free will in man. With the word "only" removed, God's guilt is lightened, as though suggesting there are other culprits, but in so doing she also distorts Einstein's meaning. I was startled enough by this that I went to the science library at the University of Toronto, and double-checked Einstein's words in the multivolume "Collected Papers of Albert Einstein." The word "only" appears in both the German original ("nur") and the English translation. Over and over Eisntein denied that human beings have free will, and so objectively there is no one to blame for our crimes but God - if, as Einstein said, He even existed.

Initially I suspected the editor of deleting "only" deliberately - after all, the "censored" version appears in both the second and third editions. But I'm now satisfied that this was an honest editing error and I have been reassured that it will be corrected in the next edition.

On the whole, the quotes are quite reliable.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By K. L Sadler VINE VOICE on September 18, 2005
Format: Paperback
I have long loved quotes and especially quotes from Einstein, becaues like many great men, he did not think solely in one area on science. He thought greatly about many things. that doesn't mean that he was a perfect man. Far from it. He had major problems with personal relationships, was lacking in parenting skills, was very often not a great husband. Yet he tried to his utmost to use his immense intelligence to the good of mankind. I think he found it easier to deal with humans on a group basis, rather than an individual one. That does not mean that he did not leave an immense area of thought from which we can learn and put into use in our own lives.

Calaprice does a great job of sorting through the many quotes that were attributed to Einstein, but were not actually his. HOw best to get your ideas into print than to state they were words from the premier physicist and statesman of his time. I've seen some I often wondered about and shall have to change the way my mind memorized these statements (they are still often quite good statements).

It does not surprise me to see how greatly, especially in areas such as religion that Einstein changed his views: especially in organized religion. But his basics remained the same. That man and woman can work in science and other fields to achieve greatness, and that greatness can be used for good or for evil. As with the discovery of fission of the atom, it is evident that we decide our own fate, and that that decision is made on an individual basis.

Sometimes, when I am overwhelmed with work, or just life in general, I like to go get this quote book and randomly read through Einstein's thinking process. I don't always agree with, but he always makes me think. I cannot think of a better book to get on this anniversery of his life and death.

Karen Sadler,

Science Education,

University of Pittsburgh,


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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By ShellBell on September 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
Great quotes from a great man! I pick it up and read it over and over again. There's always something in it that pertains to what's going on in our world, even if the quotes are decades gone by.
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Format: Paperback
I find this the best of the three editions. My sole reservation is that air of sanctity with which Americans like to imbue Einstein, leading to the popular misconception of him as some kind of spiritual leader. Do we really need thirty pages of Others on Einstein, including 35 words of egregious Snovian waffle (CP Snow? who he? precisely) excerpted from Harvard UP's centenary volume? We may imagine what Einstein would have thought

You'll have to go to the German edition of the 1996 text to find the light verse (with one exception, p19) and Einstein's remark to Gustav Bucky 'I'm one of those people who, given the choice between living well and sleeping well (gut essen oder gut schlafen), would always plump for the latter' - though the German edition omits, piously or shamefacedly, 'I'm doing pretty well considering I survived the Holocaust and two wives' (he didn't actually use the 'H' word as the term hadn't taken root in 1952)

Moreover, because Einstein took American nationality he is taken to be anglophone. Not so! Hardly any of the quotations in the German edition had to be translated from English, yet the fact that this volume is in the main a translation, by Einstein or unnamed others, is largely, shall we say, elided, though Calaprice does coyly allude to 'the original German' which Professor Dyson, to his credit, would like to have seen included; leaving it out, though, gives the compilers just that little bit more license to remake their guru

OK, I'm being grossly unfair. This is a delightful, richly rewarding tome, and in truth they don't come much saintlier - or more honest, which comes to the same thing
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