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Albert Einstein: The Human Side First Edition

2.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0691082318
ISBN-10: 0691082316
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"[This book] presents itself in such a modest and loving tone that it is fitting for the memory of the man it lets us hear. It is a fresh and delicious little anthology of citations from the body of Einstein's letters, journal entries and other written comment.... These varied, penetrating, warm and open remarks to queens and schoolchildren, friends and antagonists, philosophers and sophomores have been sensitively chosen by two old friends of Einstein's and well translated. The German originals are included."--Scientific American



"[This book] compiled by two of his closest colleagues in later life, Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffmann, aims to show what kind of a person Einstein was. By a series of quotations from letters, jottings and unpublished documents, for example, Dukas and Hoffmann demonstrate as clearly as anybody could expect that Einstein was a courteous, kindly, witty, fearless and lonely man.... It is a bedside book."--Washington Post Book World

Language Notes

Text: English, German
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 167 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; First edition (1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691082316
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691082318
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.8 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,725,061 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Einstein is certainly one of the most beautiful and concise thinkers of all time. His most famous equations contain fewer than ten characters and can be jotted down in a few seconds. Their implications are still being drawn out by physicists and mathematicians. What many people fail to understand is that Einstein was also an incredibly deep and poetic student of metaphysics and spiritual life. Such sayings as "God does not play Dice," and "God is crafty, but He is not malicious," are both deep and whimsical. This book celebrates this complementary cultural side of the Great Man.

This book does not avoid the complexities of quantum mechanics, special and general relativity, but the reader can easily skip over the equations. The reader who comes away wanting more can turn to Abraham Pais' biography of Einstein, Subtle is the Lord, and Alice Calaprice's compendium of Einstein's sayings.
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Format: Paperback
This book is an excellent introduction to Einstein - if one happens to be a theoretical physicist with an IQ of 186. In other words, this book is abstruse in the extreme. The essays describing Einstein's theories depend heavily on formulas and equations. This begs the question, "so what is the book for?" Other sections of the book dealing with Einstein and the Bomb draw from Einstein's letters, which is good, but the letters really speak for themselves anyway. The section I thought might interest me, Einstein's perspective on language and thought, turned out to be a bunch of psychobabble that obviously comprises someone's ill-conceived thesis. The tone of the book, furthermore, is sickeningly sycophantic. We all recognize Einstein as a great man. What a pity that this book doesn't bring us any closer to knowing why. The picture on the cover, however, is precious. It looks like Inspector Clouseau on the trail of the dreaded Library Fine Evader. I do not recommend this book to any but scholars who've already read everything else on the subject.
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