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Ideas And Opinions Paperback – June 6, 1995

4.5 out of 5 stars 103 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German

From the Inside Flap

A new edition of the most definitive collection of Albert Einstein's popular writings, gathered under the supervision of Einstein himself. The selections range from his earliest days as a theoretical physicist to his death in 1955; from such subjects as relativity, nuclear war or peace, and religion and science, to human rights, economics, and government.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; Reprint edition (June 6, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0517884402
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517884409
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,271 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By loce_the_wizard VINE VOICE on August 21, 2003
Format: Hardcover
"Ideas and Opinions" reveals much about the thought processes, culture, and observations that shaped the character of Albert Einstein. In a remarkable series of insightful short prose selections, the reader learns a great deal about Einstein's views on morality and ethics; religion, particularly Judaism; government; the arts, literature, and higher education; philosophy; and government. His personal letters to and observations about other key persons of his time including Shaw, Freud, Gandhi, and Lorentz illustrate what a fully integrated individual Einstein truly was, a view that may counter some of the extreme depictions that render him a genius incapable of focusing beyond his science.
Having some many thoughts from this astounding intellect pulled into one volume makes this book a worthwhile addition to the stack of rainy day books. It's a book to be consumed in fits and starts, with a cup of coffee on the screened porch in the rain, a treat for inquiring minds.
The prose, perhaps a tad stilted by modern standards, is lucid. And seeing Einstein turn his attention on the topic everyone wrangles with forges a new link to him and his work. As he stated, " The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking."
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Format: Paperback
Ideas and Opinions expresses a wide range of Einstein's thoughts throughout his life. The subject matter includes comments on freedom, politics, pacifism, education, religion, Germany, friends, and scientific issues. Whereas Einstein had a specific goal in writing each of these addresses, speeches and articles, the editor of this collection by combining Einstein's writings in this manner paints a picture of the man and his time. The most profound impact upon the reader is not the individual message of each writing, but rather how the whole body of work illuminates the dedication and fierce determination of one scientist to make himself a "harmonious personality" (64). One of the features of this collection is that it attempts to present each article in a straightforward manner. Each article is titled by what it attempts to say, for example one article is called "My First Impressions of the U.S.A." (3). This accurately reflects what Einstein says in this article, but so much more than what this title describes is also reflected in the essay. Einstein's political attitudes are best expressed not in his many essays on politics, government and pacifism, but instead in his First Impressions of America. One of his many observations is that "nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced" (6). Understanding this aspect is of immeasurable value when encountering Einstein's essay where he prescribes a program of action against atomic weapons. The greatest fault of this compilation is that it tends to be repetitive. However, this often helps to drive home the point and complete the overall picture of this man and his time. This text should be read by all persons everywhere.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
It really suprises me that we were'nt given a chance in highschool to read directly this brilliant man's work. What astounds me most is Einstein's self-chosen, highly principled, ethical force of being-- besides being a revolutionary scientist. All that-- and he was far from self-righteous. Reminds me in parts of Jiddu Krishnamurti's pondering as well.
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Format: Hardcover
It's undisputed that he was a great man. No scandals are ever going to surface, and say Einstein was really a wife-beater or something stupid that seems to happen in the tabloids to just about everybody famous. :)
Anyway, this book is one good way to get to know him. I think this book works because it takes all sorts of scraps of things he wrote over the course of his life, and not necessarily intending for them to be published in this manner. You can see a very consistent man, with firm principles, and almost sorry that he's all the world had for a hero, even at the same time that he knew it was a role he would have to play. Once he was in the role, he made a point of clearly stating his principles, in the hope that they would effect change. You will see this all, and you will see a kind of melancholy that he must have felt. I think all intelligent people are haunted by the meaning of existence, and he is archetypal for this. At the same time, he seemed to enjoy his life. I wish there were a book that could go deeper, and really tell us what he was like to live with, but those close to him probably respected him too much to want to unveil his private life. I suppose I shall have to respect that as well.
I hate being typical and doing the same thing as everybody, so I have to say, I was surprised that this man who is so respected by the world earned my respect as well. I think he has a message to tell us, and the compilation is well worth reading.
I do feel obligated to inform you of any shortcomings: Albert Einstein has a rather complex writing style, and I don't believe in writing like that. Another issue is that there is much repetition. This might bother you, but realize that this book was never meant to be a book. If he repeats himself, it's simply because he said very similar things to two different audiences, and the editors got ahold of both pieces.
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