This specific ISBN edition is currently not available.View all copies of this ISBN edition:
By the author of the acclaimed bestseller Benjamin Franklin, this is the first full biography of Albert Einstein since all of his papers have become available.
How did his mind work? What made him a genius? Isaacson's biography shows how the imagination that distinguished his science sprang from the rebellious nature of his personality. His fascinating story, a testament to the connection between creativity and freedom, reflects the triumphs and tumults of the modern era.
Based on the newly-released papers and personal letters, this book explores how an imaginative, impertinent patent clerk - a struggling father in a difficult marriage who couldn't get a teaching job or a doctorate - became the mindreader of the creator of the cosmos, the locksmith of the mysteries of the atom and the universe. His success came from questioning conventional wisdom and marveling at mysteries that struck others as mundane. This led him to embrace a morality and politics based on respect for free minds, free spirits, and free individuals. These traits are just as vital for this new century of globalization, in which our success will depend on our creativity, as they were for the beginning of the last century, when Einstein helped usher in the modern age.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
As a scientist, Albert Einstein is undoubtedly the most epic among 20th-century thinkers. Albert Einstein as a man, however, has been a much harder portrait to paint, and what we know of him as a husband, father, and friend is fragmentary at best. With Einstein: His Life and Universe, Walter Isaacson (author of the bestselling biographies Benjamin Franklin and Kissinger) brings Einstein's experience of life, love, and intellectual discovery into brilliant focus. The book is the first biography to tackle Einstein's enormous volume of personal correspondence that heretofore had been sealed from the public, and it's hard to imagine another book that could do such a richly textured and complicated life as Einstein's the same thoughtful justice. Isaacson is a master of the form and this latest opus is at once arresting and wonderfully revelatory. --Anne Bartholomew
Read "The Light-Beam Rider," the first chapter of Walter Isaacson's Einstein: His Life and Universe. Five Questions for Walter Isaacson
Amazon.com: What kind of scientific education did you have to give yourself to be able to understand and explain Einstein's ideas?
Isaacson: I've always loved science, and I had a group of great physicists--such as Brian Greene, Lawrence Krauss, and Murray Gell-Mann--who tutored me, helped me learn the physics, and checked various versions of my book. I also learned the tensor calculus underlying general relativity, but tried to avoid spending too much time on it in the book. I wanted to capture the imaginative beauty of Einstein's scientific leaps, but I hope folks who want to delve more deeply into the science will read Einstein books by such scientists as Abraham Pais, Jeremy Bernstein, Brian Greene, and others.
Amazon.com: That Einstein was a clerk in the Swiss Patent Office when he revolutionized our understanding of the physical world has often been treated as ironic or even absurd. But you argue that in many ways his time there fostered his discoveries. Could you explain?
Isaacson: I think he was lucky to be at the patent office rather than serving as an acolyte in the academy trying to please senior professors and teach the conventional wisdom. As a patent examiner, he got to visualize the physical realities underlying scientific concepts. He had a boss who told him to question every premise and assumption. And as Peter Galison shows in Einstein's Clocks, Poincare's Maps, many of the patent applications involved synchronizing clocks using signals that traveled at the speed of light. So with his office-mate Michele Besso as a sounding board, he was primed to make the leap to special relativity.
Amazon.com: That time in the patent office makes him sound far more like a practical scientist and tinkerer than the usual image of the wild-haired professor, and more like your previous biographical subject, the multitalented but eminently earthly Benjamin Franklin. Did you see connections between them?
Isaacson: I like writing about creativity, and that's what Franklin and Einstein shared. They also had great curiosity and imagination. But Franklin was a more practical man who was not very theoretical, and Einstein was the opposite in that regard.
Amazon.com: Of the many legends that have accumulated around Einstein, what did you find to be least true? Most true?
Isaacson: The least true legend is that he failed math as a schoolboy. He was actually great in math, because he could visualize equations. He knew they were nature's brushstrokes for painting her wonders. For example, he could look at Maxwell's equations and marvel at what it would be like to ride alongside a light wave, and he could look at Max Planck's equations about radiation and realize that Planck's constant meant that light was a particle as well as a wave. The most true legend is how rebellious and defiant of authority he was. You see it in his politics, his personal life, and his science.
Amazon.com: At Time and CNN and the Aspen Institute, you've worked with many of the leading thinkers and leaders of the day. Now that you've had the chance to get to know Einstein so well, did he remind you of anyone from our day who shares at least some of his remarkable qualities?
Isaacson: There are many creative scientists, most notably Stephen Hawking, who wrote the essay on Einstein as "Person of the Century" when I was editor of Time. In the world of technology, Steve Jobs has the same creative imagination and ability to think differently that distinguished Einstein, and Bill Gates has the same intellectual intensity. I wish I knew politicians who had the creativity and human instincts of Einstein, or for that matter the wise feel for our common values of Benjamin Franklin.
More to Explore
| || |
Kissinger: A Biography
The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made
Walter Isaacson, University Professor of History at Tulane, has been CEO of the Aspen Institute, chairman of CNN, and editor of Time magazine. He is the author of Leonardo da Vinci; The Innovators; Steve Jobs; Einstein: His Life and Universe; Benjamin Franklin: An American Life; and Kissinger: A Biography, and the coauthor of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made. Facebook: Walter Isaacson, Twitter: @WalterIsaacson
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0743264738
Book Description Condition: New. A+ Customer service! Satisfaction Guaranteed! Book is in NEW condition. Seller Inventory # 0743264738-2-1
Book Description Condition: new. Book is in NEW condition. Satisfaction Guaranteed! Fast Customer Service!!. Seller Inventory # MBSN0743264738
Book Description Condition: new. Seller Inventory # HolzP_New_0743264738
Book Description Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0743264738
Book Description Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. 1st Edition. Simon & Schuster 2007 First edition, first printing, number line 10987654321. Condition: Fine/fine; new and unread. Gray hardboards with red cloth spine; gold printing. Textblock clean, tight, square, unmarked, unread. Glossy unclipped pictorial dj (Einstein photograph), original $32 price on dj flap; fine new condition. Protected in clear archival Brodart wrapper. Full-size original trade publication. Carefully packaged and shipped in a box to arrive in best condition. Complete satisfaction guarantee; no sale is final until you are satisfied. Seller Inventory # 080330-4
Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # Q-0743264738
Book Description Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. Simon & Schuster, New York, 2007. First edition. First printing (with full number sequence including the 1). Hardbound. Brand new! Very Fine in a very fine dust jacket. A tight, clean copy, new and unread. Comes with archival-quality mylar dust jacket protector. NOT price clipped. Shipped in well padded box. SIGNED BY AUTHOR on title page--the author's name only, with no other marks or writing--in a lovely blue fine-point fountain pen. Purchased new and opened only for author signature. You cannot find a better copy. Signed by Author(s). Seller Inventory # signed-nonfiction-127