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Albert Einstein is an icon of the twentieth century. Born in Ulm, Germany, in 1879, he is most famous for his theory of relativity. He also made enormous contributions to quantum mechanics and cosmology, and for his work he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1921. A self-pronounced pacifist, humanist, and, late in his life, democratic socialist, Einstein was also deeply concer Albert Einstein is an icon of the twentieth century. Born in Ulm, Germany, in 1879, he is most famous for his theory of relativity. He also made enormous contributions to quantum mechanics and cosmology, and for his work he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1921. A self-pronounced pacifist, humanist, and, late in his life, democratic socialist, Einstein was also deeply concerned with the social impact of his discoveries.   Much of Einstein's life is shrouded in legend. From popular images and advertisements to various works of theater and fiction, he has come to signify so many things. In Einstein: A Biography, Jürgen Neffe presents a clear and probing portrait of the man behind the myth. Unearthing new documents, including a series of previously unknown letters from Einstein to his sons, which shed new light on his role as a father, Neffe paints a rich portrait of the tumultuous years in which Einstein lived and worked. And with a background in the sciences, he describes and contextualizes Einstein's enormous contributions to our scientific legacy.   Einstein, a breakout bestseller in Germany, is sure to be a classic biography of the man and proverbial genius who has been called "the brain of the [twentieth] century."


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Albert Einstein is an icon of the twentieth century. Born in Ulm, Germany, in 1879, he is most famous for his theory of relativity. He also made enormous contributions to quantum mechanics and cosmology, and for his work he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1921. A self-pronounced pacifist, humanist, and, late in his life, democratic socialist, Einstein was also deeply concer Albert Einstein is an icon of the twentieth century. Born in Ulm, Germany, in 1879, he is most famous for his theory of relativity. He also made enormous contributions to quantum mechanics and cosmology, and for his work he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1921. A self-pronounced pacifist, humanist, and, late in his life, democratic socialist, Einstein was also deeply concerned with the social impact of his discoveries.   Much of Einstein's life is shrouded in legend. From popular images and advertisements to various works of theater and fiction, he has come to signify so many things. In Einstein: A Biography, Jürgen Neffe presents a clear and probing portrait of the man behind the myth. Unearthing new documents, including a series of previously unknown letters from Einstein to his sons, which shed new light on his role as a father, Neffe paints a rich portrait of the tumultuous years in which Einstein lived and worked. And with a background in the sciences, he describes and contextualizes Einstein's enormous contributions to our scientific legacy.   Einstein, a breakout bestseller in Germany, is sure to be a classic biography of the man and proverbial genius who has been called "the brain of the [twentieth] century."

30 review for Einstein: A Biography

  1. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra

    Bei aller Relativitätstheorie sind dem Autor in diesem Werk die Relationen abhandengekommen. Wenn ich eine Wissenschaftsbiografie lesen möchte, dann gibt es bessere populärwissenschaftliche Autoren, die mir die Physikgrundlagen viel verständlicher und spannender erklären können. Auf ca. 300 Seiten werden bis zum Exzess in endlosen Wiederholungen die eh schon bekannte spezielle und allgemeine Relativitätstherorie und ihre Konkurrenztheorien ausgewalzt bis zum letzten Schnipsel der Grundlagen und Bei aller Relativitätstheorie sind dem Autor in diesem Werk die Relationen abhandengekommen. Wenn ich eine Wissenschaftsbiografie lesen möchte, dann gibt es bessere populärwissenschaftliche Autoren, die mir die Physikgrundlagen viel verständlicher und spannender erklären können. Auf ca. 300 Seiten werden bis zum Exzess in endlosen Wiederholungen die eh schon bekannte spezielle und allgemeine Relativitätstherorie und ihre Konkurrenztheorien ausgewalzt bis zum letzten Schnipsel der Grundlagen und Bücher, die Einstein gelesen bzw. verwendet hat. Das ist wirklich nicht notwendig! Der klägliche Rest von ca. 150 Seiten und eigentliche Grund, warum man überhaupt eine Biografie liest, wird hingegen extrem spärlich abgehandelt: Der Mensch Einstein (Frauen, politische Einstellung, Umgang mit seinen Kindern, Skrupel, jüdische Identität, Religiosität....) Diese Aspekte haben mir aber wirklich spannende und neue Erkenntnisse beschert. Weiters ist auch noch der Stil des Autors sehr mühsam. Da er die Kapitel in Themen und nicht chronologisch organisiert hat, springt er ziemlich in den Zeiten herum, unverständlicherweise auch innerhalb der Kapitel. Fazit ein Teil super, der Rest bekannt und auch noch schlecht beschrieben! Lest die Kapitel 6, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 19 und 20 - die sind es wert, gelesen zu werden!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Brendan

    I read through the first half of this book before I decided I was satisfied enough to put it down. That first half got me a lot of good information. However, the book was taking too long to read and it was time for me to move onto other things in my life. The book was organized by aspects of Einstein's life instead of chronologically. For example, there was a chapter that was dedicated to his relationship with his children. What this lead to was a lot of things being hinted at in previous chapte I read through the first half of this book before I decided I was satisfied enough to put it down. That first half got me a lot of good information. However, the book was taking too long to read and it was time for me to move onto other things in my life. The book was organized by aspects of Einstein's life instead of chronologically. For example, there was a chapter that was dedicated to his relationship with his children. What this lead to was a lot of things being hinted at in previous chapters until the author had time to devote to them. It also meant that each chapter was a mini biography in chronological order of Einstein's life. A lot of ideas were repeated and that bogged me down a little bit. I might pick it up again some day and finish it, but probably not. I'm not currently left wondering about any parts of his life and don't really see what the last 200 pages would add that would make it worth the read for my idle curiosity of Einstein's life.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Martin Schimak

    I once again discovered some patterns in Einsteins life: - "Geniuses" do not exist actually - even Einstein is just another very smart guy who happened to have fitting basic skills - but exactly at the right time and exactly on the right place. - The "right place" for real important scientific progress happens to be outside the scientific institutions - I would go so far to think that Einstein would not have come to his paradigm-changing conclusions if he had suceeded in finding a job as Universit I once again discovered some patterns in Einsteins life: - "Geniuses" do not exist actually - even Einstein is just another very smart guy who happened to have fitting basic skills - but exactly at the right time and exactly on the right place. - The "right place" for real important scientific progress happens to be outside the scientific institutions - I would go so far to think that Einstein would not have come to his paradigm-changing conclusions if he had suceeded in finding a job as University Assistant before 1905. He would have found himself working on less challenging topics and ghostwriting book chapters about topics his professor would have been involved in. - The difference between Einstein and other extraordinary 20th century physicists? Not so many differences, but: he was born with a perfect "trademark" as surname - and became the first scientific media-"star" of the first massmedia-century.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Marcos Sobrinho

    Uma boa biografia, mas se as vezes o fato de não estar em ordem cronológica, e sim por temas, ajuda a entender melhor a situação, em certos temas fica extremamente cansativo pois não conseguimos lembrar de tudo que aconteceu para chegar até ali. E também, alguns temas podem ser considerados bem chatinhos, e focar 30-50 páginas nele, pode as vezes desestimular a leitura.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ace

    In “Einstein: A Biography”, I felt I had learned a lot of things, not just about Einstein but his family, friends, and teachers. If I were to pick an interesting thing I learned in this non-fiction biography it would have to be the development of Einstein’s intelligence. The author really tries to emphasize how Einstein isn’t born a genius and neither is he simply assumed a genius. During the reading, I had realized how unique Einstein had behaved during his time exiting the late 1800s to the 19 In “Einstein: A Biography”, I felt I had learned a lot of things, not just about Einstein but his family, friends, and teachers. If I were to pick an interesting thing I learned in this non-fiction biography it would have to be the development of Einstein’s intelligence. The author really tries to emphasize how Einstein isn’t born a genius and neither is he simply assumed a genius. During the reading, I had realized how unique Einstein had behaved during his time exiting the late 1800s to the 1900s improving the twentieth century. At this time Einstein was more after things such as ‘reading books’ and trying to understand early scientists and astronomers, the way he had behaved unlike other children made a lot of researchers believe he had some sort of social disorder. The book itself in terms of writing is a whole different story. The author tends to go on and on about certain things Einstein was involved in. This technique can be good for certain people as proof and facts mean 90% of a biography, although it can become rather confusing when the writing goes back and forth between timelines. One page you’re talking about Einstein in school during the 1900s, then you’re talking about him becoming the teacher in a school later years. The book is a very good source of information about Einstein and I really suggest it is used for any other writing. I wouldn’t suggest it if you’re willing to read Einstein for the sake of direct facts relating to him; the book constantly goes off-topic on what Einstein saw through his eyes. To conclude, Einstein: A biography is a fascinating fact book to read and in itself a good conclusion about Einstein and the stereotypes relating to him.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Skyler

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Jürgen Neffe’s book, Einstein: A Biography, describes the intriguing life of Albert Einstein and the many theories, concepts, and ideas he brought to this world. I highly recommend this book to anyone fascinated by Albert Einstein’s life and his works. Albert Einstein was born in 1879 in Germany, and he was the first child of a bourgeois Jewish couple. From an early age, Einstein displayed an interest in science but was disappointed with the principles of obedience and conformity that governed h Jürgen Neffe’s book, Einstein: A Biography, describes the intriguing life of Albert Einstein and the many theories, concepts, and ideas he brought to this world. I highly recommend this book to anyone fascinated by Albert Einstein’s life and his works. Albert Einstein was born in 1879 in Germany, and he was the first child of a bourgeois Jewish couple. From an early age, Einstein displayed an interest in science but was disappointed with the principles of obedience and conformity that governed his Catholic elementary school. In 1902, he settled in Bern, Switzerland, where he received a job as a technical expert in a patent office, and he married Mileva Maric. In 1905, Einstein’s miracle year, he published three important documents describing concepts involving the quantum theory, special relativity, and Brownian motion. Overall, this book was more than just a biography as it includes information everyone should either implement or avoid in their lives, but most importantly, it describes the story of one of the most famous scientists in history and what many consider to be the most influential and inspirational scientist.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy Spinks

    Very good biography. Written by a German author and translated into English. Follows a different format than most biographies.. chapters are organized by themes rather than chronologically, which can leave the reader confused at times as it does jump around a lot. What I liked about this book was its strong emphasis on the science that influenced Einstein as well as the science that he created and how his ideas have influenced modern-day science. This book doesn't shy away from the confusing com Very good biography. Written by a German author and translated into English. Follows a different format than most biographies.. chapters are organized by themes rather than chronologically, which can leave the reader confused at times as it does jump around a lot. What I liked about this book was its strong emphasis on the science that influenced Einstein as well as the science that he created and how his ideas have influenced modern-day science. This book doesn't shy away from the confusing complexities and paradoxes of Einstein's special and general theories of relativity and their implications, but instead delves into them with gusto, which I appreciated. The book is just as interested in what was going on in Einstein's mind as it is in the details of his life, perhaps more so. I learned a lot from it.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Craig Cooley

    German is a second language for me. The author is scientifically trained (undergraduate in physics and Phd in Biochemistry), and he does not shy away from detailed explanations of special relativity, general relativity and quantum mechanics. I appreciated that fact but sometimes the understanding on my part was only partial probably due to the difficult nature of the subject mater and not a deficiency in his writing. Enjoyed learning so many detailed aspects of all the dimensions of Albert Einst German is a second language for me. The author is scientifically trained (undergraduate in physics and Phd in Biochemistry), and he does not shy away from detailed explanations of special relativity, general relativity and quantum mechanics. I appreciated that fact but sometimes the understanding on my part was only partial probably due to the difficult nature of the subject mater and not a deficiency in his writing. Enjoyed learning so many detailed aspects of all the dimensions of Albert Einsteins life. For me well worth the read.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ruth

    488 Pages. Albert Einstein is an icon of the twentieth century. Born in Ulm, Germany, in 1879, he is most famous for his theory of relativity. He also made enormous contributions to quantum mechanics and cosmology, and for his work he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1921. A self-pronounced pacifist, humanist, and, late in his life, democratic socialist, Einstein was also deeply concerned with the social impact of his discoveries. Much of Einstein’s life is shrouded in legend. From popular images an 488 Pages. Albert Einstein is an icon of the twentieth century. Born in Ulm, Germany, in 1879, he is most famous for his theory of relativity. He also made enormous contributions to quantum mechanics and cosmology, and for his work he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1921. A self-pronounced pacifist, humanist, and, late in his life, democratic socialist, Einstein was also deeply concerned with the social impact of his discoveries. Much of Einstein’s life is shrouded in legend. From popular images and advertisements to various works of theater and fiction, he has come to signify so many things. In Einstein: A Biography, Jürgen Neffe presents a clear and probing portrait of the man behind the myth. Unearthing new documents, including a series of previously unknown letters from Einstein to his sons, which shed new light on his role as a father, Neffe paints a rich portrait of the tumultuous years in which Einstein lived and worked. And with a background in the sciences, he describes and contextualizes Einstein’s enormous contributions to our scientific legacy. Einstein, a breakout bestseller in Germany, is sure to be a classic biography of the man and proverbial genius who has been called “the brain of the [twentieth:] century.”

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rūta

    I would give it 2.5 stars, because it was something between "okay" and "kind of like it". What I liked in this book was getting to know the not-so-glorious side of Einstein. However, some parts of the book were annoying - some dates mentioned in the text did not accord to the dates indicated in the footnotes; some things that I found important were reviewed very superficially, while others - not so significant - got more attention, for example, when talking about the theory of black holes the au I would give it 2.5 stars, because it was something between "okay" and "kind of like it". What I liked in this book was getting to know the not-so-glorious side of Einstein. However, some parts of the book were annoying - some dates mentioned in the text did not accord to the dates indicated in the footnotes; some things that I found important were reviewed very superficially, while others - not so significant - got more attention, for example, when talking about the theory of black holes the author of the book emphasized little to do with the topic details about Stephen Hawking, such as that a neuron disease has got him chained to a modern wheelchair and that he can make a computer talk. Wow, magic... Of course, maybe I'm just too picky.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Colleenish

    I had to return this book and check it out again to finish it. The reading process was brutal. The author would try to explain things like the theory of general relativity that are way over my head. At the end of several paragraphs, I would think, "Okay. It's like a train that's moving, and means something or other." I also didn't know before that Einstein was such a douche. The chapter about his relationship with his kids broke my heart and colored my view of him in a way that all his brillianc I had to return this book and check it out again to finish it. The reading process was brutal. The author would try to explain things like the theory of general relativity that are way over my head. At the end of several paragraphs, I would think, "Okay. It's like a train that's moving, and means something or other." I also didn't know before that Einstein was such a douche. The chapter about his relationship with his kids broke my heart and colored my view of him in a way that all his brilliance could not change. I have to see that he truly was a unique man who did many wonderful things despite the parts that make his story so sad. PS The book starts by describing doctors who were stealing body parts from Einstein's corpse. That is what got me hooked.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Pavel Liubart

    Labai gera knyga susipažinti su vienu iš reikšmingiausių visų laikų mokslininkų. Skaitant biografiją neapleidžia jausmas, kiek mažai mes žinome apie mus supantį pasaulį ir kiek dar daug reikia nuveikti, kad jį pažinti geriau. Kuo daugiau sužinai ir supranti, tuo daugiau kyla abejonių. Visapusiškai atskleista biografija, kuri neapsiribojo asmeninio gyvenimo detalėm. Alberto Einšteino biografija įpareigoja ir įkvepia mokytis, nes kaip yra mus perspėjęs pats genijus mokslininkas, jeigu ateities kar Labai gera knyga susipažinti su vienu iš reikšmingiausių visų laikų mokslininkų. Skaitant biografiją neapleidžia jausmas, kiek mažai mes žinome apie mus supantį pasaulį ir kiek dar daug reikia nuveikti, kad jį pažinti geriau. Kuo daugiau sužinai ir supranti, tuo daugiau kyla abejonių. Visapusiškai atskleista biografija, kuri neapsiribojo asmeninio gyvenimo detalėm. Alberto Einšteino biografija įpareigoja ir įkvepia mokytis, nes kaip yra mus perspėjęs pats genijus mokslininkas, jeigu ateities kartos netobulės, tai mus užgrobs velnias.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kerem

    Not only the story of an amazing scientific mind but also of the 'human Einstein' -- with his flaws, mistakes and his strong political stand for freedom. Parts of the book goes through his science and tries to reflect on his thought process (using lots of interesting sources), which is quite interesting to read and to guess how his mind worked. There is also quite a bit of history around his life, including his fascinating forecasts about Hitler/Nazis and the future with nuclear bombs. This is a Not only the story of an amazing scientific mind but also of the 'human Einstein' -- with his flaws, mistakes and his strong political stand for freedom. Parts of the book goes through his science and tries to reflect on his thought process (using lots of interesting sources), which is quite interesting to read and to guess how his mind worked. There is also quite a bit of history around his life, including his fascinating forecasts about Hitler/Nazis and the future with nuclear bombs. This is a book definitely worth reading.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Qrii

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Parts about science and career was catchy. However, I found parts about personal life boring at first. Later I noticed that the author of the book was harsh on protagonist, which made me doubt about how objective the book was. However, from further information given, I understood that Einstein really was kind of a person i would hate as a human being.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Georg Hohbach

    Profound book on Einstein's life and amazing discoveries. Neffe manages to explain the physics behind Einstein's theories of relativity - as well as the concepts of quantum mechanics - in a tangible fashion. It's a pleasure for the reader to think along! Great read! Profound book on Einstein's life and amazing discoveries. Neffe manages to explain the physics behind Einstein's theories of relativity - as well as the concepts of quantum mechanics - in a tangible fashion. It's a pleasure for the reader to think along! Great read!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ross

    Good: Einstein is an interesting and fascinating character, and this book covers all parts of his life, organised thematically. Bad: A tough book to get through. Often felt very tedious. Relieved to get it over with.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Chris Dessert

    A lot of the historical information was pure speculation and the physics was just completely wrong. The author pretended that this was not the case. Otherwise, an interesting read about Einstein's life. A lot of the historical information was pure speculation and the physics was just completely wrong. The author pretended that this was not the case. Otherwise, an interesting read about Einstein's life.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tandy

    A great bio with new info.

  19. 5 out of 5

    John

    this one's gonna take a while. this one's gonna take a while.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Josh

    He was a brute as a child, but who wasn't? Still fascinating to get an in-depth view of his childhood and greatest achievements. It just goes to show that some are born for greatness. He was a brute as a child, but who wasn't? Still fascinating to get an in-depth view of his childhood and greatest achievements. It just goes to show that some are born for greatness.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Hendri sabeth

    halah belajar dari orang jenius...sugan we ka tularan jenius...he..he

  22. 4 out of 5

    David

    Thematic instead of chronological treatment of Einstein's life. This approach seems to encourage exaggerated claims and superficial theorizing as if an entire long life were a single entity. Thematic instead of chronological treatment of Einstein's life. This approach seems to encourage exaggerated claims and superficial theorizing as if an entire long life were a single entity.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Laimonas Andriulis

  24. 5 out of 5

    Deyvis Gerardo

  25. 4 out of 5

    Steve

  26. 5 out of 5

    Selena

  27. 4 out of 5

    Klaudia

  28. 5 out of 5

    Antanas Lenksas

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mikayla Massey

  30. 4 out of 5

    Autumn

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