Book Review: Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson

Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson is a biography of the famed scientist. Einstein lived a tremendous life full of science, math, politics, religion and love; I admire Mr. Isaacson’s courage in tackling such a project.

  • 704 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743264738

Book Review Einstein His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson

My rating for Einstein: His Life and Universe – 5

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I found Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson fascinating and interesting, yet a bit more of a difficult read than Mr. Isaacson’s biography of Benjamin Franklin. However, the author does a good job reconciling the physics genius with the rascally young ideologue and later with the icon we all think of when we hear the name “Einstein”.

As in his other biographies, Isaacson brings forth wonderful little anecdotes through personal letters and stories which, I feel, let us separate the man from the myth and let us know what the man was truly like. The personal letters, quick wit and even tyrannical impulses let the reader understand this complex man as a man, not a pillar of the scientific community. Not only is the young Einstein a fascinating character, but the older one – the one who spent his life fighting authority only to become the authority – also comes alive.

As for science, this book is neither here nor there. If you understand some of the physics then it will be a nice review, if you don’t then you won’t understand it after finishing reading either. But that’s not the point of the book anyway.

Personally I found the chapter about Einstein’s religious beliefs fascinating and enlightening. If a few more people in the world feel like him, that science and religions are complimentary (“Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind”) this world will be a more peaceful place.

As always, what make a biography really worth reading are the anecdotes and wonderful little story about the subject. The story about a man who traveled with Einstein on a ship from Europe to the US while trying to learn the theory of relativity only to state that after the trip he was certain that Professor Einstein understood the theory.

This biography is a highly readable book, full of information about the man and not so much about the science. As I mentioned, the parts about the science are short and are useful only if you are familiar with the theories, but then again – I’m no Einstein.

Buy this book in paper or in elec­tronic format*

 More Books by Wal­ter Isaac­son

 Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer: I got bought this book.
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account

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