Albert Einstein: A Biography

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9780140237191: Albert Einstein: A Biography

"(Folsing) provides a nuanced, nonjudgmental personal portrait resting firmly on prodigious archival work. Albert Einstein allows us to see deeply into (his) inner world". -- Alan Lightman, The New York Review of BooksThe name of Albert Einstein has become synonymous with supreme wisdom and benignity. Not only was he responsible for the fundamental remapping of our understanding of the physical cosmos, he also left a legacy of outspokenness on the crucial moral, political, and religious issues of the twentieth century. Drawing on an unprecedented number of sources, Albrecht Folsing throws into fresh relief the remarkable life of Einstein, approaching the man through the science and situating him in the creatively charged times in which he thrived.Albert Einstein is both an engaging portrait of a genius and a distillation of scientific thought. Folsing sheds light on Einstein's development and the complexity of his being: his childhood idiosyncrasies, his views on war and peace, his stimulating friendships with colleagues, and his intense relationships with women. This is a serious yet highly readable and intimate account of the genius who expanded our understanding of nature and of the singular man who played such an exceptional role in the cultural growth of this century."A provocative portrait...Folsing is painstaking and thorough in his research, taking us step-by-step through the crystallization of Einstein's thoughts". -- The Washington Post Book World"The best recent treatment of Einstein's life in and out of science". -- The Boston Book Review"Richly detailed...(Folsing) has managed to bring a fresh tint to this iconic figure of modern science". -- San FranciscoChronicle

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Language Notes:

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German

From Kirkus Reviews:

Another full-scale biography, this one translated from the German, of the preeminent physicist of modern times. F”lsing (head of science for the North German Radio/Television Network) recognizes that Albert Einstein (18791955) was a complex man whose importance went far beyond his enormous contributions to science. However, as the author (himself a physicist by training) points out, physics was Einstein's ``passion and his life,'' and many of the other events of his life--his involvement in politics, his celebrity status, his efforts on behalf of the Jewish people- -were more in the nature of distractions from his true calling. So while the present volume does not skimp in its treatment of Einstein's life outside science, physics provides the central focus--and, unfortunately, its central weakness. Readers without considerable scientific background may feel that F”lsing fails to adequately explain many of the central questions to which Einstein addressed himself. On the other hand, F”lsing offers a fascinating picture of the life of a scientist in the first half of this century. Einstein's school career, his job at the Swiss patent office, his movement into the academic world (and the political maneuvers this involved), and his acceptance by the international scientific community are covered in marvelous detail. Einstein's private life has been the subject of some controversy; however, despite having access to many previously unpublished letters, F”lsing has little to contribute to such questions as whether Einstein's first wife, Mileva, had any substantial input into the theory of relativity. Einstein's later years, from the accession of Hitler in 1933 to the scientist's death, are given remarkably short shrift. The translation, with numerous muddy patches and unidiomatic translations, often falls short of clarity. While it sheds interesting light on many aspects of Einstein's life, this biography will be of more interest to the specialist than to the general reader. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Albrecht Folsing, Ewald Osers (Translator)
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