Customer Reviews for

Einstein: His Life and Universe

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

A necessity

I learned more about Einstein from this one book than with all the previous articles, papers, hear-say, etc. floating around in the printed world. Excellent writing style to boot! I am listening to it while driving and sometimes on arriving to my destination I just si...
I learned more about Einstein from this one book than with all the previous articles, papers, hear-say, etc. floating around in the printed world. Excellent writing style to boot! I am listening to it while driving and sometimes on arriving to my destination I just sit there in the parking lot engrossed in the story.

posted by frankDeHouston on June 6, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

8 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

Good Book - Rated down for VERY bad epub formatting

I do not have a Nook, but I've recently been trying out B&N's Nook Study, which I think is the best PC-based reader available. You can choose the font (even add your own), set the font size, view it in single or two-page format, take notes, etc. I had been reading Einst...
I do not have a Nook, but I've recently been trying out B&N's Nook Study, which I think is the best PC-based reader available. You can choose the font (even add your own), set the font size, view it in single or two-page format, take notes, etc. I had been reading Einstein, His Life and Universe in print form, and figured it would be a good test for Nook Study - it is huge, has hundreds of detailed footnotes, and an extensive index. The Nook passed with flying colors, but the publisher, Simon and Schuster gets a big F. The book reads just as well on Nook Study as it does in the printed book, no problem. But unlike other epub books I have (many published by B&N itself), the text footnote numbers are not linked to the footnotes. I can flip to the back of a print book and access footnotes, but I can't do that in an ereader. I have to find the actual note the hard way, by trial and error, read the note and then I have to find my place in the text again. And I cannot copy the note in order to refer to it once I'm back in the main text because apparently S&S don't allow this. Not easy. Worse than that, the index contains neither links nor page numbers - it is just a list of names, subjects, etc., that refers to exactly nothing. S&S should be ashamed of itself for offering this well-written bio in epub form in such a shoddy form. They need a do-over, and should offer existing buyers a copy of same.

posted by kaol on August 26, 2010

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  • Posted January 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Isaacson's Einstein is a Very Complete Book

    Winner of Time Magazines person of the 20th Century, Albert Einstein was a legend in his own time and his scientific ideas continue to live on today. Walter Isaacson's recent biography, Einstein His Life and Universe, is an in depth look at this icon, his life, ideas and tribulations. Born in Germany, this boy genius was a rebel and not a very good student when he was young. Unhappy with authority and the Prussian mind set of strict discipline, he found a better life for free thinkers in neighboring Switzerland. A graduate of The Zurich Polytechnic and later an employee at the the Bern Patent Office, he had a hard time finding work. His desire to work at more respectable universities were often met with letters of rejection. With a chaotic marriage, coupled with child custody problems and a later divorce, it is a miracle that this man came up with such breakthroughs in theoretical physics. But he did and it changed the lives of humanity to this day.
    Isaacson, does a good job in his book of not only covering Einstein's life but describes his theories of Special and General Relativity; with later introductions to Quantum Theory, that a "smart" layman can understand. I had to re-read the juicy scientific parts a few times to digest it, but it was worth the effort. Later in his life, Einstein wrestled with a unified field theory that would unite gravity and electromagnetism with the crazy unpredictable micro world of Quantum Mechanics. He did not have much success but did make some interesting observations and had many theories and opinions on this new and strange small atomic world. Being world famous and on the speakers circuit, Einstein was thrown into the political mix of the 1920's and 1930's and eventually made decisions that would later affect his life. An early believer in a Jewish state, he helped the Zionist movement and the creation of a Hebrew university in Israel. A staunch opponent to militant nationalism politics, he unknowingly endorsed anti war Communist front group causes and later was seen as a risk to national security during World War Two. But, there was no doubt that he was a proud American. Einstein would joke that he was not a Pacifist, but a militant pacifist. His utopia vision for the world was a one world benevolent government that ensured individual freedoms and encouraged free thought. As for the development of the A-Bomb, Einstein was not a active participant in its construction, but his famous equation of, e=mc2, was the building block that helped make it.
    This book is an enjoyable read because it covers all parts of Einstein's life to include the lighter side of this deep thinker. His love of life, his love of people and his quick witted humor and absentmindedness is a trait that many people equate with this great man. One example is when he would take his hat off during a rainstorm saying that he knew that his hair could withstand the rain but he was unsure of how his hat would hold up. He would listen to his students ideas and theories and even help small children in his neighborhood with their math homework. I have read other books on Albert Einstein, but I would recommend that this one be put on the list of favorites. Some are not as complete, while others deal mainly with his science- but this one is a pleasant mixture of both. I enjoyed this book and found it informative, educational and interesting on the life of this human legend. Robert Glasker

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2008

    boring

    I love 'bios' and was excited when my son gave me this book. I was quickly bored by the author. I was not glued to this book as I have been with other biographies, the author lacks passion when he writes about all of Einsteins' accomplishments and his life. I couldn't wait to finish reading it, not because it was entertaining, but because I had another book I wanted to read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 9, 2013

    This book is exhaustive in its scope. When you are done reading

    This book is exhaustive in its scope. When you are done reading it you will feel like you knew the man personally. He was not always a genius either, at least not in his day to day life. I didn’t find this book incredibly entertaining but it was informative. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2012

    Certainty a biography of his life. Not so much his theories.

    Certainty a biography of his life. Not so much his theories.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2011

    Verygood

    Good on lak

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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