Einstein: The Life and Times

( 7 )

Overview

First published in 1972, Ronald W. Clark's definitive biography of Einstein, the Promethean figure of our age, goes behind the phenomenal intellect to reveal the human side of the legendary absent-minded professor who confidently claimed that space and time were not what they seemed. Here is the classic portrait of the scientist and the man: the boy growing up in the Swiss Alps, the young man caught in an unhappy first marriage, the passionate pacifist who agonized over making The Bomb, the indifferent Zionist ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (5) from $22.60   
  • New (4) from $22.60   
  • Used (1) from $25.29   
Einstein: The Life and Times

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$7.99
BN.com price
(Save 11%)$8.99 List Price

Overview

First published in 1972, Ronald W. Clark's definitive biography of Einstein, the Promethean figure of our age, goes behind the phenomenal intellect to reveal the human side of the legendary absent-minded professor who confidently claimed that space and time were not what they seemed. Here is the classic portrait of the scientist and the man: the boy growing up in the Swiss Alps, the young man caught in an unhappy first marriage, the passionate pacifist who agonized over making The Bomb, the indifferent Zionist asked to head the Israeli state, the physicist who believed in God.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781448203031
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 2/28/2013
  • Pages: 700
  • Sales rank: 1,218,422
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Ronald Clark (1916-1987) born in London and educated at King's College School. In 1933 he chose journalism as a career. During the Second World War, after being turned down for military duty on medical grounds, he served as a war correspondent. During this time Clark landed on Juno Beach with the Canadians on D-Day and followed the war until it's end, then remained in Germany to report on the major War Crimes trials.

Clark returned to Britain in 1948 and wrote extensively on subjects ranging from mountain climbing to the atomic bomb, Balmoral Castle to world explorers. He also wrote a number of biographies on a myriad of figures, such as: Charles Darwin, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Sigmund Freud, and Bertrand Russell.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Einstein

The Life and Times
By Ronald W. Clark

Rebound by Sagebrush

Copyright © 1999 Ronald W. Clark
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780613214834

Chapter One

German Boy

The life of Albert Einstein has a dramatic quality that does not rest exclusively on his theory of relativity. For the extravagant timing of history linked him with three shattering developments of the twentieth century: the rise of modern Germany, the birth of nuclear weapons, and the growth of Zionism. Their impact on his simple genius combined to drive him into a contact with the affairs of the world for which he had little taste. The result would have made him a unique historical figure even had he not radically altered man's ideas of the physical world. Yet Einstein was also something more, something very different from the Delphic, hair-haloed oracle of his later years. To the end he retained a touch of clowning humor as well as a resigned and understanding amusement at the follies of the human race. Behind the great man there lurked a perpetual glint in the eye, a fundamental irreverence for authority, and an unexpected sense of the ridiculous that could unlatch a deep -belly laugh that shook the windows; together with decent moral purpose, it combined to make him a character rich in his own nonscientific right.

German by nationality, Jewish by origin, dissenting in spirit,Einstein reacted ambivalently against these three birthday gifts. He threw his German nationality overboard at the age of fifteen but twenty years later, after becoming Swiss, settled in Berlin where he remained throughout the First World War; after Germany's defeat in 1918 he took up German civic rights again, "one of the follies of my life," as he later wrote of it, only to renounce his country a second time when Hitler came to power. His position as a Jew was buttressed by his support of Zionism, yet he offended more than once by insistence that Jews were, more importantly, members of the human species. Moreover his Zionism conflicted at times with his pacifism, and to his old friend, Lord Samuel, he commented that he was, despite anti-Semitic attacks, "pas trés Juif." The free thinking ideals of his youth continued into old age; yet these included a belief in the ordered and orderly nature of the universe which was by no means in conflict with the idea of a God -- even though what Einstein meant by the word was peculiar to himself and a small number of others. In these and other ways, in his private and his professional life, Einstein became the great contradiction: the German who detested the Germans; the pacifist who encouraged men to arms and played a significant part in the birth of nuclear weapons; the Zionist who wished to placate the Arabs; the physicist who with his "heuristic viewpoint" of 1905 suggested that light could be both wave and particle, and who was ultimately to agree that even matter presented the same enigma. Yet Einstein himself supplied part of the answer to his own riddle. In ordinary life, as well as in the splendid mysteries of physics, absolutes were to be distrusted; events were often relative to circumstance.

He was born in Ulm, an old city on the Danube with narrow winding streets and the great cathedral on which workmen were then building the tallest spire in Europe. Lying in the foothills of the Swabian Alps, where the Blau and the flier join the Danube, the city had in 1805 been the scene of the Austrian's defeat by Napoleon. Four years later it was ceded to Württemberg under the Treaty of Vienna. In 1842 the old fortifications were restored by German engineers, and with the creation of the new German Empire in the Hall of Mirrors in 1870, Prussian discipline began to reach down from the north German plains towards the free-and-easy Swabians of whom the Einsteins were commonplace examples.

They came from Buchau, a small town between Lake Constance and Ulm, comfortable and complacent on the Federnsee, a minor marsh of prehistoric interest whose story is admirably told in the fine new Federnsee Museum and whose shores are today thronged with weekend tourists. Since 1577 the Jews had formed a distinguished and respectable community in the area. They prospered down the centuries; they hung on, despite the burning of the synagogue in 1938 and all that followed it, until 1968. Only then could the local papers report: "Death of the Last Jew in Buchau." His name was Siegbert Einstein, a relative, many times removed, of the most famous Jew in modern history.

Industrious and mildy prosperous, the Einsteins had lived in Buchau at least since the 1750s according to the six family registers kept by the Jewish authorities. By the middle of the nineteenth century they were numerous, and eleven of that name are shown on the roll of those who subscribed to the new synagogue in 1839. Albert Einstein's great-grandfather had been born in the town in 1759, and the Jewish registers record his marriage to Rebekka Obernauer, the birth of their son Abraham in 1808, and Abraham's marriage- to Helene Moos. Their son Hermann, the father of Einstein, was born in Buchau on August 30, 1847. Nineteen years later Abraham and his family moved to Ulm, thirty miles to the north, and in 1876 Hermann married Pauline Koch, born in Cannstadt, only a few miles away, and eleven years his junior.

Like the Einsteins, the Kochs had been part of the Württemberg Jewish community for more than a century, a family with roots rather more to the north -- in Goppingen, Jebenhausen, and Cannstadt. Like her husband, Pauline Koch spoke the soft Swabian dialect, hallmark of an ancient duchy that had once spread from Franconia to Switzerland, from Burgundy to Bavaria, and whose inhabitants lacked both the discipline of Prussia and the coarseness of Bavaria.

Although Einstein was not of peasant stock, he came from people almost as close to the earth, and his reactions were often those of the man tied to the hard facts of life by the seasons. His second wife's scathing . . .





Continues...

Excerpted from Einstein by Ronald W. Clark Copyright © 1999 by Ronald W. Clark. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2004

    mediocre

    Unless you are conversant with physics, you will find a great of this book difficult to wade through. Though the parts highlighting Einstein's human side are enlightening and engaging, the writing, for the most part is dry and pedantic. In spite of the mediocre writing, Einstein himself never fails to be thoroughly intriguing.

    9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2014

    Fascinating biography of a fascinating man. I'm no expert on mat

    Fascinating biography of a fascinating man. I'm no expert on math at all, but still found this engaging and entertaining. This is definitely recommended for math geeks and regular folks alike!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2014

    Very detailed, well-written Biography

    Found the discussions on his revolutionary theories to be a bit dense, but understandable. Was fascinated by how little we knew of his boyhood and young manhood.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2014

    What happened to friday freebie?

    Cant find any one star enough? About the same as the last bio ...how can a writer take a lifetime and make it boring? Page counter

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)