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I would like your opinions please: the best biography of Einstein?

  1. Nov 14, 2006 #1
    Light on math, heavy on the man.

    Strangely, a search of these forums revealed no topics dedicated to this question. It would be swell to put yer thoughts in one place for me or anyone.

    What would you recommend?

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 14, 2006 #2


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    I like Subtle is the Lord... by Abraham Pais.
  4. Nov 14, 2006 #3
    In a single sentence: Albert Einstein was a person that had a great imagination and intelligence.
  5. Nov 14, 2006 #4
    thanks for the recommendation!

    It seems like a very fine book.

    Anyone else?

    Here's a couple others, for anyone who is interested:

    These seem particularly good as well:

    Albert Einstein: A Biography (Greenwood Biographies) by Alice Calaprice and Trevor Lipscombe

    Einstein:: The Life and Times by Ronald W. Clark

    And the others:

    Albert Einstein: A Biography by Albrecht Folsing, Ewald Osers (Translator)

    Albert Einstein, The Human Side by Albert Einstein, Banesh Hoffman (Editor), Helen Dukas (Editor)

    Einstein: A Life (Paperback) by Denis Brian

    Genius: A Photobiography of Albert Einstein (Photobiographies) by Marfe Ferguson Delano

    Who Was Albert Einstein? by Gero Von Boehm and Gero Von Boehm

    ...and lots of kids books.
  6. Nov 14, 2006 #5


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    God's Equations by Amir D. Aczel was hands down the best out of the ones I've read, which is like 3 different copies.
  7. Nov 14, 2006 #6
    Im reading this:

    Albert Einstein: A Biography by Albrecht Folsing, Ewald Osers (Translator)

    It is a detailed description of the life of albert and his works.

    The best thought.
  8. Nov 14, 2006 #7


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    Yeah, but what's the point of reading different books on the same thing?

    I liked God's Equations because it included a lot of things the ordinary biographies didn't have.

    I wouldn't go and read another copy after another. It would get so boring. The introduction to many science and mathematics history books are already getting extremely boring with the repetitive Greek story. Just cut to the chase.
  9. Nov 14, 2006 #8
    Indeed, just read one.
  10. Nov 14, 2006 #9


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    Believe it or not, a GREAT book about Einstein is "The complete Idiot's Guide to Einstein". If you want facts about Einstein and want to understand his history, this is a great read. Don't dismiss it. It can only add insight to any other biography. It has a lot of trivia.

    Editorial Reviews

    From Scientific American

    While the complete idiot may think that Einstein = relativity, Moring goes back as far as the ancient Greeks to set a solid stage for Einstein's myriad accomplishments in fields ranging from physics to philosophy. The book's explanations are complete enough to both satisfy the reader and pacify the scientist, and the cheeky writing style is amusing without being annoying.

    Last edited: Nov 14, 2006
  11. Nov 14, 2006 #10
    Okay -- and it's not a biography -- but you oughtta quickie-read-for-fun "Driving Mr. Albert." Maybe just to wish you had a cool brain in the trunk. :yuck:

    As an aside -- the nephew was Einstein for Halloween... isn't he cute?
    Little E.jpg
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2006
  12. Nov 15, 2006 #11
    But be warned that the book is actually a bit heavy on the math. The author does provide you a route to circumvent all the math, but that's not what the book is about. It's the best "scientific biography" of Einstein.

    Here's my recommendation: Einstein: A Life in Science by John Gribbin and Michael White. Gribbin is one of my favourite authors.

    I think the best way to get to know Al's thoughts is to read books authored by him, like Ideas and Opinions.
  13. Nov 15, 2006 #12
    Thanks for all the thoughts so far!

    Clearly, there are some excellent books out there that cover overlapping yet possibly different aspects of his life and work.

    And the idea about reading his original works is a good addition.

    I'm kinda going for both the "what would it feel like to have dinner with him" and "how did his mind work through the eyes of his peers and family," rather than a theme of "how did this man come up with relativity" as the focus.

    I may start with "Idiot's Guide" to set an amusing structure then grab one of the other more academic works to get a deeper perspective.

    (great costume, by the way!)
  14. Dec 17, 2006 #13

    Math Is Hard

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    That is so awesome! How old is he?
  15. Dec 17, 2006 #14


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    He was a regular guy, so I don't what you mean by knowing his "mind". That's kind of useless.

    His philosophy of life was good, but nothing special. It was nice to have a man of his stature believing in the things he did though.
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