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

In summary, the conversation revolved around book recommendations about Albert Einstein and his life and work. Some recommended biographies include "Subtle is the Lord" by Abraham Pais, "Albert Einstein: A Biography" by Albrecht Folsing, and "Einstein: A Life in Science" by John Gribbin and Michael White. Others suggested reading Einstein's original works, such as "Ideas and Opinions." The conversation also touched on the idea of getting to know Einstein's thoughts and philosophy of life, but some felt that it was not necessary as he was just a regular person. Overall, the conversation provided various perspectives on how to approach learning about Einstein and his impact on science and history.
  • #1
Hanshananigan
1
0
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?

THANKS!
 
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #2
I like Subtle is the Lord... by Abraham Pais.
 
  • #3
In a single sentence: Albert Einstein was a person that had a great imagination and intelligence.
 
  • #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.
 
  • #5
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.
 
  • #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.
 
  • #7
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.
 
  • #8
JasonRox said:
Yeah, but what's the point of reading different books on the same thing?

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.

Indeed, just read one.
 
  • #9
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.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0028631803/?tag=pfamazon01-20
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #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.

As an aside -- the nephew was Einstein for Halloween... isn't he cute?
Little E.jpg
 
Last edited:
  • #11
selfAdjoint said:
I like Subtle is the Lord... by Abraham Pais.

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.
 
  • #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!)
 
  • #13
physics girl phd said:
As an aside -- the nephew was Einstein for Halloween... isn't he cute?
View attachment 8332

That is so awesome! How old is he?
 
  • #14
Hanshananigan said:
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!)

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.
 

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

1. What is the best biography of Einstein?

The best biography of Einstein is subjective and can vary based on personal preferences. However, some highly recommended biographies include "Einstein: His Life and Universe" by Walter Isaacson, "Einstein: A Biography" by Jürgen Neffe, and "Einstein: The Life and Times" by Ronald W. Clark.

2. Why is this biography considered the best?

This biography is often considered the best because it provides a comprehensive and well-researched account of Einstein's life, including his personal and professional achievements, challenges, and impact on science and society.

3. Are there any biographies written by Einstein himself?

Yes, Einstein wrote an autobiography titled "Out of My Later Years" which provides a firsthand account of his life and thoughts. He also collaborated on a biography with his friend, Carl Seelig, titled "Albert Einstein: His Life and Work".

4. Are there any biographies that focus on specific aspects of Einstein's life?

Yes, there are biographies that focus on specific aspects of Einstein's life, such as his relationship with his first wife, Mileva Maric, and his political activism. Some examples include "Einstein's Wife: The Real Story of Mileva Einstein-Maric" by Allen Esterson and "Einstein on Politics: His Private Thoughts and Public Stands on Nationalism, Zionism, War, Peace, and the Bomb" by Albert Einstein and David E. Rowe.

5. Can you recommend a biography for someone who is new to learning about Einstein?

For someone who is new to learning about Einstein, "Einstein: His Life and Universe" by Walter Isaacson is a great place to start. It provides a comprehensive overview of Einstein's life and achievements, while also being engaging and easy to follow for those who are not familiar with his work.

Similar threads

  • General Discussion
Replies
4
Views
785
Replies
1
Views
1K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
17
Views
1K
  • High Energy, Nuclear, Particle Physics
Replies
6
Views
1K
Replies
19
Views
2K
  • Science and Math Textbooks
Replies
13
Views
2K
  • Special and General Relativity
2
Replies
61
Views
3K
  • New Member Introductions
Replies
2
Views
472
  • Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
13
Views
1K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
7
Views
1K
Back
Top