Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This turned out to be a wonderfully accessible and well-written account of Einstein's life.
He has warts, to be sure, but he's quite human. He was also a superstar for his time. A real rockstar. E=MC squared, you know?
I've seen documentaries, too, even read his General Relativity when I was young, and I've had a grand ole time listening or reading about all his colleagues and all the things they had to say about Einstein -- and it's all a hoot.
At least in the realm of quantum physics, Einstein is viewed as an embarrassment and all my classes kind of rolled their eyes at him, but for the time he championed field dynamics, it deserved all his accolades... not that the real world was all that easy on him.
For while WE have seen him in the media as a rockstar, in reality, he was victimized out of quite a few well-deserved accolades for his being Jewish. The whole thing about GENERAL RELATIVITY, for example, has still never been properly stamped.
On the other hand, Einstein, being a rockstar, was one of the few people who could have said anything they wanted and often did. I admire him for that quality. I think he was a genuinely good dude. The questionable things he DID do were all in his family life and they were limited to cheating, sometimes ignoring his family unless they gave him the total freedom to come to it on his own, or just staying out of their lives entirely, aside for setting them up with funds, but that's about the full extent of it.
What he had to deal with, on the other hand, was a lot of antisemitism, McCarthy Era BS, and a lot of stodgy tools keeping him back in the science community.
The fact is, aside from that short period when he was working as a Patent Clerk and being super productive with his thought experiments, his talents were kinda wasted, but one thing is abundantly clear: he was a rockstar whose dedication to personal freedom, following his personal compass, allowed him to perform some truly amazing feats.
Fortunately for the rest of us who want to sift through all the BS the media wrote about him versus what ACTUALLY happened, this book is a fantastic resource.
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