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Einstein: A Biography


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About the Author

Jurgen Neffe is affiliated with the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science.


An award-winning German journalist relies on newly unearthed letters and documents to examine the life and times of the man who gave us E=mc2. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

"Neffe gives us the full Einstein, warts and all. Crucially, he is as sound on the physics as he is sensitive to the great physicist's troubled personal life." -- Jon Agar, University of Cambridge "Neffe has written the most current and dynamic Einstein biography now on the market. His words magnificently restore Einstein to life." -- Handelsblatt "An intelligent, beautifully crafted narrative, enhanced with ample documentation, makes this book a pleasure to read ... This work will set the standard for all future biographies." -- Spektrum der Wissenschaften "Neffe's extraordinary ability to convey complex information in a manner that will appeal to a general audience in just under five hundred dazzling pages is particularly evident in the passages on Einstein's theories of the dual nature of light, of gravitation, and of spacetime, which are cleverly incorporated into accounts of the history of physics." -- Neue Zurcher Zeitung

Rarely has a single individual been so farsighted and myopic at the same time, Neffe observes, setting off to illuminate the truth behind the legend of Albert Einstein. This expanded version of Neffe's acclaimed biography first published in Germany in 2005 takes advantage of newly discovered documents, including the diaries of Einstein's Berlin physician, J nos Plesch, and letters from Einstein to his first wife, Mileva, and his sons, Hans Albert and Eduard. The biography is structured topically, with chapters devoted to Einstein's childhood and early schooling, his friendships, his physics research and how politics affected his work. Neffe repeatedly cites Einstein's dual nature: intelligent and serious, while simultaneously childlike and cheerful; a man whose theory of relativity changed the way we see the universe, yet who professed a decided ambivalence for the modern art and music influenced by his discoveries. Coupling insights into Einstein's character with clear descriptions of the physicist's groundbreaking research, Neffe creates a fascinating portrait of this egocentric loner with a sense of responsibility for all mankind, one of the most intriguing figures of the 20th century. While Walter Isaacson's new biography is bound to be the big seller, Neffe is more straightforward on Einstein's less appealing traits: the misogynist, the curmudgeon, the passive-aggressive father. (Apr.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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