Ideas and Opinions is the definitive collection of Einstein’s writing, including scientific writings that are the foundation for modern physics and of our modern world, extracts from his speeches on subjects as diverse as atomic war, religion and human rights and letters that show the personal side of one of the world’s greatest, and most public, intellectuals.
Einstein’s writings re-defined mankind’s ideas about the universe. His theory of relativity changed how we think of space and time while his proposal that energy and matter are interchangeable, summed up as E = mc², became the most famous mathematical equation in history.
Ideas and Opinions collects Einstein’s thoughts and beliefs on every subject and displays his remarkable ability to penetrate to the heart of a subject, an ability that is as apparent in his scientific writings as in his more personal writings. He had the rare gift to make complex problems seem simple, while writing entertainingly on every subject, revealing his personality as much as his thoughts. It is as close to Einstein’s autobiography as we will get, and captures his witty, anarchic but thoughtful personality.
Born in Germany in 1879, Einstein came to public attention in 1905 with his first scientific papers. Within a few years he was teaching at the University of Zurich and between 1913 and 1933 he worked on his theory of relativity, winning the Nobel Prize in 1921. In 1933 he moved from Germany to the United States, and taught at Princeton University until his death in 1955.
“Albert Einstein looms over 20th century physics as its defining, emblematic figure.”
“He was unfathomably profound – the genius among geniuses who discovered, merely by thinking about it, that the universe was not as it seemed.”
“Einstein’s humanistic and political writings, which reveal his broad range of non-scientific interests. The best examples of these essays, as well as some eloquent eulogies, can be found in his book Ideas and Opinions.”
“This collection of his articles, speeches and correspondences spans philosophy, politics, friendship, education, religion and science… Do not be daunted by the author or the title. This is a readable book that illuminates the man rather than the lauded genius.”